Michel HODARA, CEO of ACM, commented: 'We are delighted Tom is joining us to contribute actively on the writing of the new class rules. Tom has an unrivalled experience and his ability to resolve conflicts and his credibility are great assets in the process'.
Grant SIMMER, design team coordinator for Alinghi, also explained SCHNACKENBERG's appointment: 'Tom started working in the America's Cup in 1977 and has been involved in every Cup cycle since then, winning the Cup three times. He is respected as one of the smartest and most experienced technical sailors and designers in our sport. Tom's responsibility will be to consult and consider the input of the entered challengers and to publish the new class rule by 31 October. Tom will also work on other racing regulations related to the 33rd America's Cup. Once he has completed these tasks we look forward to welcoming Tom in the Alinghi design team'.
Mike SANDERSON, Team Director of TeamOrigin, also was also satisfied with this appointment: 'The choice of Tom Schnackenberg to lead this process is fantastic. Having someone of Tom's calibre available and willing to take on this important task is very fortunate for the whole America's Cup community.'
The challengers, which include the Challenger of Record, Desafío Español, TeamOrigin, Team Shosholoza, Emirates Team New Zealand and United Internet Team Germany, will join the Defender for a series of open discussions, starting 15 September. This group will consider rule drafts leading to the new class rule which will become public, two months ahead of schedule, ensuring an 18 month period before the first race in the new class.
SCHNACKENBERG describes his pleasure at the new appointment: 'It is a huge challenge and for me that is part of the appeal. I have been intrigued by the prospect of the new rule since it was signalled after the Cup and am honoured to have been invited to participate in its inception'
A doctoral student in nuclear physics, SCHNACKENBERG discovered yachting at 21 years old. From 1977 he was a sail designer at North Sails for Enterprise, Lowell North's 12-Metre Cup defence candidate. Three years later, he was sail co-designer for Australia, the 1980 challenger, and in 1983 coordinated Australia II's sail designs, enjoying his first Cup success. One of the inventors of 3D design of sails and the tri-radial genoa, in 1987, he was sail coordinator for Australia III and IV during the Cup defence in Fremantle. He designed sails for the giant KZ1, (The Big Boat ) for the 1988 Cup and in 1992, was sail coordinator for Spirit of Australia. In 1995, he joined Peter BLAKE's (NZL) famous 'dream team' and in 2000, he again coordinated the design team - the 'millennium rig' became a sensation - and he sailed again as navigator. SCHNACKENBERG also won the1987 Admiral's Cup series and then supervised the national yachting team at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. The triple America's Cup winner (1983, 1995, 2000) was most recently on the design team for Luna Rossa Challenge.