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Fully foiling America’s Cup boat unveiled

Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa design teams have unveiled a fully foiling monohull racing yacht concept for the 36th America’s Cup - Video here . . .

Their goals have been to design a class that will be challenging and demanding to sail and rewarding the top level of skill for the crews.

This concept could become the future of racing and even cruising monohulls beyond the America's Cup.

The AC75 combines extremely high-performance sailing and great match racing with the safety of a boat that can right itself in the event of a capsize.

The ground-breaking concept is achieved through the use of twin canting T-foils, ballasted to provide righting-moment when sailing, and roll stability at low speed.

Normal sailing mode - Click image for a larger image

The normal sailing mode sees the leeward foil lowered to provide lift and enable foiling, with the windward foil raised out of the water to maximise the lever-arm of the ballast and reduce drag.

In pre-starts and through manoeuvres, both foils can be lowered to provide extra lift and roll control, also useful in rougher sea conditions and providing a wider window for racing.

Stable sailing mode - Click image for a larger image

Although racing performance has been the cornerstone of the design, consideration has had to be focused on the more practical aspects of the boat in the shed and at the dock.

In those situations both foils are canted right under the hull in order to provide natural roll stability and to allow the yacht to fit into a standard marina berth.

An underlying principle has been to provide affordable and sustainable technology ‘trickle down’ to other sailing classes and yachts.

Whilst recent America's Cup multihulls have benefitted from the power and control of rigid wing sails, there has been no transfer of this technology to the rigs of other sailing classes.

In tandem with the innovations of the foiling system, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa are investigating a number of possible innovations for the AC75's rig, with the requirement that the rig need not be craned in and out each day.

This research work is ongoing as different concepts are evaluated, and details will be released with the AC75 Class Rule before 31 March 2018.

Click image for a larger image

The America's Cup is a match race and creating a class that will provide challenging match racing has been the goal from the start.

The AC75 will foil-tack and foil-gybe with only small manoeuvring losses, and given the speed and the ease at which the boats can turn the classic pre-starts of the America's Cup are set to make an exciting comeback.

Sail handling will also become important, with cross-overs to code zero sails in light wind conditions.

Land Rover BAR's new CEO, Grant Simmer, was in Portsmouth for the announcement and commented,

"This new class is a real challenge for our design and sailing team. It's also a great opportunity."

"A new class of boat means a blank sheet of paper, and while we can use much of what was learned in AC35 about systems, foils and the associated design and engineering, there's also a great opportunity to take a jump ahead if we get the conceptual approach right from the start."

The AC75 class rule will be published by 31 March 2018.

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