Hydrofoil boats are new in the sailing world. However, they have been around for about a hundred years. It all started in motorized boats and made its way through the watersports world. THEY CAN NOW BE SEEN IN ALMOST EVERY WATERSPORT.
The America’s Cup started it all. THE AMERICA’S CUP BOATS POPULARIZED FOILING. Now foiling boats can range from a one to six person crew. This makes it easier for people to get involved in foiling without already being a professional. Not only did this race popularize foiling, but sailing as a whole. It heightened interest in the sport and possibly revived this dying sport.
These boats are revolutionary. They are one of the biggest achievements in the sailing world. How could anybody not want one? Because, they put a mighty hole in your pocket. The smallest of the foiling boats run at a price of about fourty thouand dollars and the full sized America’s Cup boats cost about TEN MILLION DOLLARS to build.
Hydrofoil boats are impressive. However, the science behind them is even more impressive. “THESE VESSELS ARE LIKE LUXURY YACHTS THE WAY FORMULA 1 CARS ARE LIKE FAMILY SUDANS”. Like underwater wings, the foils atatched to the hull of the boat generate enough lift to lift the boat out of the water. It is a balancing act at fourty miles per hour.
Team USA is one of the many pioneers in sailing “KNIVES RACING OVER THE WATER”. Hydrofoil boats push the limits of the definition of a boat. They hardly touch water. Some people argue that they are more like planes than boats. These plane boat hybrids are taking over the sport and developing fast. They widen horizons in sailboat racing.
What is it like to fly over the water at motor propelled speeds without a motor? Anthony Kotoun explains this odd sensation. In motorboats the sound of the engine takes away from the beauty of moving so fast on water. FOILING SAILBOATS ENABLE PEOPLE TO EXPERIENCE THIS IN A DIFFERENT WAY. Being able to hear the constant flutter of the sail and the water being sliced beneath you is an amazing feeling. Perhaps you should try it yourself!
For young adrenaline seekers, FOILING IS THE FUTURE OF EXTREME SPORTS. It is fast, dangerous, and extremely difficult. It takes a certain type of person to remain composed while flying at ten feet above the ocean at about fourty miles per hour. Red Bull seeks out the worlds best adrenaline junkies to sail these boats on their behalf. Red Bull is working to not only offer coaching, but a career path.
These days in the world of sailing, THE BALANCE BETWEEN SPEED AND PRACTICALITY is everything. Sailors want a boat that they can use for leisure while also being able to sail faster than the next guy. Foiling is the gateway to finding this balance. Boat architects are beginning to redesign the classic catamaran as a foiling boat. However, a design alone does not make this dream boat come true, it comes down to a science. But in the next decade this idea of a perfect boat may be brought to life.
49er sailing is one of the most difficult, yet exhilarating forms of sailing. As Stu Bithell, a British Olympic silver medalist and world champion puts it, "It is just the best boat to sail: the feeling of foiling, flying, the speed, the sensitivity and you feel so in tune with everything and you're pinging past nearly everything else on the water. IT’S FANTASTIC FUN...”. The 49er is the smallest of foiling boats with a single main sail and a one or two-person crew. Dylan and Stu are using this foiling boat as a vessel, no pun intended, to be pioneers of the sport.
The America’s Cup is regarded as THE WORLDS BIGGEST AND MOST DAUNTING SAILBOAT RACE. The next race will be sailed in 2021, in new single-hull foiling boats. This new concept is sleek and fast. This is only one of many steps that foiling is taking in it’s rise to fame in the sailing world. So the question remains: Is foiling the new face of sailing?