A designer syndicate which is based in New Zealand is hoping for a return to the old sailing styles when the Auld Mug is held here in 2021, the predetermined 36th edition of the America’s Cup.
One of the pioneers of the old style of sailing is Laurie Davidson. He retired while being at the pinnacle of the sport. However, at the present age of ninety he stays abreast of the advances the sport has made, from boats with keels to catamarans that run on foiling technology.
Davidson currently lives in his home in Long Bay from where he can look out at the Hauraki Gulf. This is the location where the sport will see one of the oldest international trophy events being held, likely in a period of four years. His home has a coffee table that has nautical tomes. Even at ninety he has a sharp mind that understands the way the Emirates Team New Zealand has been operating in their latest yachting tournaments. Davidson made some commendable designs such as Black Magic NZL 32 which won in the San Diego sailing event held in 1995. It also helped team New Zealand to defend the trophy they acquired in 2000.
However, after what occurred in Bermuda the kind of sailing boats that Davidson and his peers designed have become museum pieces.
Today’s evolution in the area of competition sailing has moved much beyond what Davidson and others thought. In his own words, the boats he and others designed in their era were made to sail through the water with least resistance; the modern vessels such as the AC50 catamarans fly over water, literally. However, it does not discount what designers like Davidson have contributed to the line of competitive sailing. Their designs have helped the community to think ahead, from lightweight designs of least resistance to the latest foiling technology.