AC75 Luna Rossa:
designed to fly

In sailing, as in motorcycling, technological development is driven by aerodynamics.

Racing and competition have always served to drive the most extreme technological innovation. And it’s no coincidence that in sailing, as in motorcycling, the playing field is increasingly focused on one particular element – the air.

Ducati was the first MotoGP team to introduce winged appendages in a systematic way, to reduce floating of the front wheel and increase the bike’s stability in both acceleration and braking. This gave way to an unprecedented period of technological evolution, with all teams working to design and develop their own new aerodynamic solutions.

The AC75
challenge

The AC75 sailboats that competed in the latest America’s Cup also mark a turning point in the history of sailing. These 75-foot, 6.5-ton monohulls stunned everyone with their lateral foils, thanks to which they can literally fly across the surface of the water.

This is made possible by the fact that the wing eliminates the resistance of the hull. The latter no longer needs to be immersed in order to balance the boat, because its resistance is replaced by that of the wing, the lift of which generates a righting moment.

Faster than
the wind

On reaching its threshold speed, the AC75 soars, with only 2% of its overall surface remaining immersed in the water. Once in the air, it can sail at twice the speed of the wind, reaching up to 50 knots (over 90 km/h). 

An incredible figure, which highlights the level of technical excellence these monohulls have achieved. A class of vessel that is light-years ahead of anything that has been seen on the water until now and that projects the sailing world into a new era.

The air is fundamental when it comes to the speed of a motorcycle. Beyond 100 km/h, aerodynamic resistance becomes the greatest obstacle to the bike’s progress. More so than the friction of the tyres or the gradient of the road. The air also generates what we call vertical force, or lift, which affects the phases of braking, acceleration, and cornering.

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