Pyewacket's canting keel can be seen clearly under the water as the boat flies downwind Photo - Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
Sailing is often likened to standing under the shower tearing up hundred dollar bills. Unless you race in a stellar class such as Maxi Yacht's that is - then you can add a few zeroes to the denominations you're turning into confetti. In early September, 2004, the class got more expensive to run - way more expensive, thanks to the advent of the canting keel. Every boat running at the pointy end of the racing in what are effectively the world championships for Maxi yachts had one of the new canting keels, relegating last year's champ, Alfa Romeo, into sixth place. Before the event, Alfa Romeo had won 70 straight races. Such was the increased pace, Alfa Romeo did not score one rostrum position in six races.