America’s Cup 2017: How To Make A Yacht Fly

To win the America’s Cup for the third time, Team USA/Oracle aims to keep its boat out of the water as much as possible.

Ricardo Pinto / ACEA 2016
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You may think the America’s Cup is all about sailing, but it’s not—depending on your definition of the sport. Sure, the half-dozen superyachts from the USA, Sweden, France, Japan, New Zealand, and England that compete will spend plenty of time in the water, but these days, the winner is likely to be the boat that “flies” through the air the longest, with their catamaran hulls above the surface and their high-tech hydrofoils, extending from below, their only contact with the water. With the wind in their sails, these yachts are the fastest boats in the 164-year-old history of the competition, first won by an American schooner back in 1852.

This weekend in Chicago marks the very last of the Louis Vuitton ​America's Cup World Series preliminary events set stateside ahead of the 35th edition of the regatta, held in Bermuda June 2017. (Other lead-up races are scheduled in England, France, and possibly Japan from now until then). With help from their technology partner BMW, Team USA/Oracle is looking to win the competition for the third consecutive year. Here’s a look at how Team USA/Oracle aims to make its boat the fastest craft on, or above, the waves.