A 15% speed increase and the ability to foil in lighter airs are two major takeaways from preliminary testing of SailGP’s in-development T-Foils.
Set to replace the current L-Foils in Season 5, the T-Foils are designed to improve the performance and control of the F50s at high speeds. The T-Foils are made from titanium instead of carbon fibre and consist of thinner sections than the L-Foils. This means they reduce drag on the F50s and will allow the fleet to reach faster speeds.
Director of performance engineering Alex Reid explained: “The foils are a lot more efficient than what we’ve had before. On the control side, the design of the T-Foil makes it a lot easier and the cavitation should onset a lot later, and we should ultimately be able to go faster.”
The foils were tested for the first time by Canada in Cadiz and ROCKWOOL DEN in Dubai, with the results projecting impressive performance gains. One takeaway in Cadiz was the F50’s ability to foil in lighter airs than usual - a surprising outcome given the T-Foils are heavier than the current L Foils.
SailGP CEO Russell Coutts added: “The first generation of those we hope to see in Season 5 so we’re looking to implement these changes in the fleet during that time and obviously go through sea trials with the new equipment to make sure it’s performing as it should be.
“A lot of this will be done in the break from our last event of Season 4 in July to the first event of Season 5 in November so it’s exciting times.”