Perhaps nothing announces the dangerous magic of performance sailing quite like the Red Bull Extreme Sailing series. These are not just thoroughbred boats. They’re designed to be alarmingly sketchy to sail. And that’s the beauty of the thing.
These are 40-foot foiling catamarans with a 75 square meter mainsail and a top speed of 40 knots. The foils let the boats essentially fly out of the water and gain an insane amount of hull speed.
These boats get up on one hull, plane out of the water, and flip with regularity.
The first race of the Red Bull Extreme Sailing series this year took place in Oman. The Olympic gold medalists Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher competed on the Red Bull Sailing Team, taking the boat to a photo-finish win in the final race to jump from fifth place to second.
Even though they set out in lackluster winds and fell to fifth place, their luck changed on Super Saturday when the winds picked up to a stiff 14 knots.
But the climax was the last race of the day, when the Red Bull Sailing Team edged out regatta winner Oman Air and its new skipper Morgan Larson in a photo-finish to leapfrog over America’s Cup challenger Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing Academy, two-time America’s Cup winner Alinghi and SAP Extreme Sailing, for the second place regatta result and second place in the overall standings.
“You need a lot of energy and power to sail this foiling catamaran, and we showed that we can do that,” said Hagara in a story at RedBull.com. “We need more time on the water to get the final setup done and get up to speed in all different kinds of conditions. The key for this high-speed stadium racing is the start and very clean and fast maneuvers, and it’s learning by doing. The goal for China is, of course, to win. That’s all we want.”
Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool