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Gonet Monofoil: Revolutionary 'flying' monohull takes off

It's been developed in secret in Switzerland, but a new "flying" yacht could be a taste of things to come for the Ame...

Posted: Jun. 8, 2018 11:18 AM
Updated: Jun. 8, 2018 11:18 AM

It's been developed in secret in Switzerland, but a new "flying" yacht could be a taste of things to come for the America's Cup.

The Gonet Monofoil is a revolutionary monohull that lifts out of the water on hydrofoils, the latest in sailing's surge into foiling technology.

New 'secret' foiling monohull yacht launched in Switzerland

Gonet Monofoil could give taste of America's Cup future

It's the same concept as will be used in the 36th America's Cup in New Zealand in 2021 and will provide a glimpse of the future for teams challenging for the Auld Mug.

READ: Why the next America's Cup is going back to basics

The Gonet Monofoil was designed by a team including skipper Eric Monnin and his brother Jean-Claude, an expert on foil design for Emirates Team New Zealand in the last Cup in Bermuda.

The boat was two years in development with testing on Lake Lucerne -- the project was launched before the Kiwis, as America's Cup winners in 2017, announced a surprise switch to foiling monohulls from the high-speed foiling multihulls of the past two editions.

READ: Sailor sacrifices sleep for science to save the planet

The International Moth class brought foiling in sailing into the mainstream over the last 10-15 years, and many types of boats and events have added foiling variants, including offshore races such as the Volvo Ocean Race and the single-handed Vendee Globe and the America's Cup.

"For a long time, I've been watching the extraordinary performance of foiling sailing boats," said Eric Monnin.

"Several impressive monohull projects have been developed since the success of the foiling Moth, such as the Quant 23, but it is still an evolving area, and I've always found that there is something missing."

READ: 10 of the most expensive superyachts and their uber-rich owners

The key to this one, say the designers, are the pioneering foils and the way the boat can be adjusted at different speeds.

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The yacht measures only 8 meters long and weighs 850 kilograms but with a sail area of 80m2 it can achieve speeds of 25 knots (50 km/h) with four crew.

America's Cup designers will be glued to the action on Lake Geneva when the Gonet Monofoil competes for the first time this summer.

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