Potential challengers for the next America's Cup will have the opportunity to preview Team New Zealand's concept plans for the new monohull class in Auckland next month.
The Kiwi syndicate is planning to invite interested teams here to present their vision for the new America's Cup class and get feedback from prospective challengers.
Team NZ have set themselves a deadline of November 30 to unveil the concept drawings for the new 75-foot high performance monohulls, with the full class rule to be published by March 31.
Among the objectives the 10-strong design team are setting out to achieve are:
• A boat suitable for head-to-head match racing and close competition.
• To provide competitive racing across light and strong conditions.
• To incorporate practical requirements for launching, retrieval and transportation.
Team NZ chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge said the Kiwi syndicate and Challenger of Record Luna Rossa hope to create a collaborative environment for the teams.
"We've had some really good idea-sharing with Luna Rossa about what sort of boat we envisage, and we want to continue to get ourselves in the position by the end of November that we're ready to speak to everyone about what we've come up with," he said.
"We'll probably have a process of getting other interested teams here prior to that and show them what direction we're going and hear their feedback. Hopefully, it will be well-received."
The design project is led by Dan Bernasconi, who was the Kiwi syndicate's technical director for the 35th America's Cup campaign. One of the underpinning factors of Team NZ's success in Bermuda was a design approach whereby, as chief executive Grant Dalton described, they "throw the ball out as far as we can, and see where we get to".
Having been used to being handed a set of parameters to work within, Bernasconi admitted it feels strange to be the one to set the parameters.
"It is a weird process for us. We are so used to pushing hard against a rule and trying to make the boat faster. It feels strange when you don't have a rule to work to, as we usually try to work the edges to make the boat faster and faster," he said. "We want to have a boat that is good for match racing, while still being a really high-performance boat. But there is a lot of other criteria as well."
Entries for the 36th America's Cup do not officially open until January 1, but several parties have already indicated their intention to challenge alongside Luna Rossa.
The New York Yacht Club announced this month their plans to return to the event after a 15-year absence, teaming with the Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association to put together a campaign. They are said to already be in regular dialogue with Team NZ.
Ben Ainslie Racing, who Team NZ dispatched in the semifinals of the Louis Vuitton challenger finals in Bermuda, are also preparing for another shot at the America's Cup in 2021. Ben Ainslie said last month he hoped to be involved in discussions around the class rule for the new boat.
"With the rule not coming out until March, we hope that it will be a collaborative approach to its development with all stakeholders included," he said.
Bernasconi said by next month, they will be able to show prospective teams design mock-ups of the boat and a vision for how it will sail, as well as an idea of what will be one-design or supplied components.