The SuperFoiler Grand Prix brings a new energy to Australian sport with a super-charged league of elite athletes, women and men. Former Olympian and silver medallist, Olivia Price was today announced as the first skipper.
Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said “there isn’t another sport going around that enables men and women to compete with the same technology on the same playing field and really test skill.”
“Not only is it an exhilarating sport of the highest skill it is also an opportunity to showcase Australian innovation and technology and manufacturing which is nothing short of world class.”
The Macartney’s have done it all before with their 18 Foot Skiff Grand Prix of the 1990s. They were inspired to re-launch Grand Prix Sailing after seeing the America’s Cup Catamarans rise on foils, hitting unprecedented speeds and looking like hurtling sleek monsters.
The Minister said “the old 18 foot racing in the summer, [which] was a bit of an Australian institution. The brand recall for those sponsors is still I think one of the strongest brand recalls I could associate with any form of sport. So to the Macartney boys if you are able to generate that of the back of this SuperFoiler Grand Prix I’ve got absolutely no doubt that you will have people knocking down the doors to get their brands associated with these fantastic machines.”
Jack Macartney, co-founder said “To get here it took a leap of faith in our vision and concept.”
“The SuperFoiler concept was not to conform to any existing geometry or platform but rather create something that gave the foils structure to function and flotation to launch off while being highly aerodynamic”
“The power and efficiency that you feel when you are sailing it really takes your breath away its something pretty out there. Its definitely not for the faint hearted.”
Foiling technology has triggered the biggest ever technological shift in sail-racing. It means wind powered vessels rise-up onto wing-shaped foils, freeing themselves of drag and hitting unprecedented speeds. The vessel literally flies above the surface at speeds up to three times faster than the wind.
The SuperFoiler is 26 feet long, 17 feet wide and weighs 350 kilos. Thus, she generates unprecedented power-to-weight and with aerodynamics and hydrodynamics fully exploited, minimum possible drag. Which means in 10 knots of breeze she’s nudging up towards 30 knots of boat speed.
The SuperFoiler Grand Prix will see six international crews racing at six events around Australia, all televised on the Seven Network.
“We have attracted the interest of key individuals in the America’s Cup, that’s simply reassuring us we’re onto a good thing!” said Jack Macartney.
This SuperFoiler is the first of six, with another five in production to complete the fleet. The SuperFoiler Grand Prix kicks off in December and will see teams go head to head at six locations across Australia.
Bill Macartney said of the series “the SuperFoiler Grand Prix will be visually spectacular. Short, sharp, action-packed races will exhilarate crowds as they embrace a virtual experience of racing.
“For those who remember the passion of crews on board the Prudential, Ella Bache, AAMI etc. on the 18 Foot Skiff Grand Prix – the SuperFoilers will deliver all of this and more.”
“One difference is how fast these machines are. It is not for the faint hearted.”