Sail GP tour with the RYA

I was kindly invited by the RYA, through LTSC, to take a tour of the sail GP facilities in Southampton at the beginning of August.

I met up with 15 other young sailors and the RYA instructors by the docks in Southampton. When I arrived, I saw all of the big tents with the long elegant hulls in them. Our first stop was the GBR tent where we saw all the behind the scenes work that goes into putting the boats on the water. We found out that the flight control (the foil height) controls the height of the boat on the foils and stops the boat from going too high and nose-diving.

Next we saw the wing (mainsail) and discovered that it has to hold 4 tonnes of pressure. The material of the wing was a thick clingfilm that is heated onto the carbon fibre encapsulating the strong material.

Our final stop was the foils area and we learnt the core dynamics of how they work, which was really interesting. We saw a foil that was being worked on and because the boat goes so fast the pressure had started to wear away part of the foil. Before we left, we were lucky enough to see the American boat lifted out of the water, the tour guide told us that the ribs had two, 300 hp engines but still could not keep up with the F50s on a good day! We all got a Rooster Sail GP hat and loved the awesome experience.

Thanks to the RYA and LTSC for inviting me to take the tour and a huge thanks to sail GP for making this happen.


Harry George