To add insult to injury, Wild Oats also has a diesel engine which has to be used anytime it is sailing. This runs the canting keel, and substitutes for men on the coffee grinders raising and lowering sails!
To equal the performance of a cruise ship, a super-maxi would need to do the Sydney to Hobart trip in around 30 hours at a speed of 21 knots. This doesn't ever seem likely as, while super-maxis can do more than 33 knots in the right wind conditions, they have to be right.
Happy to revisit this post in 10 years, and see whether anything changes, but my guess is that the days of hundreds of percent gains in efficiency are over for wind, and that while some incremental improvements might be wrung out it will be small percentages.
I think the same is also likely to be true for wind turbines. Physics and budgets are not infinitely elastic.
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