Visit Pensacola

New design ready for dry Sydney Hobart

Published on April 1st, 2019

Out on Pensacola Bay, a fantastical-looking 38-foot test boat called the Mule is giving the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic a flying start toward trying to win the America’s Cup in two years.

The team reports it is sailing “dry laps” at its winter base in Florida, with the Mule’s hull never touching the water as it flies on foils around the course.

“This is a lifestyle change for sailing,” notes helm and America’s Cup veteran Dean Barker. “Gone are the wetsuits and the chill of the water. This is now more of a tank top sport.”

But while sailing dry on the protected bay is progress, this reality may soon become the norm in offshore racing too.

Twelve months work and investment from a highly experienced Australian group has led to the development of a 50-foot fully foiling monohull that has sights on tackling the 630 nm Rolex Sydney Hobart Race in December 2019.

Beyond the performance predictions for the design which suggest it is capable of speeds in excess of the record-setting maxis twice its size, the project leaders contend the hull will arrive dry in Hobart.

“This is a game changer for the sport,” notes Sydney to Hobart veteran Andrew Buckland who is involved in the project. “The build cost is minimal as it’s just a platform that rides above the water, not through it. Plus no more nightmares for the crew crossing the Bass Strait. This beast will deliver a smooth ride.”

Race organizer, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, is supportive of the entry as they see this as a significant step toward television exposure for the race. “Sailing is tired of being a second-rate sport in Australia,” notes CYCA Commodore Paul Billingham. “Our ability to innovate is our advantage.

“We as a race organizer were getting lost amid cricket and rugby, and our membership won’t ever allow multihulls to do this race. A flying monohull may disenfranchise the old school amateurs, but the sense of adventure will only fuel our entry list for so long. Our mission now is to impress the video game generation.”

This was not fully foolish as it is an edited version of this press release.

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