Meet The Orca
Of all the wild and wonderful new foiling designs on show this summer during the 2016 edition of The Foiling Week on Italy’s Lake Garda, a sexy prototype 15-foot t-foiler called the Orca stood head and shoulders above the rest.
Fundamentally the Orca is a Moth on steroids that blends stunning aesthetics with smart design and innovative engineering. The result is a boat that is a genuine thing of beauty that turns heads ashore and afloat.
“If you think of the Moth as being a Europe dinghy, then the Orca is more Finn sized,” explained Italian Giovanni Galeotti, who co-designed the Orca with Tristan Trajan of TrisDesign.
“We have scaled things up to make the boat more accessible for bigger guys and maybe also make it capable of carrying a passenger. Compared to the Moth we have given it a bit more beam and a taller rig with a higher aspect ratio to get greater aerodynamic efficiency.”
The Orca project is still very much at the prototype stage. Prior to The Foiling Week the boat had hardly any testing time at all. Nevertheless, Galeotti said he was leaving Lake Garda mightily encouraged by the boat’s all round performance.
“It's extremely early days,” he said. “You could say we're completely crazy because we had sailed maybe 60 minutes before coming here and it's a little bit bold to go sailing in front of others when you have that little time behind you on the water.
“I'm not going to draw too many conclusions because the total time is now still under three hours, so we definitely need more time. What I can say is that the boat’s speed potential is patently very large. Its light air performance is extremely promising - rather better than Moth’s potentially.”
Pricing has not been established at this stage as Galeotti is yet to define which target markets the Orca might best fit into.
“We may develop a GT version which will be very user friendly and aimed at the high-end fun market,” Galeotti said. “Perhaps you might have one on your superyacht to go for a blast around when you feel the need for speed – either on your own or with a passenger.
“We can tune the GT so that it flies relatively low - maybe just a foot or a foot and a half off the water – but because of the improved aerodynamic efficiency the boat is still very fast even flying low.”
A full race version of the boat that could appeal to a wider range of sailor body sizes than the Moth is also a possibility.
“Maybe this would give an opportunity to some of the up and coming sailors who are not established names and don't have the credibility behind them to generate big sponsorship budgets, by giving them a chance to get involved at a relatively low cost,” Galeotti explained.
An experienced Moth sailor in his own right, Galeotti plans to utilise that experience along with input from other Moth sailors to drive the Orca’s development.
“That's one of the reasons why I stuck to a boat type close to the Moth because there's such a wealth of knowledge and so many great sailors in that class. Being able to use them as a resource is very valuable to us.
“They're all keen to help out because we are trying to create something that many of them eventually might go out and race.”
More details on the Orca project will be posted at the official website HERE.
[Main image Gianni Armiraglio]