As to further developments of the design of these AC50s, why bother with the cranking crew? Is it just nostalgia that a large crew is needed? If they allow the battery powered computer sh!t to help with foils and the wing why not dump the "grinders/cyclists" and put in a hydraulic pump (electric, gas, solar, cold fusion)? Then we'd be racing with only two or maybe three real sailors, not Olympic bikers and steroid guys swapped out each race.
the AC J-class needed 16 crew.
The AC72 cats used 11 crew.
The AC50 boats used 6.
The IMOCA 60s get it done with ONE sailor. Don't you still call this sailing if doesn't use a huge crew or uses powered controls?
For that matter, why bother with any crew? It's silly to have a human tactician on a boat when each team could just have drones hovering all over the course. The drones could transmit windspeed and direction information to a remote computer that would then use VPPs and routing and aero programmes to work out the sail trim and steering and transmit those commands to servos and hydraulic pumps on the boat. You could also use radar controls for ride height. You wouldn't need sailors at all.
In fact we're dramatically limiting all-round speed by our luddite definition of what sailing is. We accept that sailing is driven by particles interacting with a sail, right? So why not accept that photons count just as much as air molecules? That would allow for solar panels to replace sails, so boats could go straight upwind and downwind and race even when there's no wind. :-)
The new SolarCup50s could be used to develop solar technology and remote control that could be used for other sports. Imagine how much more fun the Tour de France this weekend would be if each team had just one riderless solar-powered bicycle instead of a bunch of domestiques cranking around the Continent.