Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Meet the new America's Cup 'flying yacht' making big waves

By Sheena McKenzie, for CNN and Adam Dunnakey, CNN
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Introducing AC72 -- the new America's Cup yacht
  • Much smaller, lighter and faster than predecessor
  • But with greater speed has also come some safety concerns
  • Follows death of Andrew Simpson, after yacht capsized during training

Editor's note: MainSail is CNN's monthly sailing show, exploring the sport of sailing, luxury travel and the latest in design and technology

(CNN) -- Never underestimate the little guy.

At just 22 meters long, the new hi-tech America's Cup yacht is more than three meters shorter than its predecessor.

But that hasn't stopped the $10 million boat -- dubbed AC72 after its 72-foot hull -- making big waves in the sailing world.

Read: 162 years of America's Cup design

103-year-old beauty's film debut
The first family of yacht design
Fife yachts stand the test of time

The super sleek yacht makes its America's Cup debut this year, replacing the larger 25-meter ACC, which first raced in 1992.

Along with its shorter hull, the new vessel will also have far fewer members on board -- down from around 17 to 11.

But if you thought its smaller size and smaller crew made it less speedy, think again.

The new yacht features two hulls, giving it the appearance of a "flying boat," and helping it to cut across the water with ease.

Read: Futuristic 'flying boat' chases speed record

But with greater speed -- around 40 knots -- comes greater safety concerns.

Earlier this year, British Olympic gold medalist Andrew "Bart" Simpson was killed when the AC72 he was training on capsized in San Francisco Bay.

Read: Remembering Andrew Simpson

As the 34th America's Cup kicks off in San Francisco next month, all eyes will be on the new fleet of futuristic -- and stripped back -- vessels.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
MainSail
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue March 25, 2014
Love the movie? Now you can charter the superyacht -- if you can stump up $125,000 a week.
updated 7:38 AM EDT, Tue March 18, 2014
It's like a stunt from the latest James Bond movie, only this isn't a movie and there is no safety harness.
updated 9:05 AM EDT, Mon March 10, 2014
The world's largest Viking warship is on display at the British Museum -- and it's enough to strike terror into your heart.
updated 7:47 AM EST, Fri February 28, 2014
It's an exclusive holiday home for the rich and famous -- and now Richard Branson has opened up his private island for a new photo book.
updated 1:33 PM EST, Fri February 14, 2014
One of the Las Balsas rafts
In 1973, a dozen men set out on what would be the longest known raft voyage in human history, from Ecuador to Australia.
updated 9:09 AM EST, Thu January 30, 2014
After witnessing decades of incredible sailing innovations, renowned photographer Onne van der Wal now feels like he's an "astronaut of the sea."
updated 1:05 PM EST, Fri January 24, 2014
The Norwegian Pearl at sea.
The tropical cruise was once the traditional getaway of the elderly retiree -- now it's a haven for metalheads.
updated 7:44 AM EST, Mon January 13, 2014
Having grown a big beard to ward off jellyfish during an epic swim, Sean Conway is now making his home on a rundown wartime vessel.
updated 6:47 AM EST, Fri January 10, 2014
Played by sailors in a brief window of opportunity once each year, this cricket match is never stopped by rain -- but the tide can be a problem.
updated 8:54 AM EST, Thu December 12, 2013
When you've spent 100 days alone on the high seas, battling sleep deprivation and monster waves, it can be difficult to adjust to life on land.
ADVERTISEMENT