Dissimilar boats just got really different

Published on August 2nd, 2022

When it comes to the different handicap rating rules, there are many differences but they all have one attribute in common. For dissimilar boats to fairly compete against each other, the less dissimilar the better.

The best racing comes when fleets of boats have narrow rating bands and include boats of similar type, whether it be heavier displacement or lighter ‘fast is fun’ designs. However, there is also an arrogance to measurement rule authorities that, regardless of boat type, their rule can get it right.

That will be put to the test when the FlyingNikka competes in the 2022 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup on September 5-10 in Porto Cervo, Italy. This futuristic foil boat designed by a team led by Irishman Mark Mills is like nothing that has ever competed before.

At 61 feet, with two T-shaped foil arms extending out from the hull, FlyingNikka is the evolution of the AC75 used in the last America’s Cup and is designed for long offshore events. Racing under IRC, it will be the lone full foiler in a fleet of 50 water pushers from 60 to 141 feet.

Remember when canting keels were the new thing? The bar has just been raised… literally.

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