A veteran of the America’s Cup community since 1977, when aluminum was the space-age material being used to build 12-Meters, Dirk has nearly seen it all and done it all.
A proponent of multihulls, Dirk joined ORACLE TEAM USA in mid-2010 and is in charge of overall engineering of the catamaran. But his experience with multihulls in the America’s Cup dates back to 1988 when he was a designer for Team Dennis Conner and its wingsail catamaran Stars & Stripes 88.
Dirk’s freehand played a role in the creation of the AC45 catamaran. He was primarily responsible for overall engineering of the design including the hull structures.
Before joining ORACLE TEAM USA Dirk had previously been a member of the Alinghi design team. One of the principal creators of the Alinghi 5 catamaran, he found the process of designing to an open sheet of paper a rewarding experience.
“We finally got to play with aspects of boat design that we’d never been able to play with, because we were restrained by so many rules,” says Dirk. “Rather than trying to fit a design to a strict rule, the open rule gave us a much bigger palette to paint on. It was scarier because it gave us much greater scope to go wrong, but it was also more rewarding.”
Dirk enjoys working with the best people in the business and doing things that have not been done before. “Having been part of a winning team five times and staying married in the process is my crowning achievement,” says Dirk.
- 33rd America’s Cup, Alinghi
- 32nd America’s Cup, Alinghi, winner
- 31st America’s Cup, Alinghi, winner
- Louis Vuitton Cup, Young America