A respected American sailor has questioned the design of the yachts to be raced in the 36th America's Cup, referring to the 75-foot monohulls as "some kind of space alien."
Brian Hancock, one of the most experienced offshore sailors in the States, shared his thoughts on the design on sailing website Sailing Anarchy and said he didn't believe the new vessels will fix the issues spectators had with the multihull design used in this year's regatta.
"Tacking was slow especially before they figured out how to keep the boat in the air through each tack. As soon as the boat dropped back into the water the speed dropped precipitously," Hancock said.
"People moaned that they missed the "old" days when monohulls would slam tack their way up the windward leg closely covering their opponent. Catch a good wind shift and you could break through.
America's Cup: New design takes Auld Mug to the future
America's Cup bases on Auckland's waterfront - let's get it right
Team New Zealand 'cyclor' Simon van Velthoven could re-compete despite 'cycle-grinding ban'
"Maybe I am wrong but it seems to me that this design is going to have the same problem that the multihulls had. Tacking is slow and the boats are going to drop off their foils."
Team New Zealand and Luna Ross worked together on the design and believe they have come up with a class that will be challenging and demanding to sail but accessible to a wider group of sailors.
The moveable foils allow the boat to sail in all conditions. They can be raised and lowered to change the sailing mode and when both are lowered they provide better stability so racing in rougher sea conditions is possible; something that couldn't be achieved with the foiling catamarans in windy conditions in Bermuda.
The boat's design even allows it to right itself in the event of a capsize.
However, Hancock was not impressed by what Team NZ believed could become the future of racing past the 2021 America's Cup.
"I have always gone with the notion that pretty boats sail fast...This design is anything but pretty. It looks like some kind of space alien.
"This design is a trimaran. The boat is the main hull and the appendages are the two other hulls."
However, Hancock admired the dependence on the crew that would come with sailing these vessels.
"They are not there to pump hydraulics around. They are there to manage the sails and grind the grinders and, judging by the video, it's going to take a huge amount of skill to sail one of those boats, especially to keep it up on it's foil."