The world of sailing includes many different sub types including cursing, local racing, national racing, and high performance racing. Today I am going to talking about the very interesting world of high performance racing. The most known race in sailing is most likely the Americas Cup, for this race they used boats called AC 72's (pictured below).
Whats so surprising about these boats is the fact that they fly above the water using fins called hydrofoils.
What makes this so surprising is the fin's ability to lift the entire weight of the boat, 6.5 tons, on the size of a surfboard. By having the ability to sail above the water the boats are able to reach much greater speeds than previously achievable. Most mono-hull boats are only able to go a few knots, but once boats are put on foils, the hull of the boat is able to come out of the water to vastly reduce drag through the water. This allows some hydro foiling boats the ability to reach speeds greater than 60 mph.
Another factor that helps the boats reach these speeds is their sail design, the AC 72's have very unique sails in their size and design. What is so unique about their design is that they are solid wings as opposed to the normal canvas that many sailboats carry. The size of their sail is also very large compared to the length and the width of the boat. The boat is only 72.2 ft long while the main sail is 131 ft tall, the way this is possible is because the boat is so wide that it is more difficult for the boat to capsize.
This foiling can also apply to some mono-hulls including the moth,
and some newer experimental boats,
With speed the risk of failure increases greatly as well...