America's Cup: Foiling future under threat

Stuff.co.nz. By Duncan Johnstone.

Team New Zealand appears to be guardian of the America’s Cup foiling generation.

The ability of sport’s oldest trophy to fly with the fast-paced action that has brought in so many new fans and influenced current sailing technology may rest with the Kiwis successfully defending the Auld Mug in March.

There have been some alarming noises emerging from the New York Yacht Club over the past week that suggest if their American Magic syndicate can finally win back the America’s Cup they will return to traditional yachts that have their hulls stuck to the surface.

“We are going to put the boat back into the water,” New York Yacht Club commodore Chris Culver told Sailing World.

“It will be somewhere between 80 and 100 feet in length. It will be a displacement monohull that is good for traditional match racing. You need to be able to see the boats from a distance, and the boats need to be majestic.”

American Magic appears a legitimate threat to Team New Zealand. It’s early days in a long summer of racing, but they were impressive at the recent world series regatta, beating the Kiwis once and only losing the rematch through one botched move they credited to a brief systems failure.

It’s that sort of technical hitch with the radical 75-foot foiling monohulls Team New Zealand introduced for this 36th edition of the America’s Cup that is frustrating all the challengers in Auckland and seemingly threatens the future of the boat.

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