Riding aboard BMW Oracle at the final regatta of the Louis Vuitton Trophy series in Dubai

As the days count down towards the end of the last Louis Vuitton Trophy in Dubai, the event also marks the end of the road for a generation of America’s Cup class boats. With just short of 100 boats built, this is the only class to have been conceived specifically for the Cup in its 159 year history.

Like the 12m yachts that went before them, the intense competition resulted in boats that became highly so refined that eventually they could go no further.

Having been fortunate to sail aboard the very first America’s Cup class yacht to be launched, on her first sailing trials in Sete in 1990, it seemed fitting to hitch a ride aboard one of the last boats as well. And what better a team than the current Cup holders BMW Oracle.

There may have only been 8-10 knots of wind but once again, the power of the boat and the intensity of the crew work that is required to get these 25 tonne machines around the course was breath taking.

Here’s a short clip of the weather mark rounding and a gybe set in our match against the current Challenger of Record, Mascalzone Latino.

You can also listen to crew member Murray Jones talk about the class and its legacy in our latest Shoretalk podcast.