America's team BMW Oracle Racing (BOR) has taken full advantage of a "wide open" set of design rules for this year's America's Cup to produce one of the most staggering and ambitious vessels ever seen on the water. Throwing out the cloth main sail, team BOR have fitted the BOR 90 with a gargantuan, motorized, solid carbon-fiber wing, nearly twice the size of a Boeing 747 wing at 190ft, or 57 metres tall. The engineering and logistics surrounding this incredible boat are mind-boggling - imagine trying to work out where to store the giant wing structure, how to transport it and how to fix it vertically onto a boat - let alone how to sail the thing - but the benefits of a non-deforming main sail include the potential for the multimillion-dollar trimaran to travel at up to 2.5 times wind speed. It's a crazy, massively expensive and hugely risky experiment that's never even been prototyped, and will only get a few weeks' worth of testing before it races in February.
Read the full article: Genius or lunacy? BMW Oracle Racing team set to wing it for the 2010 America's Cup