Foiling catamarans out; monohulls back in for 2021 America’s Cup

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




8 thoughts on “Foiling catamarans out; monohulls back in for 2021 America’s Cup

  • September 22, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Well, as someone that has sailed catamarans all my life I can relate to them more as a sailor than monohulls – so you’re not speaking for me Mr. Dalton. I’ll miss the big cats.

  • September 22, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Having been involved in sailing all my life and followed the Cup since before the Dennis Connor days, it looks like we’re in a period of future of the sport vs. stuck in tradition. Many may have not liked Ellison’s tactics, but even I could see that the Cup was coming out into the public eye and out of the stodgy, rich man’s sport it’s continually been associated with. The race format included the spectators and the “cats” upped the ante on the speed making the America’s Cup something the rest of the population could “care about”. Being that the Kiwis seem to be not only sore losers, but apparently sore winners, attention to the Cup will return to a narrower field of attention. Don’t think so? Look at the expansion that the overall plan Ellison and Coutts had envisioned for the future of the Cup- continuing match racing in multiple world location cities leading up to the challenge year, the Redbull Youth involvement, an Olympics style lead up and village, etc. Think Grant Dalton will follow any of that? Not a chance.
    Don’t get me wrong, the Kiwis won fair n’ square, but with an embittered Mr. Dalton calling the shots, the America’s Cup will now go back to catering to traditionalists, which can also be read as “exclusivity”. Okay, so maybe the AC50’S were undermanned. Maybe there wasn’t enough “true” sailing happening on board. Well, the AC72’s were fun and fast, with plenty of hands on deck, right? But oh yeah….. the Kiwis didn’t like that either, for obvious reasons. Eehhh, I’m sure all sides can find problems for any of rules. And lest we forget, if we were to have learned anything from this (and apparently we are suffering from some either selective or short term memory issues), it was Mr. Connor who introduced the first incarnation of the ass kicking speed and maneuverability of US-1: a wing sail cat.
    So, if it’s mono-hulls, so be it. Will the America’s Cup continue to move into being a spectator inclusive sport, thereby growing the interest? Most likely not. Steps forward….. now steps back.
    Many may not like Larry, but I could see that the plan was to bring an Auld Mug some new 21st century attention.

      • October 22, 2018 at 9:43 am

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  • September 26, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Well ….not a true sailor like some of the others , who posted their comment and dissaproval with a traditionalism in regards to sailing…
    I agree with the speed excitement of watching the 50 ft long cats…nobody will deny that they are not captivated by speed. That is why, maybe, many of us are watching Formula 1 and moto gp races..where men handle racing machines in speeds over 300km/h….
    Racing on water cannot be all about the humans can achieve much higher velocities on land and in the air….
    I wanna see sail boats…not wing boats…I do not want the races to stop because the waves just got a foot higher…I want more crew on board, where every member of that crew SAILS, I want to see all Italian , all KIVI, all English crews with the best skippers, they can find in that particular country..I do not want ” tour de france” teams on board…I want to see hard work sailing, changing sails on the fly…I want less hydraulics and more of the traditional hard sailer’s work…I want less expensive boats, so more people , still very rich people, would spend some of their millions to create new teams and to compete in this cup…it is a tremendous waste of f1…when we look at today’s world and the need for money elsewhere helping poverty and to ease the suffering of the poor of this world..but that is a different story…I guess…….
    Open up the tight design regulation….open up the wind range for the boats…allow the new boat designs to deal with rough(er) seas….
    Happy sailing



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