The 34th America’s Cup has pushed sailing into a new level of high-performance sport. It’s unbelievable how these boats are racing above rather than in the water.
With this new type of boats comes a whole new experience. Since you need to understand the practice to really be able to work with the theory, we also try to get away from the computer to go sail on the foiling Nacra 20 FCS.
It has been the coolest sailing experience I have ever had. With even very little wind (about 8 knots) we were foiling up to 20 knots of boatspeed. It trully is incredible.
You don’t even feel being lift out of the water, suddenly you just realise the noise of the water stops and you are going really fast. The boat gets very sensitive and as you are going so fast your natural feel for the wind is all messed up. The apparent wind moves forward a lot more than you are used to in ‘normal’ yachts, making it look like your sailing close to the wind all the time.
The foiling innovation is exciting, not only for the teams, but especially for the public. There’s just so much action going on so quickly, it’s almost impossible not to get thrilled. It’s a new sailing era I’m eager to explore, but I sure hope it does not spoil me sailing in non-foiling boats again!