Ian “Fresh” Burns of Oracle Team USA explains in this Sail Racing Magazine interview how the team trades off stability for speed with their foil design.
Foils with less drag are less stable. Improvements in the control systems can partially overcome this. As the sailors learn how best to handle the boat, they are happy to make the tradeoff to get more speed.
“A big challenge is how to project/predict where your sailing crew’s abilities are going to be by the Cup. You have to be saying to yourself, well our guys can control this level of stability now, but in a year’s time they will probably be better and able to handle a less stable boat. So you have to be working on a final foil design that is something that, if we built it right now, the guys probably wouldn’t be able to sail.”
Read the full interview here.