Dirk Kramers served as a designer and engineer for eleven America’s Cup campaigns, from the 12-Metre era to the foiling catamarans of the 35th America’s Cup match in Bermuda. Along the way, Kramers earned six America’s Cup wins on teams run by a slew of fellow Hall of Famers including Dennis Conner, Ted Hood, Bill Koch, Ernesto Bertarelli, Russell Coutts, and Larry Ellison.
Born in Hengelo, Netherlands, but now a long-time U.S. national as well, Kramers’ Cup career began when he moved to Marblehead, Massachusetts to work for Ted Hood who designed, built and skippered INDEPENDENCE. In 1977, Kramers carried out mast, deck and hardware engineering on her as well as the campaign’s other boat, COURAGEOUS—which went onto win the Cup that year.
Kramers started Hall Engineering, an affiliate of Hall Spars, in 1980 for a 14-year stint as managing partner, engineering hundreds of masts and structures. He developed the rig for FRANCE 3 in 1983, and in 1988, he achieved his second America’s Cup victory as a designer of the soft-sail rig for Dennis Conner’s STARS & STRIPES catamaran. He earned his third Cup win as Chief Engineer for Bill Koch’s AMERICA3 campaign in 1992, and he continued with the AMERICA3 Women’s Team in 1995 whose Team Captain was fellow Class of 2022 Inductee Dawn Riley.
He was consultant engineer to challenger YOUNG AMERICA in 2000 before joining ALINGHI to resume a run of Chief Engineer roles. The Swiss team was the first challenger to win in its America’s Cup debut and the first team to bring the famous trophy to Europe (2003) and they successfully defended the Cup in 2007. Kramers’ involvement with technically interesting projects was cemented with his sixth Cup win in 2013 with ORACLE Team USA and the transition to foiling multihulls. In 2017, Kramers continued his Cup career leading the engineering team for Ben Ainslie’s BAR Racing. Currently he’s working on electric foiling powerboats, alternative concept sailing machines, and various conventional sailing catamarans and monohulls.