8. AMERICA’S CUP CLASS

A good thing to come of the entire 1988 fiasco was a new class of boat that featured a more modern design that could perform well in the lighter winds of San Diego; the America’s Cup Class, a type of boat built to a design rule.

Under the rule, all boats must look similar, although the designers had enough leeway to make an impact on boat speed  . Progress is always made from one generation to the next.

In 1992, two American teams sought the right to defend the United States through a Defender series, where Dennis Conner was beaten and lost the right to defend to American billionaire Bill Koch with his massive, four-boat America programme. On the challenger side, New Zealand met the Italian Il Moro de Venezia Challenge, eventually yielding to relentless pressure from the Italians and their skipper Paul Cayard. In the concluding battle for the 29th America’s Cup, Koch, occasionally steering the boat himself, and his skipper Buddy Melges, successfully defended the America’s Cup.