THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AC36 CLASS RULE
Since the decision on the new class and announcement in November, Emirates Team New Zealand have been working hard with Luna Rossa to turn the concept of the AC75 into a rule that will shape its development.
The aim is to create a set of regulations that will ensure that each team designs and builds boats that fit the general concept of the foiling monohull that has been presented, whilst allowing designers enough freedom to allow the new class to develop competitively.
This involves creating rules on overall parameters such as length, weight and sail area, then delving into specifics on materials, the types of appendages permitted, hydraulic and electronic control systems - in fact covering every aspect of the design.
Emirates Team New Zealand design coordinator Dan Bernasconi on why a class rule is so vital in the America’s Cup:
"In some ways, designers would love to work without the constraints of a rule, but in practice it's important to have a comprehensive set of constraints to keep costs under control; if no limits were set, the wealthiest teams could gain advantages by out-spending their competitors using rare materials, extremely complex systems, and countless iterations of components.”
An important part of the rules will be limiting the number of each type of component that can be built and tested - something that is fundamental to the goal of cost-cutting for the Challengers.
The process of writing the rule is a collaborative process with Luna Rossa, the Challenger of Record. Around 12 designers in Emirates Team New Zealand, and a similar number in Luna Rossa are working together to pool ideas and turn concepts and systems into words on a page.
The process is currently about half way through, with the Rule issue date of 31st March approaching fast.
Other interested Challengers are being kept well up to date with progress as the rule develops, with questions being answered and feedback listened to.
Most teams understandably wish to see the final rule before lodging their challenges and paying the first entry fee of US$1 mill ahead of the initial entry period deadline on 30 June, hence the need to meet the 31 March deadline for the issue of Class Rule.
All entries including those received in the interim since the January 1st entry period opened must go through a full process of compliance in accordance with the Deed of Gift and the Protocol so a list of accepted entires will be published by June 30th unless announced publicly prior to then.