Can a yacht ever travel faster than the wind?

Focus-Science and Technology - - Q&A - GE­ORGE JEF­FRIES, RM

THIS SEEMS LIKE de­fi­ance of the

laws of physics, but it just needs the right

shape and size of sail to trap enough of

the air-mass blow­ing in the wind. The

re­sult­ing trans­fer of mo­men­tum can

pro­pel yachts to im­pres­sive speeds,

es­pe­cially if fric­tion is min­imised – some

sleek cata­ma­rans can achieve 80km/h

us­ing 35km/h winds.

Per­haps if they all

blow really hard, that will help too?

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