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You can’t control nature, but you can harness it. A new 29m wing with an advanced control system will help get the F50s up and foiling in lighter airs than ever before - due to technology can also now be applied across global marine, motor racing and industrial applications.

The SailGP circuit is designed for grand-prix level spectacle, but some days the wind simply doesn’t blow and the magnificent F50s wallow in the water instead of lightly skimming on top of it like they are intended to.

Enter a new 29m wing that will help get these remarkable vessels up on their feet even on very light air days.

When the F50 was launched in 2018 it was equipped with a 24m wing. This sail was ideal in a broad range of wind strengths, but overpowered in very strong conditions, and underpowered in very light conditions.

To provide the teams with more options - and spectators with more excitement - the SailGP Technologies Design team masterminded a modular wing system, enabling them to choose initially between an 18m and a 24m wing, and soon a 29m option too.

Modules are added or removed to change the sail area, and hydraulics in the control system are designed so that they can be plugged and unplugged as needed.
With each wing option comes changes to foils and elevators and intricate design and engineering adaptations to enable this.

“The wings were designed so they could be retrofitted to the current boats so changes to the rest of the components were kept to a minimum,” says SailGP Technologies Head of Design Ignacio (Nacho) Castaneda Sabadell.

“To accommodate the new wings, the control system software, interface and hydraulics were updated to include the new controls, and new jibs were designed to match the new wings.”

With the biggest wing which catches more wind to power the boat, light air foils and elevators have increased surface area, which results in increased lift to make the most of weaker winds. The smallest wing is lighter, with less surface area and less drag. As a result, boat speed is now nearly tripling wind speed.

One thing is for sure: whichever combination the teams choose on the day, they will reach breathtaking speeds - and the world will be watching.