A discussion is presented on the organization and operation of the Partnership for America's Cup Technology (PACT). Founded in February 1990 when individual American syndicates were unable to fund productive research and design programs, PACT's mission was to help the U.S. America's Cup Defense overcome the technical lead held by several foreign challengers in the new International America's Cup Class (IACC). PACT was to conduct cooperative technology development projects relevant to IACC yacht design to support all U.S. syndicates competing to defend the America's Cup.
PACT had four major programs: gathering site specific environmental data; testing parametric series of hulls or appendages with associated improvements in testing methods; developing Computational Fluid Dynamics tools benchmarked by suitable experiments; developing and maintaining VPP centered design evaluation software.
Since PACT was not involved in design itself, American syndicates maintained their own proprietary high level design programs. In areas where syndicates did not have comparable research programs, PACTs work was integrated into the syndicate design process and often played a role in their final designs. When PACT programs overlapped existing syndicate research, PACT provided a valuable second opinion.
Planning and conducting PACT research was a team effort involving syndicate representatives and independent researchers. Regularly scheduled meetings and formal reports were used to distribute information to the American Syndicates.