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When I first saw these beautiful boats speeding around San Francisco Bay, I was simply in awe. The size...the colors...the speed! Just an unbelievable site to behold. Did you know that these multi-hulled boats with a wing-shaped sail can actual go faster than the wind? Up to twice as fast!
Here are some facts from the official Americas Cup website at www.americascup.com:
"Powered by a towering wing sail, the AC72 has been designed to capture the imagination of a new generation of sailors. Capable of top speeds in excess of twice the windspeed, the AC72 is thrilling fans as it challenges the very best sailors in the world, pushing them to their limits… and beyond.
The AC72 demands more of the crews than ever before. Athleticism is now a critical requirement for all crew members. The smaller crew size of 11 means every role on the boat is crucial to success, and each crew member will face physical demands equal to the toughest sports in the world.
Each team must design and build their own AC72 for racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection series and the America’s Cup Finals.
Teams were allowed to launch their first AC72 beginning on July 1, 2012, but are limited to 30 days of training and testing on the boat before January 31, 2013.
Teams who are building a second AC72 (ORACLE TEAM USA, Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand) can launch and begin sailing it on February 1, 2013.
Additionally, in keeping with the goal of revolutionizing the media coverage of the racing, the AC72 has provisions for on board television cameras as well as surround sound and crew microphones.
AC72 PRINCIPAL DIMENSION
Hull Length 22 m (72.2 ft)
Maximum Beam 14 m (45.9 ft)
Mast Height 40 m (131.2 ft)
Maximum Draft 4.40 m (14.4 ft)
Displacement 5900 kg (13007.2 pd)
Wing Area 260 sq m (2798.6 sq ft)
Jib Area 80 sq m (861.1 sq ft)
Gennaker Area 320 sq m (3444.5 sq ft)
Crew 11 people"
If you get a chance between now and September 21 to watch a race on the bay, or even on TV, you'll thank me.
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