In tribute to the AC72

We look some more at the differences between the Kiwi and Oracle Team USA AC72s
Given that, sadly, their days may be numbered, we thought it time to pay homage to the AC72 catamaran, a boat way ahead of its time. At present it looks as though if Emirates Team New Zealand wins this week, the accountant in CEO/grinder Grant Dalton may well take the 35th America’s Cup back to monohulls, even though the monohull-multihull Rubicon has now been crossed and none of the rest of the Kiwi team – neither sailors, nor designers - seems overly keen to regress back to slow boats. Dalts has said he intends to be more democratic than the present regime in making this decision and will even consult other potential challengers about the type of boat that will entice the most teams back to the competition. One suspects that they’ll work out what a typical team budget should be and then decide upon the boat that best fits the bill while hopefully finding a way to prevent teams with the biggest budgets from winning. So while we can expect Luna Rossa to challenge the Kiwis within seconds of their winning (should this come to pass), it looks as though it will be a longer wait before the Protocol for the 35th America’s Cup is published. If Oracle Team USA successfully fights back from the brink – and currently six points behind, that’s a lot of fighting - the indication from the team is that they would consider a smaller, perhaps simpler, multihull. Oh yes, with an Iain Percy-led Artemis Racing as Challenger of Record. But realistically changing to a new genre of monohull or a smaller multihull will not cause much cost saving. What will is if the design/R&D/engineering element is drastically reduced and this can only be done if the size of the design space is scaled back, if some