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America's Cup- Emirates Team NZ admits AC72 can foil sailing downwind

by Richard Gladwell on 7 Sep 2012
Emirates Team NZ AC72 sailing on the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland NZ September 6, 2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

In a media release issued nine days after images were first released on the interweb of their AC72 on foils, by photographer Graeme Swan, Emirates Team NZ have conceded their AC72 'can foil sailing downwind in a moderate breeze.'

The photos were published in Sail-World last Monday, with a further set published on Thursday, and again on Friday morning.

They have questioned as to whether foiling can be sustained safely on the short America’s Cup courses.

Emirates Team New Zealand Grant Dalton said in the release issued late Friday afternoon NZT that all the teams will be testing foil design.

'The thrust of our testing is to determine if foils enhance performance overall. How will they affect upwind speed? Might that nullify any downwind gain?

'In addition, the effect on boat-handling in upper wind ranges needs to be assessed carefully.

'There is a tendency for the boat to dig in when it is bearing away and the placement of the dagger foils and their shape has a marked effect on this.

'Foiling is only part of the equation. Right now we see as many negatives as positives.' The release concluded.

Earlier in the week, the America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA issued a media statement saying their boat would be out of action for several weeks after an incident, two hours into their first test sail, in their AC72 based in San Francisco. The nature of the damage was not stated, except that in a earlier release the starboard L-Board, was identified as being the item which failed.

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