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America's cup and sailing terminology

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Packard, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English

    The latest America's Cup racing competition allowed catamaran hulls and air foil "sails" (which would be more accurately called "wings"). The tall main sail had a fabric covered structure that did not capture the wind but rather behaved like a aircraft's wing. It allowed the boats to travel faster than the wind that was driving them.

    See: http://www.americascup.com/en/news/...-vs-spithill-for-winner-take-all-race-at-1315


    Should these be called "wing" boats?
  2. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    I suppose they could be, but nobody calls them that. The term "sailboat" for a vessel smaller than a ship and powered by wind is well established. It exists, today, independently of the two words from which it was originally derived.

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