New foiling era for offshore sailing

Published on May 12th, 2022

(May 12, 2022) – At 60 feet long, with foils similar to the AC75 boats used in the 36th America’s Cup, the first full-foiling monohull yacht in the Mini Maxi category got airborne today during sea trials off the coast of Valencia, Spain.

Known as FlyingNikka, and conceived for long voyages, this new era for offshore sailing was conceived by a team of designers coordinated by Irishman Mark Mills.

“I can hardly describe the emotion I’m feeling right now,” explains owner Roberto Lacorte. “Seeing FlyingNikka fly for the first time, after these intense months dedicated first to its design and then to its construction, is something magical, extraordinary, unique. I am truly thrilled.”

Built in 8 months at the King Marine shipyard in Valencia, she was first launched May 5, and after fine-tuning and a series of towing flight tests, today was the first sailing test which was brilliantly passed, thanks to its long arms equipped with T-shaped foils.

“Now we have a very important part of the campaign ahead of us, which is fine-tuning the boat and crew dynamics while sailing,” concludes Lacorte. “Then we will enter race mode and it will be really interesting to see how far FlyingNikka can go.

“It is a boat that has no comparison, a futuristic racer, so we expect it to be able to write a completely new sailing story, flying on the water for long offshore sailings like no one else has ever managed to do.”

Editor’s note: Can this boat be properly handicapped? Is this the future, or just some futuristic fun? Everyone is pretty stoked right now, but a couple days offshore in this missile could redefine misery.

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