America’s Cup news: AC9F a radical carbon foiling monohull undergoes successful sea and foiling trials in Auckland
2021 Youth America’s Cup event will be contested on a brand-new class of one-design, foiling mono-hull, the AC9F. The first model christened Kõtare, translated as ‘kingfisher’ in Maori, was completed in March but the testing was delayed for months because of Covid-19 protocols. Now that the life in New Zealand returned to normal, the initial sea trials currently underway in Auckland.
2021 Youth America’s Cup event will be contested on a brand-new class of one-design, foiling mono-hull, the AC9F.
The first model christened Kõtare, translated as ‘kingfisher’ in Maori, was completed in March but the testing was delayed for months because of Covid-19 protocols. Now that the life in New Zealand returned to normal, the initial sea trials currently underway in Auckland.
The AC9F, a 29.5-foot-long foiling monohull, was designed and built by Yachting Developments in New Zealand. It reaches a top end of about 23 mph. It is a slower and safer version of the America’s Cup AC75, the 75-foot foiling monohull which will sail in the 2021 America’s Cup and can reach speeds of more than 60 mph.
The managing director at Yachting Developments, Ian Cook, who’s also commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, mentioned that 3D printing division was put to work when creating the all-new AC9F model. According to him, the creation of the first boat and its appendages has been a good blend of traditional boat building and leading-edge printing and moulding. “The use of 3D printing allowed the prototype to be built without the need for plugs, which helped to speed up the build time and improved cost and accuracy for the short production run.”
Seven identical AC9Fs will be built for the youth event and teams will share the boats for match races.
The America’s Cup is one of the biggest and most recognised events in the sailing world, where all the top sailors from a wide range of different Olympic disciplines race against each other. Therefore, being able to take part in the Youth America’s Cup clearly a step forward in every sailor’s career. The event will be a perfect platform to showcase the best youth male and female sailors the world has to offer.
Youth America’s Cup is designed to be a friendly competition between yacht clubs of different nations, where multiple entries from various countries are allowed. Crews must be between 18-24 years of age. To encourage diversity teams will consist of a mixed crew of four sailors on each boat, including two females and two male sailors with a maximum crew weight of 311kg. So far 17 yacht clubs from the 12 nations have embraced the new rule, entering their mixed crews in the match racing event:
2 from New Zealand (2)
3 from Australia
2 from Switzerland
2 from Netherlands
1 from Russia
1 from Argentina
1 from Hong Kong
1 from China
1 from Denmark
1 from Germany
1 from Spain
1 from USA
The entry is still open although subject to any space still available.
The initial stages of the Youth America’s Cup will be raced on the Waitemata Harbour after the Prada Cup challenger series in February 2021. The finals will be held in March outside the RNZYS in the shadow of Auckland’s iconic Harbour Bridge.
* Original plans for the 2021 Youth America’s Cup included a fleet racing seeding event in China in November 2020, are likely to be cancelled because of Covid-19. The New Zealand regatta has been extended instead.
📸 Yachting Developments / Georgia Schofield