SAN DIEGO (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — Fast, foiling catamarans are out of the America’s Cup and monohulls are back in.
America’s Cup champion Emirates Team New Zealand confirmed Sept. 11 that it is working on designs for a “high-performance” single-hulled boat to be used in the 36th edition of sailing’s marquee regatta in Auckland, New Zealand in early 2021.
The Kiwis did not say whether the boats would have foils or canting keels. More details were promised at the end of September.
The Kiwis said that they have been consulting with a number of potential challengers “and there is an overall desire to have a spectacular monohull yacht that will be exciting to match race, but also one that the public and sailors can relate to as a sailboat that really challenges a full crew of professional yachtsmen around the race track.”
Foiling is all the rage in sailing. It made its America’s Cup debut on San Francisco Bay in 2013, when the Kiwis blew an 8-1 lead to Oracle Team USA in a showdown of 72-foot catamarans. The boats were reduced to 50 feet for the 2017 America’s Cup. Team New Zealand hit on a remarkable design package and wrested the oldest trophy in international sports from the American-backed team in June on Bermuda’s Great Sound.
While the catamarans aided Cup organizers’ quest to make it a more TV-friendly sport, there was grumbling from traditionalists that the competition was a drag race that eliminated most match-racing tactics. There also were complaints that only a few crewmen actually sailed the boats while the majority of the crew turned the winches that powered the hydraulic systems used to trim the wingsails and raise and lower the daggerboards. Crews were reduced from 11 in 2013 to six this year.
The last time monohulls were used in the America’s Cup was 2007. They were plodding compared to the catamarans.
America’s Cup photo