Bigger isn’t better if it’s a drag

Published on January 20th, 2021

Dear Curmudgeon: There must be more viewers of the America’s Cup who are like me and wonder why they do not use asymmetrical or Code Zero sails in the lighter winds. The bowsprits are there so is it in the rules, or will these not work as soon as they are on their foil? By the way, what about calling these sailing miracles crafts instead of boats? – Fan Boy

Dear Fan Boy: It is notable how far we’ve come since the AC75 was first revealed in November 2017. What began as a crazy concept that looked more reptile than race boat has proven to be quite the miracle craft. As for larger sails, what we see as additional power they see as additional drag. Larger sails have been tested, and not seeing them in the light winds on Day Two of the Prada Cup is an indicator of their status. While they might help to pop the boat up on the foils, they are likely slow after that, and having to furl them to tack or gybe can’t be fast either. – The Curmudgeon

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