I had the previlege of watching some early trials off San Diego in 1991. What an incredible sight to see - those things are fast! One lasting impression was the sound reverberating from those hollow aluminum hulls as they crashed through the waves.
Conrad, there is no comparison between the next AC cats and the mono-hulls used in '91.* There is noooo aluminium in these babies, they are all high tech carbon fibre composites.* The last stouch off Spain, where they used the precursors to the new class cats was between Alinghi, (Swiss backed, and a cat), and BMW Oracle, (US backed and a trimaran), and made of these composites, and the racing was fantastic.* The Tri won hands down to everyone's surprise, because being so light it was able to fly both the windward hull and the centre hull.* However, its edge came from an amazing aerofoil and adjustable main sail...well actually it was really a wing, whereas the cat Alinghi had a more conventional kevlar type mainsail.* They were doing speeds over twice the wind speed - up wind...!* I can't wait for the next cup.
-- Edited by Peter B on Wednesday 16th of November 2011 06:29:25 AM