USA 17 44
The 33rd America’s Cup pitted a 34m trimaran against Alinghi’s giant catamaran. For BMW Oracle USA designers, VPLP, the project was a golden opportunity to rapidly accelerate multihull development, resulting in the famous wingsail.
Lauriot Prévost remembers: “In the original brief the boat had to be designed and built in ten months, and then there were lawyers and postponements, which meant instead of having ten months we had almost two and a half years.
“So that’s how the wingmast came onto the boat. Having worked on the platform, on the appendages, on everything else, we had to work on propulsion.” The original idea came from design director Mike Drummond.
“It was a crazy project because even at the final finish, when the second leg had been won by USA 17, we still had some modification projects that were on the table, changing the main hull and so on,” recalls Lauriot Prévost. “It was really, really very intense. But I think the America’s Cup is exactly this: you can have the skills and money to achieve in two years what would take five or ten years on a usual project.”