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AI AC36.5 v1.0

by Mark Jardine 1 Apr 00:01 BST 1 April 2021
Virtual Eye view of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli vs Emirates Team New Zealand © ACE / Virtual Eye

The America's Cup is taking the next logical step in its evolution, with the move from the physical to the virtual world. For continuity, the AC75 rule will be retained, with a few modifications learned from the 36th America's Cup for what will be known as the 'AI AC36.5 v1.0'.

Team New Zealand's Grant Dalton said, "This was always going to be the way forwards. We've heard so many ludicrous ideas as to where the next America's Cup was going to be hosted, with suggestions that we'd be short-tacking up the Medina River in Cowes or racing down Bomb Alley to the north of Porto Cervo in Sardina, with some even suggesting we'd use Auckland again - it's all crazy talk. We're going virtual and can race in the Sea of Tranquillity on the Moon for all I care."

The catchy title of 'AI AC36.5 v1.0' was inspired by Elon Musk and Grimes, who named their son X Æ A-12, although this was later changed to X Æ A-Xii to conform to California law which forbids the inclusion of numbers in a legal name. It is not known at this stage whether the America's Cup will follow suit and replace the numbers with Roman numerals.

Elon Musk, who is understood to be mounting a campaign for AI AC36.5 v1.0, acknowledged the tribute in a bizarre tweet, "Starbase encourages AI AC36.5 v1.0 fans to break through the matrix!"

Renowned Formula 1 and America's Cup designer Dan Bernasconi, who holds a PhD in Mathematical Modelling and Aerodynamics, was exuberant in his praise of the new format, "AI AC36.5 v1.0 will all be about datapoints. More and more datapoints. If you want to know the torsional strain on the leeward side tell-tale 25% of the way up the mainsail, which you will, we will display it. More and more datapoints will mean more and more AI AC36.5 v1.0 fans."

Going virtual gives the Cup a huge opportunity to go green, and the event organisers have specified that the supercomputers used by each of the teams must be powered by grinders. David 'Freddie' Carr was all for this, "Grinding is the best part of sailing and always has been. Turning a handle, then another one, then the first one again and repeating continually beats helming, trimming, tactics or navigation any day of the week. Continual grinding to power a computer, so we don't even get bothered by occasional blasts of seawater, is fantastic news. Bring it on!"

The umpires, who are used to sitting in a 'booth' to officiate on racing, will also be asked to power their computer systems through either grinding or cycling, a move which umpire Craig Mitchell described as "a new and interesting challenge, but the grinding element of umpiring could be very disappointing".

Other innovations will be the use of avatars on board the virtual boats. The effervescent helm of Luna Rossa, Francesco Bruni, was first to praise this initiative, "Who wouldn't love to see Jar Jar Binks helming in the America's Cup?".

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