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Double-Skinned Mainsail For New America’s Cup Design Has A Predecessor From A Century Ago

6th March 2019
Double-Skinned Mainsail For New America’s Cup Design Has A Predecessor From A Century Ago Photo: Emirates Team New Zealand/Virtual Eye

EuroSail News collects a number of recent stories revealing new details about the revolutionary AC75 foiling yacht design for the next America’s Cup.

Emirates Team New Zealand sail designer Burns Fallow tells that the new boat’s two-skinned mainsail concept came out of a 20-minute brainstorming session held just a month after their win in the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda.

Fallow is a long-time designer with North Sails and also one of the team who devised the AC75 class rule — and he faces a challenging two years years helping reconcile the monohull requirements with the new sail concept in a race boat that can defend the Auld Mug.

But the sail concept isn’t as newfangled as one might expect, with one L Francis Herreshoff filing a patent for a double-skinned mainsail on a rotating D-spar more than 90 years ago.

As previously reported on, the AC75 heralds a new era for the America’s Cup, combining “extremely high-performance sailing and great match racing with the safety of a boat that can right itself in the event of a capsize”.

Meanwhile, planning for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada continues, with agreement reached recently to resolve a number of outstanding issues “in the best interest of the event” scheduled for March 2021.

“Every single day is already accounted for as we work and prepare for the 36th America’s Cup,” says Terry Hutchinson, skipper of American Magic — one of six challengers for the Auld Mug in Auckland.

Published in America's Cup
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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