Monohulls will provide spectacular America's Cup racing to match what the catamarans provided in Bermuda, according to the sailing Professor Mark Orams.

The former Team New Zealand member said the foiling monohulls were better suited to Auckland's conditions, and monohulls would see a welcome return to more traditional sailing techniques involving more crew members. It would almost certainly see an end otocycle-grinding.

Orams said the announcement that the 2021 regatta would involve foiling monohulls has left one particularly interesting question - will TNZ skipper and catamaran specialist Glenn Ashby remain on board.

Alex Thompson Racing's foiling yacht Hugo Boss in the Vendee Globe solo round the world yacht race. Photo / Supplied
Alex Thompson Racing's foiling yacht Hugo Boss in the Vendee Globe solo round the world yacht race. Photo / Supplied

Otherwise, it was a big thumbs up from Orams, the head of sport and recreation at AUT, and a leading yachting analyst.

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Orams said TNZ boss Grant Dalton had already talked about bringing sailing together, particularly in unifying the America's Cup with the Volvo round-the-world race.

When asked by NewstalkZB's Rachel Smalley if monohulls would be as spectacular as the catamarans, Orams said: "They certainly can.

Alex Thompson Racing's foiling yacht Hugo Boss in the Vendee Globe solo round the world yacht race. Photo / Supplied
Alex Thompson Racing's foiling yacht Hugo Boss in the Vendee Globe solo round the world yacht race. Photo / Supplied

"The Vendee Globe which is the single person round the world race...the front competitors used foiling monohulls last year and captivated the yachting world.

"They are dramatic, extremely fast, very, very powerful.

"The helpful thing from an Auckland point of view is they are much more versatile in terms of the range of conditions they can be sailed in.

Pete Burling and Blair Tuke are racing in the Volvo Ocean Race this year. Photo / Volvo Ocean Race
Pete Burling and Blair Tuke are racing in the Volvo Ocean Race this year. Photo / Volvo Ocean Race

"The catamarans they used in Bermuda have a reasonably narrow wind range, they really struggle in high wind strength.

"And as most Kiwis will recognise given the last few days, when it's been blowing dogs off chains, we've got to have a boat which is versatile or we will end up with big delays. This will see a wider range of conditions that they can compete in.

"It's likely that a foiling monohull will be able to sail through a range of conditions Auckland can throw up.

"Even in January and February we can get really strong conditions, and probably more significantly the quite big wave conditions we get when the wind is strong form the north-east for a few days.

"The foiling cats do struggle a bit in big waves although it's not impossible, as we saw in San Francisco. But the monohulls are more versatile and more suited to Auckland."

Orams said it was significant that Dalton and TNZ chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge had strong round-the-world race backgrounds, and that TNZ helmsman Pete Burling and his longtime sailing partner Blair Tuke were competing in the Volvo, which starts next month. A foiling component will be introduced for the 2019 race, which TNZ is posed to enter.

Pete Burling and Blair Tuke are racing in the Volvo Ocean Race this year. Photo / Volvo Ocean Race
Pete Burling and Blair Tuke are racing in the Volvo Ocean Race this year. Photo / Volvo Ocean Race

Orams said: "This brings the technology, sailors, designers and support crew into developing and sailing the same type of high performance yacht in a foiling monohull whether that be for offshore round-the-world or an inshore version for the America's Cup."

He predicted a return to traditional arm powered, rather than cycle, grinders.

"We will move away form the situation where we only had two people actively sailing the boats in Bermuda, where we only had two people actively sailing the boats in Bermuda, with the other four grinding with a winch or pedalling a bike because there was such a high demand on hydraulics.

"In effect they were hamsters on a wheel and weren't actively involved in the sailing of the boat although in TNZ's case, because their hands were free Tuke in particular and Andy Maloney were doing a bit of control work. It was unfortunate so few people were actively sailing the boat.

"Sail changes will become part of the game again, which you didn't see with the AC50s in Bermuda, and it will be come more of a sailors' kind of yacht again.

"There will be a larger number of people on the boat, and a larger proportion actively involved in sailing."

Orams said Ashby had been a catamaran specialist since he was a 14 year old sailing Paper Tigers.

"He's certainly adaptable and talented enough, but his whole history is in catamarans," Orams said.