Oracle Team USA reveals America's Cup racing boat
by Chris Jefferies
The Defender, Oracle Team USA, has revealed its America's Cup raceboat, which has been named 17. The foiling catamaran measures 15 metres LOA and should be capable of a top speed of roughly 54 knots.
Speaking at the launch event, skipper and Boat International columnist Jimmy Spithill was in a typically confident mood, saying, "This is the boat we’re racing to win the America’s Cup. We need to get this boat out on the water and put the hours in getting it ready to race. The long days will continue."
More than 85,000 man hours of design and development have gone into 17, including input from 15 designers and 50 boat builders. Airbus, BMW, Parker and Yanmar are among the technical partners who also contributed their expertise.
17 was built to America's Cup Class standards, which dictate the design of the hulls, crossbeams and wings. However, there is still significant room for each team to modify the rudders, daggerboards and internal systems to gain that all-important competitive advantage.
Grant Simmer, chief operating officer at Oracle Team USA, hailed the launch as a "major milestone" for the Defender. "These boats are highly-engineered, with complex systems, and built to perform under extreme conditions," he explained. "It’s a great achievement by our designers, builders and engineers to get us to this point where the race yacht gets handed over to the sailors.”
Oracle Team USA will race in Bermuda this summer as they attempt to retain the America's Cup, with the decisive match due to take place from June 17-27.