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20 October 2015
The foil, how does it work?
This is one of the major new features of this 5th generation imoca monohull. Since their arrival on the scene the foils have caused a lot of ink to flow and unleashed great passion. indeed, there are both supporters and opponents of these new appendages, whose very shape is reminiscent of the moustaches of a famous Spanish painter. An unquestionable architectural development, foils are nonetheless a daring challenge for those who have opted to equip their steed with such a device.
Innovation is in gitana Team's dna. as such, when the naval architects suggested these new appendages to us, there's no way we were going to do away with them, even though at this stage there is still a degree of uncertainty as to their efficiency. These foils remain experimental, but we were aware of that in taking this path.?We know that, on paper at least, there are fairly considerable gains to be made on certain points of sail, as well as some losses on others. as such, it's all about compromise and we are not preventing ourselves from going back to past configurations or developing the shapes of the daggerboards according to the results of our sea trials. Put simply, the boat performs less well when sailing close to the wind (headwind, upwind), but the minute the sheets are eased a little more (reaching, on the beam, downwind)and the foil goes into operation it's really effective and the differential can extend to as much as 2 knots. as such the Mono60 edmond de rothschild is geared up specifically for the Vendée globe and she is optimised for competing in races where there is 80 to 90% downwind conditions and very little upwind. The Transat Jacques Vabre, with a long upwind Bay of Biscay, may not be at all advantageous to the new boats, especially as the boats from the previous generations are particularly well optimised and helmed by very honed competitors. Sébastien Josse skipper of Edmond de Rothschild
Foil in action : Gitana's design team explains more