This Year's America's Cup Boats Look Super Futuristic

The 34th America’s Cup will be held next month in San Francisco and based on the ongoing Louis Vuitton Cup, this year’s competition is going to be nothing like we have ever seen before.

For the first time, this year’s races will feature the AC72, a special class of wing-sail catamarans that look nothing like the single-hull sailboats from the days of Dennis Conner and American glory in the sport or even the catamarans of recent America’s Cups.

The AC72s can reach speeds of 50 miles per hour. This is done with the help of hydrofoils, that will actually create lift like an aeroplane wing, and raises the hulls of the boats out of the water reducing the amount of drag.

On the next few pages we’ll take a closer look at the AC72s competing in the Louis Vuitton Cup, a race currently being held in San Francisco to determine the challenger for this year’s America’s Cup.

From a distance, one of the AC72s can look like any other catamaran, albeit with a much taller sail

But once you get closer, you can start to see the technology at work and why they can travel at such high speeds

The boats are powered by a single sail that is more than 12 stories high (130 feet)

But the true speed comes when the hulls are completely lifted out of the water for long distances

Only the hydrofoils remain in contact with the water

It's amazing these sailors can stay on board without falling off

The individual foils (2 on each side) can be moved up and out of the water depending on the circumstances. Here we can see one out of the water just in front of the sailors

The AC72s look more like aeroplanes or even Indy cars than boats

And the Golden Gate Bridge makes for a stunning backdrop for this year's races

Here is a short video explaining the technology behind the new boats

(video provider='youtube' id='pRQJRhPg6J8' size='xlarge' align='center')

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