THE AMERICA's CUP competition begins today. Last week we saw the big catamarans practicing on San Francisco Bay -- and they were huge, towering high above every other boat on the water. With those 72-foot hulls and 130-foot sails, the yachts will race in head-to-head competition for the grand prize in the "World Series of Sailing." We previously saw the smaller AC45 boats designed for teams to practice and become familiar with the new configuration, but these new boats are enormous!
They certainly caught my attention!
The design is extreme and expensive -- estimated at $10 million -- and allows foils to lift the hulls completely out of the water resulting in extremely fast speeds, over 45 knots using only the power of the wind! By contrast, the past speeds were merely 15 knots maximum.
Imagine a 747 jet airliner wing tipped on its side -- higher than a 13-story building -- and balanced on twin pontoons. That's what these sailors are maneuvering through the course on the blustery Golden Gate waters. To be sucessful it will take all their strength, skill, and seamanship to maintain high speeds and avoid capsizing over the race course.
Stay tuned. It should be very exciting!