Sport: Water
Zero buoyancy sailing.   (+9)  [vote for, against]
Foiling sailboats with no hulls.

This is a sailboat race with sailboats with no hulls. There is a mast and a foil and some dealios for the sailors to hook into, so they can swing from port to starboard to shift weight and pull lines as appropriate. They all wear wetsuits, because if the boat stalls, it sinks straight down.

The race only starts on very windy days and from a starting launch where the boats can fill their sails with wind before they slide into the water and are released into the skilled hands of their sailors.

The course is a there and back course and therefore requires tacking and jibbing and maybe some boom vang malarkey.

Rescue boats with hulls exist. Any boat that sinks can yank a cord to inflate a big yellow rubber hull in the shape of a duck, and be towed back to the docks in shame.
-- mylodon, Mar 14 2019

Hydrofoil Windsurfing (funnily enough, was on the news here just a few days ago...) [neutrinos_shadow, Mar 15 2019]

Hydrofoil Kitesurfing [neutrinos_shadow, Mar 15 2019]

Sort-of related...
Hydrofoil surfing (often on "Big Waves") [neutrinos_shadow, Mar 15 2019]

My gut instinct is this will be too fine a balance for a skilled sailor to control. Having forward and aft weight (doesn't have to be buoyant), not unlike the knitting needle balance toys, makes it easier to work sail forces into forward motion. Sailors will have to pole themselves out somehow to get a force triangle on sail. They can't just hang.
-- wjt, Mar 14 2019

For sure, As long as it is not buoyant, you can make whatever structure you like. So you could actually make a hull shaped thing, but with an open bottom. Then you can have traditional rigging. But my guess is, without a hill that can be used for displacement sailing, boats may forgo a traditional look.

So I guess it could also be called zero displacement sailing, or zero dislacemnt-for-the-purpose-of- bouyance sailing.
-- mylodon, Mar 14 2019

This is brilliant.

Don't need the inflatable emergency thing though. Just put a float pontoon at the top of the mast. It lets the thing sink and only keeps the unit from sinking to the bottom of the body of water.

Have the automatically inflating duck shaped lifesaver thing be worn by the loser.
-- doctorremulac3, Mar 14 2019

Isn't this essentially kite-surfing? My understanding of kitesurfing is that, if you're doing it right, the buoyancy of the board is mostly irrelevant.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 14 2019

I think the difference is the whole boat sinks if you get below a certain speed. Kit surfing you're sort of treading water until you catch the wind to pull you along and it's just you and a little board, not a whole boat.

With this you get one shot. Races would be cool because some of the contenders wouldn't get back to the finish line at all. They'd be towed back in their little inflatable ducks of shame.
-- doctorremulac3, Mar 14 2019

hmmm, okay my entry is going to be a trimaran hydrofoil with an adjustable drogue chute then.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Mar 15 2019

You know there's a cheaper way to do this. You could just outfit existing sailboats with trap doors in the hull that pop open if the boat goes below a certain speed.
-- doctorremulac3, Mar 15 2019

This is so crazy, it just might work! As with the foiling America's Cup cats and mono-hulls, the foil would be well to lee-ward (so have 2; 1 is normally up out of the water); the force on the sail (wingsail if you're rich enough...) counterbalances the weight of the craft. Somewhere to put your feet (part of the top of the un-used foil), harness line from the top of the mast, go!
-- neutrinos_shadow, Mar 15 2019

I am imagining weights like a competition archery bow forward and aft. And I would suggest training floaties, for restarts before leaping into a top level no restart competition.

This does sound like a cartoon with a sailor leaning off a lone mast and sail travelling through the ocean with an unseen hydrofoil creating all the magic.
-- wjt, Mar 16 2019

random, halfbakery