The 2024 America’s Cup in Barcelona will be held in international classic 15-meter cups

As the dust settles on the global kerfuffle over the torrid venue selection process for the 37th America’s Cup Series in 2024 with Barcelona winning the prize, it appears from leaked documents that the final big-money deal includes various side deals. very special. These were only to be revealed when the global sailing public comes to terms with this latest venue development in the 170-year-long history of the world’s oldest international sporting challenge, but a safety failure of the information led them to come to the fore today.

Thanks to excessive and very noisy celebrations in the Catalan capital during the signing of the agreement – although everything was done in the middle of Lent – Afloat.ie can reveal sensational secret proposals which are in the process of being confirmed. They indicate that while the complex deal was being put together in great secrecy, the putative Barcelona organizers were carrying out discreet but detailed research which indicated that in order to achieve the level of popularity and profitability they seek, the 37th edition will have to be very different from the 36th staging completed in 2021 in New Zealand.

THE AUDIENCE WANTS SPECTACULAR RIGS

An excerpt from the secret documents reveals much interest:

“Our research has shown that the casual viewer finds the modern AC75 boats ‘rather boring’. They tell us that from a distance they look like floating versions of Formula 1 cars with very ordinary standard rigs that look unremarkable, and that ‘Unless the spectators are very close to the action, they don’t get the full impression of the foiling effect on the hull behavior.

Accessible drama – the International 15 Meter Lady Anne (originally built 1912) flapping to the wind

Thus we have concluded that it is much more important from the point of view of an ordinary spectator to have large, spectacular and complex rigs rather than just hull speed. And at present, the class of boat that best meets this need is the Mediterranean fleet of classic yachts restored to the international 15 meter rule, which are impressive with their topsail gaff rigs.

With the limited time available, the 15 meters – whose hulls are approximately 75 feet long – offer the best option to have a viable fleet in action for 2024. But if all goes as well as we hope, over time , we expect to switch to boats from the international rule of 23 meters, or to the American rule that produced the famous Reliance in 1903.

The ultimate America's Cup yacht was the successful 1903 Reliance Defender.  She put up a very large combination of perfectly trimmed sails, needed a crew of 80 to sail her properly, needed 19 feet of water to float, and had to be dry-docked as much as possible because she was constructed of an electrolytically conflicting range.  expensive metals, which tend to fizz and deteriorate rapidly when immersed in salt water.The ultimate America’s Cup yacht was the successful 1903 Reliance Defender. She put up a very large combination of perfectly trimmed sails, needed a crew of 80 to sail her properly, needed 19 feet of water to float, and had to be dry-docked as much as possible because she was constructed of an electrolytically conflicting range. expensive metals, which tend to fizz and deteriorate rapidly when immersed in salt water.

Sailors tend to overestimate the bystander effect of the supposedly high sailing speed of AC 75 type boats. It only seems fast to sailors. Compared to other vehicles, they don’t really go very fast at all. So, we think that as the America’s Cup rolls around in Barcelona, ​​we’ll put a lot more emphasis on the spectacular looks of the rig and so on than the still rather pedestrian outright speeds.

Obviously this is dynamite, and will be considered a retrograde step except at Falmouth in Cornwall and Howth in Ireland, the only two places in the world where significant fleets of jackyard topsail fleets still race, with Cornwall with the Falmouth workboats while Howth race the Howth Seventeens.

The return of worktops to the America's Cup will bring additional kudos to experience in this rig, as with the Falmouth Workboats seen here……..The return of worktops to the America’s Cup will bring additional kudos to experience in this rig, as with the Falmouth Workboats seen here……..

…….and the Howth Seventeens.  Photo: WM Nixon …….and the Howth Seventeens. Photo: WM Nixon

And apparently even the impressive J Boats that raced for the America’s Cup in the 1930s – and are now being revived as a class – failed to meet Barcelona’s demands. The word is that compared to Reliance and its smaller but similar siblings, as far as the general public goes, the J-class “are just too boring for words”.


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