It is quite some time until the Kiwi sailors will defend America’s Cup in Auckland, but veteran sailor Jimmy Spithill has already declared the new boat, a foiling monohull design that seems to defy the laws of physics, a true game-changer.
The Aussie sailor has been eerily silent since being sledged by the New Zealand boat in the last America’s Cup, but he has broken his silence to declare the new design “a beast” that will take the game to “another level.”
As the winners of the race in 2017, New Zealand gets to make the rules for 2021 and they have abandoned the foiling catamaran for the monohull design.
The boats to be used in 2021 are still in the concept stages, mere designs on the computers of the designers, but Spithill was in the predicting mood when he told CNN’s MainSail programme, “This one will be another level. It’s extreme, it’s expensive, from first take, and what we are seeing, it’s unstable, and it’s going to be very, very physical.
Spithill will not be doing any work for American billionaire Larry Ellison and Team Oracle. That team will not challenge, so Spithill turned to Luna Rossa to gain the advantage of Spithill’s almost two decades of familiarity with foiling boats.
He was the onboard strategist for Luna Rossa during the recent Sydney to Gold Coast race and Luna Rossa was in the lead until the breeze stopped blowing 15 miles from the finish and their maxi was caught and left to finish third.
It will be March of 2019 before the first of the new America’s Cup boats hit the water. It remains to be seen if they can get the boat to float.
No more cyclors driving the hydraulics; the new boats will use traditional grinders.
It will seem that the sailors on the first boats will need to be good swimmers, as for those of us who have seen the design, it seems the realm of science fiction to conceptualizing the new design actually working.