Yachting New Zealand boss David Abercrombie has slammed the America's Cup class rule for not allocating a specific position for female sailors.

The AC75 class rule, written by Emirates Team New Zealand in conjunction with Luna Rossa, designates a crew of 11 to race on board the radical foiling monohulls.

Read more: Team New Zealand reveal AC75 Class Rule for 2021 America's Cup

David Abercrombie believes a female sailor should be compulsory on all 2021 America's Cup crews. Photo / Getty
David Abercrombie believes a female sailor should be compulsory on all 2021 America's Cup crews. Photo / Getty

Although the rule outlines that women can sail if they make the grade, Abercrombie said organisers should have gone further to improve gender equality.

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"I'm disappointed. There should have been a rule to have a woman on board the new Cup boats," Abercrombie told Newsroom.

"I know people will say women can join America's Cup teams as designers, engineers and sailmakers - and they do. But there needs to be a specific position for a woman sailor on the boat."

"It's short-sighted. It would open up a whole new level of sponsors, and a whole new level of exposure."

Abercrombie's call comes after Kiwi Olympic silver medallist Molly Meech revealed her interest in entering the America's Cup scene in time for the 2021 Auckland regatta.

Read more: Maloney and Meech gunning for gold at Hyeres World Cup

Auckland will host the next America's Cup in 2021, with Emirates Team New Zealand defending the Auld Mug on home waters.
Auckland will host the next America's Cup in 2021, with Emirates Team New Zealand defending the Auld Mug on home waters.

Meech, a dominant force in the women's 49erFX skiff alongside Alex Maloney, said she had no doubt that her physical and sailing abilities would make the grade.

"Being quite tall and strong, I think I'm potentially able to do more roles on different boats. So I wouldn't turn down an opportunity to sail in the America's Cup," Meech told Newsroom.

"If there's ever an opportunity to sail on a different boat, I always make sure I look at it."

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"I've always tried out for the Youth America's Cup crews."

According to the Class Rule, the next America's Cup crew members will average at 90kg, creating an opportunity for lighter sailors.

And Emirates Team New Zealand technical director Dan Bernasconi, who lead the new AC75 design, couldn't see any reason why a woman wouldn't be able to sail the monohulls.

Read more: Team NZ: $200m America's Cup war chest no guarantee of success

Grant Dalton and Dan Bernasconi of Emirates Team New Zealand. Photo / Getty
Grant Dalton and Dan Bernasconi of Emirates Team New Zealand. Photo / Getty

"When you have a number of grinders approaching 100kg, you will certainly need some crew who are lighter, in the helming, trimming and tactics roles," he said.

"I don't think there's any built-in bias in the rule against female sailors. It's purely who are the best people for the job. So, yes, it's wide open."

The last time a woman sailed on an America's Cup boat was in Valencia in 2007, while the only time Team New Zealand has had a female sailor was in 1995.