Team New Zealand have confirmed reports that the America’s Cup is heading back to monohulls. Luna Rossa boss Patrizio Bertelli, the Italian Challenger of Record, broke news of the move away from catamarans on Monday.
Bertelli said the return to monohulls, albeit radical foiling ones, was a condition of Luna Rossa helping Team New Zealand win the last America’s Cup in Bermuda.
Emirates Team New Zealand have been consulting with a number of potential challengers and there is an overall desire to have a spectacular monohull yacht that will be exciting to match race, but also one that the public and sailors can relate to as a sail boat that really challenges a full crew of professional yachtsman around the race track.”
Team New Zealand were set to unveil the protocol for the 2021 America’s Cup in Auckland later this month, but when La Stampa asked Bertelli on Monday (NZT) if the Cup would still feature catamarans, he replied: “No, you’re back to monohulls.”
“It was the condition for Luna Rossa to help them with men and means in the last edition.”
He said the new monohulls “will be very powerful boats” without going into details of the foiling capabilities.
Bertelli confirmed there would also be tighter nationality rules, as indicated by Team New Zealand.
He said there would also be pre-America’s Cup racing held in Italy.
Luna Rossa withdrew from the last America’s Cup early in the Bermuda cycle, unhappy at the constant rule changes implemented by then holders Oracle Team USA.
But they handed Team New Zealand a test boat and the services of several sailors and technical staff, including skipper Max Sirena who became Team New Zealand’s technical advisor and part of the syndicate’s management.
The move helped the cash-strapped Kiwis with their successful development programme and kept the Italians in the game. It also continued a strong partnership between the New Zealand and Italian syndicates that included the Kiwis handing them design data for the 2013 Cup in San Francisco.
Foiling catamarans have featured at the last two America’s Cup.
Luna Rossa, under the Circolo della Vela Sicilia yacht club, were signed up as the Challenger of Record within minutes of Team New Zealand beating Oracle in this year’s Cup match in Bermuda in late June.
Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton told Stuff last mont that the protocol for 2021 was “basically done” and they were only tweaking details.
A move to a foiling monohull was widely speculated in the aftermath to Bermuda.
The 20-19-20 Volvo Ocean Race will feature foiling monohulls with the revolutionary 60-foot boats the brainchild of Emirates Team New Zealand designer Guillaume Verdier.
It’s expected they will be able to foil at speeds of 35-40 knots in 20 knots of wind, hinting at the possibilities of an America’s Cup monohull.
The top speeds achieved by the catamarans at the last two Cup was 47.57 knots by Team New Zealand in their giant 72-footer in San Francisco.
Team New Zealand said further details of the protocol for the 36th America’s Cup will be announced at the end of the month.