Davidson(1927 - )
As one of the best America's Cup designers since
the introduction of the new America's Cup class in
1990, New Zealander Laurie Davidson had also designed
the New Zealand fiberglass 12-meters that were among
the top performers during the 1987 competition in
Laurie Davidson and Doug Peterson were the chief
designers for Team New Zealand's challenge in 1995.
Laurie designed NZL-32 and Peterson designed NZL-38.
Both designers and other members of the design team
collaborated on the rig and other components of the
two yachts. NZL-32 went on to win the Cup in five
straight races over the American defender. In 2000,
when Laurie was chief designer of Team New Zealand,
designers of competing syndicates used the hull shape
of NZL-32 as the benchmark. But Laurie took a jump
ahead by inventing what is now known as the "Davidson
bow", a forward hanging geometry that provides
slightly greater sailing length within the rating.
Again a Davidson-designed boat won in five straight,
this time against the challenger LUNA ROSSA of Italy.
During the 2003 challenge, all the boats but one
sported a "Davidson bow". Laurie was chief
designer of the American OneWorld challenge, but the
Swiss ALINGHI, a yacht resembling in important respects
previous Davidson designs, won the Cup.