Watch a Wing Sail Break on an AC45

Sleek and sharp, but those wing-sails are put under incredible stress.
On the AC45 foiling catamarans, things are tense to say the least. The crew is highly strung, the foils are literally humming and the rig is loaded up to breaking point. Sometimes, past it.

SoftBank Team Japan is out testing their technology on the AC45S (Sport) alongside Oracle, Team USA in preparation for next years Americas Cup. Like their big brothers used in the race, the AC45S uses wing sail technology, alongside an interesting development which actually uses wing shaped sections on the boats trampoline to help lift it at lower speeds.

The panels are made from carbon fibre and monofilm, which has no stretch, and when the loads are exceeded – something’s gotta give! This time is was a section in SoftBank Team Japan’s sail, and it sure slowed them up.

Luckily, nothing was too damaged, and nobody was hurt. They’ll be fixed up and back on the water in no time.

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