By Mark Orams - the sailing professor
Team New Zealand have absolutely nailed it with their design concept for the America's Cup boats.
But expect to see some carnage as the teams work to master the new class - breakages and crashes will be commonplace as they look to overcome the massive design and engineering challenges.
The AC75 concept, released today, will bring back the traditions of the America's Cup by making it a sailing challenge, while also pushing the boundaries of technology and taking the sport to a new place.
Yes, I'm giving a huge congratulations to Emirates Team New Zealand and Prada Luna Rossa for a new foiling monohull design I would describe as a sailor's yacht, the likes of which has never been seen before.
At 75 feet long, it is a beast and the loads on the foils will be massive. They will be very challenging to sail, involving the powering and management of the hydraulics and control systems combined with the ability to make sail changes. This new class will be more versatile than the AC50 catamarans used in Bermuda, but will be just as fast and perhaps even faster in some conditions and points of sail.
In a key change, the cylcors introduced by Team New Zealand for Bermuda are gone enabling the return of traditional arm grinders. The teams will need some seriously fit and big grinders to provide the power needed for these machines. They will have to be very physical specimens, but with the skill to engage in the adjustment of sails/wings as well.
The boats will feature "outrigger" T-foils which extend from each side of the hull and provide both lift and stability. Similarly a T-foil on the rudder provides the elevators to control the pitch and direction of the yacht.
There is also a main wing sail (although it is not specified whether it will be a solid wing or a wing mast with a sail attachment), a jib and a 'code zero' furling which is a large downwind sail providing more power and options particularly in lighter wind speeds.
Bottom line - I can't wait to see one of these things on the water.
# Mark Orams is a former Team New Zealand member who is AUT's Head of School, Sport & Recreation.