America's Cup update

Gilles Martin-Raget / America's CUp
ACRM CEO Iain Murray brings us up to speed following last week's Competitor Forum
The 34th America’s Cup continues to move at lightning pace and so following another Competitor’s Forum that took place in New Zealand last week, we felt it time to catch up once again with Regatta Director and CEO of America’s Cup Race Management, Iain Murray. The meet last week it should be noted was a ‘Forum’ rather than a ‘briefing’, the former being solely for teams that have formally entered, be it publicly or not, the latter being open also to prospectives. According to Murray, most of the eight teams - Oracle Racing, Mascalzone Latino, Artemis Racing, Aleph and TeamAustralia, plus one anonymous team, were present while absent was the Peyron’s Energy Challenge (read more about them here), who were being represented by Emirates Team NZ and another anonymous team, possibly from Spain. The three day forum covered a lot of ground in particular tidying up the AC72 rule and also the Racing Rules for the 34th America’s Cup. While the Racing Rules are due for publication imminently, as reported the most significant change to the AC72 rule was the reduction in wing sections from eight to six (ie three full wings). According to Murray this reduction has been in discussion for a while. “It is definitely a cost saving, but it is a complexity that I don’t think anyone wanted either. It is just another whole project.” While there is some flexibility in the scale of the wing, from 255 to 260sqm area, Murray says that feedback he has received from the teams indicates they are okay with this size. “Having seen the 45 sailing in excess of 30 knots, I think the wing and the bow-up attitude of the boat, everyone feels a bit more comfortable.” After the reduction in number of wing sections, the biggest amendment has been a move to prevent