Though there is still vast untapped potential, these sequences give a flavour of what is surely to come.
Everyone who tried it commented, through a persistent grin, that it is easy and feels secure.As often repeated on this site, the goal is performance, not foiling at all costs.
Passive systems such as L/V foils give some measure of heave stability at the cost of some additional lift-induced drag. If properly designed they are competitive and manageable. The key is to design the system to work with the hull so that the highly foil assisted mode remains fast. In the right conditions and with the right technique the skipper can then push beyond a 99% lift share and transition to full foiling.
So far this has only been proven to pay downwind in flat water when fully powered up. But undoubtedly the profitable flight envelope will steadily grow, expanding to lighter winds and upwind.
By all accounts engaging this mode is hard work and requires judgement to give net gains in VMG. But since gains are definitely available, it is a challenge to be relished.
V, comma, and now Z foils have improved performance, added a challenge and made the A Class safer to push hard, without taking away from the delicious responsiveness of this lightweight boat.
The difference between a passive system and a control system is that the latter is simply relentless. The boat will remain foilborne essentially until it stops, allowing for the skipper to look around, sit in, change gears and ride out lulls… All while the ride height is directly reacting to changing inputs.
So enjoy this first glimpse into just what is possible under this great class rule!
Make no mistake: there is a concrete measurable difference between current passive systems and truly stable foiling. As long as speed gains are out there, people will experiment and discover ways of realising them. Whether this is made easy and safe or expensive and dangerous is determined by how the rule is administered.