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Eight Bells for Dick Newick

As we look ahead to the start of America’s Cup 34 on Saturday, which will, of course, be raced in the most revolutionary multihulls ever seen on a Cup course, we pay tribute to one of the legendary innovators of the modern multihull movement: Dick Newick passed away on August 28. He was 87.

The pioneer and his pup.

© Courtesy Scuttlebutt

"Like most art that reconfigured the future," wrote Steve Callahan in an excellent Newick retrospective in 2010, "designer Richard ‘Dick’ Newick’s creations threatened some as much as they enlightened others. At times, his trimarans’ simplicity, structural reliability, and astounding speed seemed like grenades tossed into yacht clubs." 

Dick continued to design into his eighties, never losing his thirst for innovation. Beginning with his earliest multihull designs 50 years ago, the lines of his creations were gracefully aerodynamic, often inspiring reviewers to compare their elegant forms to birds of flight.

Like all Newick designs, Ocean Surfer is fast, sleek and lightweight.

© 2013 courtesy

As the AC72s blast across San Francisco Bay tomorrow, wowing crowds around the world, we like to think Dick will be looking down from the heavens with a big smile on his face. Without the tireless convictions of multihull pioneers such as him, the sailing world might never have reached tomorrow’s benchmark of innovation.

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Emirates Team New Zealand’s Dean Barker and Oracle Team USA’s Jimmy Spithill are ready to go head-to-head on Saturday.
So which team do you think will win the 34th America’s Cup? Write your prediction — including the final score — on a copy of today’s paper (yes, they still exist!)