After unveiling the concept of yachts to be raced in the 36th America's Cup in 2021, Team New Zealand now face the arduous task of turning a concept into a rule.

The design for the 75 foot fully-foiling monohull vessels was revealed in November last year, with the design moving away from the catamarans raced in the 2017 regatta.

However the reigning America's Cup holders, alongside challenger of record Luna Rossa, must now create a set of regulations that will ensure that each team designs and builds boats that fit the general concept presented.

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At the same time, these regulations need to allow designers enough freedom to allow the new class to develop competitively.

America's Cup AC75 boat concept. Image / Emirates Team New Zealand.
America's Cup AC75 boat concept. Image / Emirates Team New Zealand.

It's a testing task, but a vital one in the America's Cup, Team New Zealand design coordinator Dan Bernasconi said.

"In some ways, designers would love to work without the constraints of a rule, but in practice it's important to have a comprehensive set of constraints to keep costs under control," Bernasconi said. "If no limits were set, the wealthiest teams could gain advantages by out-spending their competitors using rare materials, extremely complex systems, and countless iterations of components."

Rules are needed for the overall parameters of the vessels including length, weight and sail area. They then have to go into specifics on materials, the types of appendages permitted, hydraulic and electronic control systems - covering every aspect of the design.

The process is currently about halfway through, with the rule issue date of March 31 fast approaching. About 12 designers from both Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa are working together to pool ideas and turn concepts and systems into words on a page.

Other interested challengers are kept up to date as the process progresses, with questions regarding the rule being answered and all feedback being taken under advisement.

The need to meet the March 31 deadline is important, and a number of possible challengers will want know the set rules before paying their US$1 million entry fee by the June 30 entry cut-off later this year.

While working on the development of the rules, Team New Zealand await a government report, due out at the end of the month, to hear whether they'll have a permanent base on Auckland's Hobson Wharf.

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