Mallorca by Land, Air and Sea

Flying TF10 Trimaran Exceeds Expectations During Mediterranean Sea Trials

Friday, 27 October 2017


Port Ginesta, Spain (27 October 2017) – An unending parade of reporters, racers, and prospective owners
became acquainted with the leading edge in sailing technology this month with the all-new TF10 foiling
trimaran, the first sailing boat in history designed from the ground up to provide an exhilarating yet
unintimidating flying experience to sailors of all skill levels.


Thanks to an ingenious combination of Z-Foil Technology and electronic foil control, the TF10 replicates
much of the performance of a modern foiling America’s Cup boat but without the crashes, flips, or power
requirements: The 36-foot long racing sailboat is versatile and exciting in all weather, easily sailing at 2-3
times the wind speed in lighter air and comfortably flying along at 25-30 knots in stiffer breeze.


Designed by Southern California-based Morrelli & Melvin, the same team behind both the first foiling
multihull (Team New Zealand’s AC72 Aotearoa) and the foiling Olympic catamaran, the TF10 was
commissioned by a group of Newport, Rhode Island-based sailing enthusiasts looking for something
entirely different.


“As a group, we knew we wanted something that pushed the boundaries of what is possible in foiling boat
design, and it looks like the designers and builders have created something completely unique and
exceptional,” said Dr. Malcolm Gefter, owner of Hull # 1 and the driving force behind the new boat and
class. Dr. Gefter explained that he and rest of the TF-10’s first owners are all experienced racers trying to
create a class with state-of-the-art performance but without the kind of “arms race” and cost escalation
from which most grand prix sailing classes suffer.


Netherlands-based builder DNA Performance Sailing conducted two valuable weeks of sailing and sea
trials along Spain’s Costa Brava, assisted by multiple catamaran racing World Champion and DNA advisor
Mischa Heemskerk , who said the learning curve was ‘steep but manageable.’ “We’ve had dozens of
people steering and crewing the boat here in 14 days, and not a single person got off the boat without a
big smile on their face,” said Heemskerk, referring to not only potential customers, but also the journalist
judges who came specifically to Spain to test the TF10 and several other yachts nominated for the
prestigious European Yacht of the Year competition. “A number of the journalists seemed uncomfortable
at first, going from the other champagne-filled charter yachts to our little speed racer, but after a few
minutes behind the tiller, we couldn’t get them to put it down!” he said.


As the testing period entered its final phase on Wednesday morning, a perfect Northerly breeze rolled in.
Led by Heemskerk at the helm, the full crew immediately set off for another session, this time with
Spanish yachting photographer Tomàs Moya in tow. With a crew of experienced sailors aboard the racing
yacht and for the first time, no guests, crew continued to test new settings without drama. The boat easily
accelerated past 25 knots in the quiet, flat water - a perfect beginning to a day scheduled for the new
owner’s first sail since the boat was splashed in Holland early this summer. Just minutes into the sail, a
loud “Bang” announced that the day wasn’t as perfect as they’d hoped: the high-modulus carbon fiber
mast crumpled to the deck immediately, breaking in parts on the way down.


A-Class and F-18 catamaran world champion Heemskerk is no stranger to dismastings, especially with
his extensive work on the fastest and most modern of foiling boats, but he was surprised to see the mast
let go in such light air. “It seems we may be quite a bit faster than the simulations predicted, which
means we could be developing too much power for the mast design,” said the Dutch racer, who said
breakages have been an important part of the development of all foiling boats – especially the big ones.
“Foiling in big yachts has only been possible for a few short years, so sea and sail trials are an extremely
important tool to find the weak links in these cutting-edge designs,” he said.


Heemskerk said the yacht’s designers and builders are already investigating the breakage to determine
what modifications are needed before the production run gets fully underway, and they’re confident the
fix isn’t complicated. “The silver lining here is that we had a great month of sailing with a respectable
showing for the Yacht of the Year competition, we learned a ton about the boat, and aside from the mast
and a couple of insignificant bits and pieces, the boat performed flawlessly,” said Heemskerk.


As a longtime research scientist and pharmaceutical inventor, Gefter knows firsthand the tough road that
innovation can require, and the former Professor of Biochemistry Emeritus at MIT was introspective
when he saw the topless racing machine sitting at the dock. “The first of what my students used to call
‘Gefter’s Laws’ may apply here: If an experiment comes up with exactly what the result you wanted on the
first try, you will never be able to replicate that experiment again,” said the former professor, adding that
“We wanted to change this sport, which is why we picked designers and a builder who truly understand
how to push the envelope, and if it doesn’t break in the experimental phase, you just are not trying
enough.”


Dr. Gefter said he was pleased the team was working so hard to identify any issues, and that he was
confident the boat would ready to race in South Florida over the coming winter.
Photos rights free for editorial use with credit: Tomàs Moya/DNA Performance Sailing.


Full specs on the TF10 as well as other DNA Performance Sailing products here.
For media or sales information, contact: Thijs van Riemsdijk, dna@hollandcomposites.nl, +31320281877
Sign up for the TF10 Newsletter here: https://www.tf10class.com

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Last Updated ( Friday, 27 October 2017 )