After initial testing by a factory team, from this week on the prototypes of the Nacra 17 modified for full foiling capabilities will pass to the capable hands of olympic crews, those who will be using the boat in Tokyo 2020. The final type of daggerboard hasn’t been chosen yet, but at any rate it will be a Z shape like what is being used by A-Class cats, therefore it won’t be necessary to raise the windward one. T or L rudders are still being evaluated, while the gennaker will be smaller and flatter.
It has already been seen that the boat foils downwind from 7-8 kts TWS, and upwind with a bit more breeze. Flying gybes are at hand, and one can bet that flying tacks will be conquered soon at the Olympics skill level.
While there’s a lot of interest for the performance, potential users are concerned that new and higher stresses (to daggerboard cases and transoms) won’t add up to the notorious structural problems of the boat’s previous version. These issues result in an extremely short competitive life for the hulls, as indicated also by Gold medal winner Santi Lange in the press conference just after his epic win in Rio. Of course, there have been plenty of (verbal) assurances on this… (Beppe Giannini report)