There were issues with both the fly height and fly time of the U.S. F50 on the first day of racing in Chicago, with the home team falling to the bottom of the fleet across both metrics.

Data provided by from the fleet’s 10-strong F50 fleet shows the Americans had the lowest fly time (the amount of time the F50 is foiling) on the first day of the Rolex United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier.

Season 4 // United States Sail Grand Prix Chicago // USA F50 with fans

The longer an F50 foils the better, with the boat picking up less resistance and moving faster through the water.

The Americans had an average foil time of 93.4% on the first day of racing - lower than Switzerland’s (95.14%), Spain’s (96.7%) and even newcomer Germany’s (97.06%).

Season 4 // United States Sail Grand Prix Chicago // Jimmy Spithill in Mixed Zone

This was paired with the U.S. F50 flying the closest to the water. Flying high reduces resistance and increases boat speed, while flying close to the water increases drag and maximizes the risk of falling off the foils entirely.

The U.S.’s average foil height was 0.67m - lower than Spain’s 0.69m, Germany’s 0.7m and Switzerland’s 0.74m. On the flip side, the teams that were flying the highest were Canada (0.87m), Australia (0.8m) and Emirates GBR (0.79m). The team that had the highest fly time was also Canada - which picked up a foil average of 99.89%, followed by Denmark (99.2%) and Emirates GBR (97.7%).


The U.S. also picked up the lowest average leg speed - 51.2 km/h - compared to the highest - Canada’s 57.9 km/h. Canada also recorded the fastest speed of the day - 79.4 km/h.

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