Watch new foils in action on the powerful new Safran, one of the latest Vendée Globe 2016 round the world race yachts

Here’s a spectacular video of the new IMOCA 60 Safran, which French skipper Morgan Lagravière will be sailing alone round the world next November in the Vendee Globe 2016.

It clearly shows how the latest generation of these monohulls are using foils and foiling technology.

The latest generation of IMOCA 60 boats have fitted crazy looking (and huge) V-shape foils that protrude from the sides like giant sabres.

The thinking is that instead of lifting the boats out of the water, foils are used to increase power by generating more righting moment. You can see this positively in action in moments in this video when the entire forefoot and forward half of the boat lift completely from the surface of the sea.

These foils are believed to add as much as 1-2 knots in power reaching conditions, but due to the limitations of the class to five appendages (so swapping daggerboards for foils) the new boats are said to be at their weakest upwind.

And problems aboard some of the boats during the recent Transat Jacques Vabres race also suggest that maybe these foils are generating more power than teams expected and have overloaded structure elsewhere in the boat. Others are concerned that the additional righting moment will overload the one design mast that the class has now adopted.

But the genie is out of the bottle on foils and the signs are that they are an advantage and are here to stay. Take a look and see what you think yourself.

  • Elaine Bunting

    But you spent a few minutes writing this unpleasant comment, Nate? Our site is what we’d like sailing to be: a friendly and supportive place. What may be obvious to you is not at all obvious to cruising sailors and indeed even the IMOCA skippers are debating their effect and value.