Andy Horton's thoughts and comments on the America's Cup, TP52 and its future

Andy Horton is here with us, an amazing sailor from the USA. Andy, so which classes of boats you sail now?

Oh, now I’m sailing the TP 52 Alegre here. I sailed on a lot of boats though: 52s, 44s, 32s, Americas Cup… Kind of everything under the sun.

Andy, this is the America’s Cup year, and breaking point of all classes. They are all waiting what will happen next with the Americas Cup. What do you think will happen, and of course who will win the Cup this time?

Who’s going to win the Americas Cup… I think it’s tight. I think Oracle will always do well; Artemis seems to be doing pretty well and strong. The Kiwis you never know, they haven’t got their good dagger boards yet, their foils, because they’ve damaged some… Other teams are making big moves as well, the French and BAR, so I think it’ll be tight and no one can tell at this point.

Okay, then let’s imagine a situation, in which the Cup will go to the Kiwis. Do you think they will continue with foiling catamarans or they will find something else?

Last time I thought if they won, which they were so close to, they would have gone to a monohull, and this time I’m not sure. It’s going to be interesting; I think they probably will stick with it. They really redesign their team to be around that and if they win it’s pretty hard to change if you just won. But they have roots, some of their sponsors and the older guard is in monohulls… if they win it’s 50/50 I would say.

Okay, what about TP 52 class? It’s growing a lot, and now the old boats look sequel.

Yes, it’s growing; it’s back to a nice number now, 10 or 11 boats, couple more will be here in summer, in Europe. And it’s a really solid class, you know. There is no team that’s not good. So every single race, every single action that they take, we have debriefs and multiple hours of videos, and all the data, and going through every start, every move. We were here couple days earlier, training on little boats, and then into the 52s. Both boats, the Vrolijk and Botin are pretty close. It’s going to be I nice fight, this whole championship; it will be down to a point in the last race.

It will be great to see you! And when will we see the new generation of the TP52 and how will it look like? Will we see some foils?

I don’t think so. They are talking about it right now and they will have some meetings about it. They were going to make a radical step, it was their plan. And the only issue is that you make only half of the fleet obsolete or 3/4 of the fleet obsolete. And they always kept the thing going by having the old boat that can be modified and can fit in. So if they take some displacement maybe a longer pole, different things like that, then the old boats can be retrofitted and you have a fleet of 15, instead of 5 brand new with the canting keel or something special, like DSS board… And they’ve done the evolution, not the revolution, for years, and it’s pretty good, the boats are way better now than they were 15 years ago. I’d like to say there is going to be a big step, that we will have foiling TP52s, but I don’t think so.

Okay. Well, only time will tell. Thank you for your interview and good luck!