The 35th America’s Cup kicked off in May 2017 in Bermuda with qualifying rounds from which the top challenger would be pitted against America’s Cup defending champions, Team Oracle USA.
Presented by Louis Vuitton, the setting couldn’t be more perfect as water activities are the quiddity of Bermuda. This well-known destination is comprised of 181 islands totaling just 21 square miles. As the boats descended upon the small cluster of world-famous islands, the excitement was palpable and the boats, impressive. In the mix, three types of boats this year.
With an F in the name, you know this model is dedicated to foiling. More formally known as a sailing hydrofoil, wing-like foils are mounted under the hull of a sailboat. The foils then lift the hull of the craft as its speed increases, thereby reducing drag and accelerating the speed of the sailboat. The AC45F for America’s Cup World Series is quite simple in design, especially compared to the other boats in the program, but the playing field is level because all entrants are required to use an identical design.
The ACC or America’s Cup Class boat is a required build for each competing team. At almost 50 feet in length, they are designed and built according to very specific rules, however, the rules allow for the vessels’ designers and engineers to infuse their designs with their own creative edge. These are the boats that will be match-raced by all qualifiers.
The boat that bridges the gap between the AC45F and the ACC boats, the AC45S – which some teams refer to as the AC45T – is basically a practice boat in which teams test their ideas, practice racing and even work to validate their assumptions. The design is more closely related to the ACC boats, but they’re not used as official racing boats. Some teams build several of these crafts for practice and experimentation, while other teams may only use one. One strict requirement is that the hulls of the AC45S must be the same length as the AC45F – 45 feet. Aside from that one requirement, teams are allowed to use whatever systems they see fit on the vessels.
Louis Vuitton’s America’s Cup Village
With much fanfare and bustle, Louis Vuitton’s America’s Cup Village plays host to the 35th America’s Cup. If you’re not able to get to Bermuda for the events, you can easily stay up-to-date on all things America’s Cup at the America’s Cup website. For a little more background information on America’s Cup, be sure to read our article, What You Need to Know About America’s Cup World Series. Are you an America’s Cup follower? Share your favorite America’s Cup story with us.