Multihull guru speaks out

Yacht designer Nigel Irens, who was responsible for the design of several
record breaking trimarans such as Ellen MacArthur’s B&Q-Castorama, Thomas
Colville’s Sodeb’O and Francis Joyon’s solo Round the World record holder
IDEC, has spoken out on the multihull features of the America’s Cup Deed of Gift

‘Essentially both boats take the loads on a central
structure. On the Oracle boat that structure is a hull that floats in the
water when the vessel is at rest; Alinghi has chosen not to put the envelope
of a hull around that structure, so clearly it mustn’t be allowed to touch the
water, because that wouldn’t do a lot for the speed, because of the drag from
the tips of the struts that come down.

‘So that’s why the longitudinal vessel
structure has to be held quite high in the air and the mast step, which is on
it, is quite a bit higher than on the Oracle boat.”