Elaine Bunting talks to columnist and TV producer Matt Sheahan about fully foiling flight might actually have made race tactics more varied and interesting, and about the likely trickledown of technology

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Since the introduction of multihulls to the America’s Cup and, since 2013, fully foiling flight, the America’s Cup has either enthralled or enraged.

To those whom it enrages, the speed is unnecessary, the boats uninspiring and the manoeuvres less varied. No doubt, it is a world apart from the racing most of us have done, or are every likely to, but are we missing something in these assumptions?

Yachting World columnist and now TV producer Matt Sheahan think so.

Continues below…

He has followed closely every Cup since 2002 and so his experience of the racing dates well back to the displacement yachts some people say they would prefer. But he is adamant that that the advances being made here are exactly what the America’s Cup should be about.

He explains in this podcast that now the teams are fully foiling during upwind legs, right through tacks, we should actually see more manoeuvres and tactical options than before, not fewer.

He also argues that the technology we are seeing here will soon be felt in every area of sailing, including perhaps in a small way by improving stability characteristics of cruising yachts.

 

Matt also explains the fascinating way the roles on board have changed, giving unheard of levels of control to the helmsman.

If you’re a hater of the America’s Cup, have a listen to this – would it change your mind?