Plans for the 36th America’s Cup are growing even more exciting, with the announcement of a new design concept – the AC9F – for a proposed Youth America’s Cup to take place in Auckland. Yachting Developments will play a crucial role in the event with the yard’s design team, led by Bob Graham, having developed the 9-metre foiling mono-hull concept, which was formally unveiled at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) on 12 December 2019. A prototype for the AC9F is currently in build at the Yachting Developments yard and will hit the water in February 2020.
The Youth America’s Cup has previously been a well-supported part of the America’s Cup in both San Francisco and Bermuda and with New Zealand having such a strong network of youth sailors, organisers of the 36th America’s Cup felt that it was right to try and continue the Youth America’s Cup in Auckland. The Youth America’s Cup will be hosted jointly by the RNZYS, Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and the China Sports Industry Group. The planned multi-leg format would see a fleet racing event held in China in November 2020 ahead of a match racing series in Auckland from 18-23 February 2020.
Having developed the AC9F, Yachting Developments will also be responsible for undertaking the construction of a fleet of yachts for the event. Initially five boats will be built to allow simultaneous match racing. “This project has been an ideal fit for the Yachting Developments skillset, thanks to our extensive experience in building racing yachts of all sizes and our strong support of youth racing programmes,” says Ian Cook, Managing Director of Yachting Developments. Yachting Developments has a longstanding apprentice scheme, and sponsors several initiatives that train and support youth sailors. “The Youth America’s Cup is an unmissable chance to bring young sailors from around the world to race in Auckland’s waters on an exciting design that will demand the best of all their skills.”
The light displacement AC9F design will be built from carbon, with Yachting Developments a world-leading composite specialist. In recent years the yard has also invested heavily in its 3D printing division, and this technology has been heavily applied in the development of the AC9F concept and the construction of its prototype.
The Youth America’s Cup is now seeking expressions of interest from parties in order to develop the event and establish expected numbers of teams, with 10 being the ideal number for a viable event. The proposed concept has been designed for a mixed gender crew of four sailors, aged between 19 and 24. Key differences from previous Youth America’s Cups include the allowance of multiple entries from countries, meaning that several different yacht clubs from the same country would be able to enter.
“We are looking forward to the launch of the prototype AC9F in February 2020, which will hopefully be the precursor to a very exciting Youth America’s Cup event,” concludes Cook.
About Yachting Developments
Yachting Developments is an award-winning builder of composite yachts. The owners and staff at Yachting Developments have shared the vision and dreams of more than 70 individual clients, creating vessels of the highest quality standards, designed and custom made to the client’s brief. With launches including 33.83m Cygnus Montanus, 37m S/Y Bliss and 30.5m S/Y Quintessential, and the award-winning refit of the J-Class Endeavour to their name, the yard has forged a strong international reputation for its high quality work and specialist team.
Current projects include the 33m Hull 1017 sportsfisher superyacht.
Operating out of a 10,000sqm yard facility that includes 5,000sqm of fully equipped sheds and water access in Auckland’s Hobsonville, Yachting Developments is able to service yachts of up to 60m. The yard welcomes all inquiries for new build, refit and service work, for both small and large projects, and can also service yachts on location.
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