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Kiwis Reach Record Speed in AC 72-Foot Catamaran

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Bay Area's Laurence Scott breaks down Thursday's highlights from the America's Cup. (Published Thursday, Jul 18, 2013)

    Emirates Team New Zealand has established a top speed for America's Cup 72-foot catamarans, hitting 44.15 knots, or 50.8 mph, on San Francisco Bay.
     
    The Kiwis set the mark on the first reaching leg as they sailed alone around the course to collect another point in the Louis Vuitton Cup for challengers. The scheduled opponent, Artemis Racing, has yet to race as it works to get its second boat launched following the fatal capsize of its first boat on May 9.

      The Kiwis' top speed on Thursday translates to 81.7 kilometers per hour or 74.5 feet per second. The wind speed on the leg peaked at 15.8 knots.
     
    The team's previous best mark was 43.26 knots, or 49.78 mph, set July 9 in slightly stronger winds.
     
    The cats generate their speed thanks to wing-shaped mainsails and hydrofoils that reduce drag.