America’s Cup: Sir Ben in the slow lane to progress as teams sent designs for shorter 62-foot catamarans

The agonisingly slow process of organising and presenting the next America’s Cup takes a few steps forward this week as potential challengers are sent the design outlines for the boats to be used, 62-foot catamarans using wing sails and foils to skim across the top of the water. They are being asked for comments.

They would be 10 feet shorter than the boats which were featured last September in San Francisco when the defender, Larry Ellison’s Oracle, came from being 1-8 down to win by 9-8 against Emirates Team New Zealand. There would also be some standard elements, principally in the wing and possibly in the main structural beams, which would cut some of the research and design budget. And the crew would be reduced to eight, with an all-up weight of 700kgs, though the full protocol governing the event would cover any nationality requirements.

Some, like the New Zealanders, would like a substantial return to a nationality rule and Britain’s Sir Ben Ainslie has said that any British challenge would have no difficulty meeting much more than the modest 25 per cent. which is being discussed. That would imply a minimum of two per boat.

Details like the structure of the event, including the methods and venues for the qualifying races for the finals in 2017, continue to exercise Russell Coutts, boss of the Oracle racing team, and Iain Murray, acting on behalf of the Challenger of Record, Australia’s Hamilton Island Yacht Club. Murray, who was chief executive of the event’s race management in 2013, has been joined by Richard Slater, who was Oracle’s rules adviser for AC34.

The venue is also unlikely to be announced in the near future, with a repeat in San Francisco not ruled out as the defender keeps up the pressure by mentioning other venues like Chicago, Newport, Rhode Island, San Diego, and even Hawaii. The venue will considerably influence the design work but may not be known until much later this year.

All of which is costing Ainslie valuable time and prevents him from presenting a full package to potential sponsors, though this week his mind may be on the problem of negotiating the same waters on which he won the second of his four Olympic gold medals.

Qingdao is hosting an impressive array of British Olympians in the fleet of 12 Extreme 40 catamarans contesting the third of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. With Ainslie is Paul Goodison, a fellow 2004 golden boy, and Pippa Wilson while Sarah Ayton is with Leigh McMillan, a Tornado catamaran campaigner at the same regatta.

But it was the Doncaster-born Anna Tunnicliffe, who won gold for the United States, who was in the clubhouse with first day bragging rights with Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team, followed by McMillan’s crew on The Wave, Muscat. Ainslie, meanwhile, had a disappointing first day and is in the bottom three overnight.

But not as disappointing as the other Omani crew, skippered by Rob Greenhalgh and joined by Oracle’s America’s Cup winning Kyle Langford, which lasted only until the start of the first race and was then sent with a crash gash in one of its hulls back to the repair yard.

The damage was done by Team GAC Pindar, which has been joined by helmsman David Gilmour, son of four-time world match racing champion Peter, as part of Iain Murray’s challenger team from Australia.         

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map