At the first launch, that of Team New Zealand, we goggled our eyes, we had to get used to the sight of a boat so very different from “normal” whose aesthetics, however, already looked decidedly attractive. At the second, that of American Magic, so different from the Kiwi one, we realized that at last the America’s Cup is back to being that design laboratory where espionage, strokes of genius, and hidden secrets once again have the appeal for which the America’s Cup is famous. The third launch was a matter of sentiment, Luna Rossa is the history of Italian sailing and seeing a boat with this name back in the water always has a certain effect. Also because the new Moon hides very interesting details (as we told you HERE). At the fourth launch, that of Ineos Team UK we exclaimed: but what??????
Perhaps it is among the four the boat that took us most by surprise. In fact, the path taken by the British seems to be a further path from that of the other three teams. The bow looks almost like that of an Imoca 60, the volumes are from a semi scow (and here it recalls the airplane one from American Magic) but from the bow starts a flaring of the deck uphill that increases the freeboard of the boat thanks also to completely vertical bulwarks. Absent any aft momentum, the hull is completely flat and has none of the submerged volumes seen on Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa. The feeling is that the British have gone in a similar direction as the Americans, i.e., a boat with strongly flight-oriented aerodynamics and hull choices, worrying less about when the boat will sail in semi-displacement trim.
The reason for a bow with a low height, which continues toward the deck with these flares, has reasons that are all aerodynamic, and the rising deck helps to prevent the rising water from running all the way through the boat. Similar choices on the foils to those of Luna Rossa, in fact the two bulbs on the appendages are noticeable.
At this point the question is? Will Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa have been right with the two AC 75s designed yes for flight, but also accounting for situations where the boat will touch the water, or will the Americans and British with means that will try never to touch the surface? Two different bets, in the coming months we will find out who is on the right track.