The Foiling 50s are a combination of rebuilt AC50S and new builds, using parts including the cross-beams, central pods and wings from Oracle, Softbank Team Japan, BAR and Artemis Racing, together with two all-new builds. Coutts says that adapting the AC50S enabled them to get on the water at least a year earlier than if they had created a new class, as well as allowing them to build on the experience the Cup teams already had with the 50-footers.
The structural work has been taking place at Core Composites in New Zealand, which is owned by Ellison. It has been a huge undertaking, with a team of 110 people working for over a year at Core.
Although the F50s are one-design, the plan is for them to continue evolving. One of the first things to be developed will be new wingsails, using what Coutts describes as an “almost Lego-type modular concept” to build 18m2 and 28m2 wings alongside the current 24m2 size, using the same components with different mid-sections.
The 18m wing is planned for completion by Marseille, an event likely to be at the top of the wind range, with the light airs 28m wing following in 2020.
Software, hydraulic and control systems have been developed with Artemis Technologies, a new company formed from the design team of Artemis Racing.
“Team New Zealand ran a fantastic campaign and