The Oldest Trophy in the World

I know you've all been wondering: "what's going on in the world of the America's Cup lately?"
Well, exciting things have been going on, that's what.

It all started at the end of the last challenge, when the Swiss team Alinghi (of Societe Nautique de Geneve) successfully defended the cup. Shortly after, Bertarelli (the billionaire owner of team Alinghi) declared that Club Náutico Español de Vela were the challengers of record for the next cup. A club, that only existed in paper, and which he controlled. The set of rules that came out of those "talks" were so controversial, that Larry Ellison (the billionaire owner of team BMW Oracle) took them to court.

As it has so many times in the past, the New York Supreme court sat and heard arguments, consulted the Deed of Gift, and precedence. Eventually they ruled in favour for Oracle and the Golden Gate Yacht Club, and the challenge was set. Of course, given that they each have tons of money, and many lawyers, there have been many, many suits since that time. Bertarelli (aka the cheating bastard) has lost nearly all of them

In the meantime the design specifications that Oracle put forth, rather than being a complicated set of rules and walking away from the old formula:

Was ridiculously straight forward, it had to fight in 90' by 90' box, essentially, a baseball diamond.

Well, this is how you advance the world of sailing, give two of the top 100 richest men on the planet, carte blanche to build a fast boat. Here are the results:

Team Alinghi built a catamaran, All carbon fiber, including the sails. In even light wind it manages to fly one of their hulls and go at least twice the speed of the wind, possibly more.

The official videos I can't embed, here's a link to their promo

More incredibly is team Oracle's Trimaran. Disaster seemed to strike when the 280 foot, 10 million dollar mast snapped while they were pushing the boat to it's limits one day. However, the next week they unveiled their new hard sail, the biggest wing ever built by man, and launched the boat once more:

and a little promo of the boat, both with it's soft and hard sails:

Posted by LePhil on December 19, 2009 with category tags of


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