Mickey Ickert, principal sail designer, BMW Oracle Racing, on jumperless rigs.
We look at all developments from the bottom to the top of rig and we’ve had this concept looked at a few times. Ours came out a few weeks after Alinghi’s, but that timing was coincidental; the teams have all got programs & they are a lot less influenced than you might think by what others do. It’s all a question of your design technology and the ability of your engineering unit to follow through. This mast with no jumpers has big implications right across the board for sailing boats, but I make no pretence that we are anywhere except on the bottom of the learning curve. We’ll learn a lot more about it just by setting it up and using it out there; we want to get on with it and learn as much as we can and these regattas are a good opportunity.
Guido Cavalizzi, sail designer, Luna Rossa Challenge, on large roach headsails.
This is one of the most important changes in the rule and, for sure, it’s important to have the bigger sail. It’s also important, though, that the crew can manoeuvre the boat as they wish, so it’s hard to know how much to push some of these concepts. What is important, in my opinion, is to develop things together with the crew. If they feel they are part of the input that is better for the boat, because they feel they understand more what they are using and, in turn, they can then contribute more to telling me what they wish to have different, which is part of the development path we are all following.
Juan Garay, sail designer, +39 Challenge, on inflatable battens.
There are many different approaches. Most of the teams are developing their own inflatables and using a combination of standard battens and inflatables. Now there are companies coming out with a product ‘off the shelf’, which is a really good thing for us smaller teams.