““They’re charting new areas,” said Brennan. “It’s great that we’ve got someone like Larry Ellison out there dumping kazillions of dollars into this technology.”
Mike Drummond, design chief for the BMW-Oracle trimaran, said he can’t conceal the 190-foot wing that this month replaced a sail on his boat. The carbon-fiber foil is bigger than the wing of an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger jet. A wing is more efficient than a conventional sail, holding its shape better while generating increased lift and diminished drag.
“It’s not a game about who comes up with the fanciest toys — you’ve still got to win a boat race,” Kramers said. “You can shoot yourself in the foot quite easily. You can make it too light and have something break on you, or you come up with something so complex you don’t know how to sail it. So there’s a certain amount of restraint involved, too.” “