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International Games
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Team New Zealand Mastered Upwind Foiling

The New Zealand Herald reported, Team New Zealand appear to be right on the pace in the development race for the next America's Cup, after a video released this week shows they have mastered the upwind foiling tack.

Long regarded as the "Holy Grail" of the America's Cup, the foiling tack has been the last significant barrier preventing America's Cup teams from hypothetically foiling around an entire racecourse - a feat that could potentially define the outcome of the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda.

Dean Barker's Team Japan were the first to crack the code, pulling off a foiling tack last month during testing in Bermuda. Defenders Oracle Team USA, who have been keeping a close eye on Team Japan, made the breakthrough two days later.

After both the Japanese and American-flagged teams shared videos proudly trumpeting their foiling tack development, Emirates Team New Zealand opted for a more understated approach.

Providing a general update of their progress in their testing programme, the video finished with a quick glimpse of what may be the most stable upwind foiling tack yet.

Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby concluded, "I think we're going okay."

The introduction of giant 72-ft wingsail powered catamarans for the last edition of the America's Cup resulted in the development of foiling become the key battleground. Team New Zealand were the first to get their boat foiling for sustained periods downwind, and were a step ahead of their rivals in choreographing foiling gybes.

By the end of the 2013 America's Cup Oracle and Team New Zealand were just beginning to get the boats foiling upwind when the conditions allowed.

What each team is chasing in the new 50ft America's Cup race boats for the next event in Bermuda is strong, stable, continuous flight. That means not only foiling upwind for sustained periods, but being able to keep the hulls out of the water whilst tacking.
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