A world first: Adam May's solid wingmast foiling Moth


First test sail on the world's fastest 11ft flier
Finally he has done it! Former Olympic Tornado sailor Adam May last weekend went for his maiden voyage in the first ever solid wingsail-powered foiling Moth. “It is something I’ve had in my head for years,” says May. “I’ve always been interested in C-Class cats. In a way, C-Class cats and the Little America’s Cup was more of a sailing aim than the Olympics or the America’s Cup and I’ve managed to be involved in those other two before Little America’s Cup. The technical side of sailing had always intrigued me, which is why I did my degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and I did some time at Airbus in the wind tunnel and design office – all things that are quite relevant.” May has been out to the last two Little America’s Cups and on one occasion C-Class guru Steve Clark let him sail his solid wingsail LAC winner, Cogito. The obvious issue with the solid wing on the foiling Moth is the capsize problem. As Fred Eaton’s C-Class team recently discovered, solid wings don’t like collisions with water, particularly at speed. And that was on a stable catamaran platform. A solid wing, precariously perched on top of a foiling Moth??? May says that this has been foremost in his mind. “I thought if you could make one light enough you could make it survivable in terms of the structure. If you do a full-on crash, then yes it probably won’t survive. But then I thought ‘when was the last time I did a full-on crash?’ And actually the boats have got controllable enough now, that most of the capsizes now are more silly ones, like you get a tack wrong and it is a very gentle lay down. So I planned that it would be able to survive casual use.

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