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Scuttlebutt Poll:
Should the America’s Cup allow for stored power?

(July 21-23, 2009) - The America's Cup teams returned to court Tuesday, July 21st, and among the issues were the rules for the 33rd America’s Cup, specifically whether sections of the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing would be modified to allow for non-manual power to be used for sail trim and other adjustments. The importance of this issue is a result of the America’s Cup defender Alinghi launching their defense catamaran with an engine to power their hydraulic control system.

Here the leaders of the two teams provide their positions on the topic in Bernie Wilson’s AP story:

Brad Butterworth, Alinghi team skipper:
“We're moving things hydraulically. The loads on this boat are just horrendous. A, it's difficult to gear up for something like that, and B, I think it's safer to have that system, where you don't have so many people cluttering the whole boat, and it makes life a little bit safer for the guys that are sailing the boat. The Cup for me has always been a design race. Now, it's an unlimited design race. This is the most interesting design Cup that's ever been, I think, because there's just no parameters. You can do what you want.”

Russell Coutts, BMW Oracle Racing team CEO:
“An engine in an America's Cup boat? If that's permitted, it will change the game forever, I think, the wrong way. I don't think I'm alone on that one. I think without doing a survey, I bet the vast majority of people would be against that. The big boats, the big loads, that's part of the physical challenge of sailing any of the Cup boats I've sailed on. If you take that aspect out, you're changing the game dramatically.”

The complexity of the issue also involves how the Deed of Gift stipulates that the America’s Cup is to be run using the defense club’s rules and regulations, which approved only manual power in 2007 (when the challenge was issued) and 2008 but dismissed this rule for 2009. Assuming that the 2009 rules prevail, here is what the Scuttlebutt community said when asked…

Should the America’s Cup allow for stored power to help sail the boats?

  • Yes - 8.8%
  • No - 91.2%

  • Click here to read the comments.

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