In 2013 the America’s Cup went foiling as Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand both sailing foiling 72ft catamarans, the AC72s.

The AC72 (America’s Cup 72 class) is a class of hydrofoiling wingsail catamarans built to a box rule, which governs the construction and operation of yachts competing in the 2013 Louis Vuitton and the America’s Cup races. The class was subsequently replaced by the smaller AC50 class.

There had been many months of secretive R&D meetings at Emirates Team New Zealand that went into developing a concept that would transform the world of America’s Cup racing forever.

Rewind to 2011, two years out from the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. A time of any campaign where teams are thinking outside the square with weird and wonderful ideas having been studying the AC72 class rule, looking for loopholes and testing or attempting to validate some of the most innovative theories. A crazy concept was continuing to circle within Emirates Team New Zealand.

β€œWhat if we could make the AC72 catamaran fly above the water?”

The America’s Cup is a sailing competition and the oldest international competition still operating in any sport. America’s Cup match races are held between two sailing yachts: one from the yacht club that currently holds the trophy (known as the defender) and the other from the yacht club that is challenging for the cup (the challenger).

The winner is awarded the America’s Cup trophy, informally known as the Auld Mug. Matches are held several years apart on dates agreed between the defender and the challenger. There is no fixed schedule, but the races have generally been held every three to four years. The most recent America’s Cup match took place in March 2021.

For more information on history and upcoming 37th America’s Cup foiling catamaran race visit

For more information on early America’s Cup hydrofoiling developments check at