- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - The lead designer for the new Super 12 Class says the racing yachts will sail on average one minute per mile faster than the 12 Meter yachts that raced in the America’s Cup from 1958 through 1987.

The Super 12s will compete annually in the San Francisco Yacht Racing Challenge for the Super 12 Cup beginning in July 2017.

Britt Ward of Farr Yacht Design in Annapolis, Maryland, said Friday that target speeds would be nine knots upwind in 20 knots true wind and 12 knots downwind. They would be 8.5 knots upwind and 9.5 knots downwind in 12 knots.

The one-design yachts will be made of composite materials and will be lighter than the venerable 12 Meters.

The Super 12s are a modern take on the classic 12 Meter yachts. A new rule-legal 12 Meter has not been built in three decades.

“The Super 12s are a homage, a tribute, to the International 12 Meter Class, inspired by the elegance of their aesthetic,” Ward said. “While a Super 12 will resemble a 12 Meter from the waterline up, the underbody and rig will be modern.”

The yachts will be built at Westerly Marine in Santa Ana.

Ward participated in two days of concept design review meetings with Westerly Marine officials.

Farr Yacht Design will take those decisions and input and move into the preliminary design stage next week.

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