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Meet the new America's Cup 'flying yacht' making big waves

By Sheena McKenzie, for CNN and Adam Dunnakey, CNN
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Introducing AC72 -- the new America's Cup yacht
  • Much smaller, lighter and faster than predecessor
  • But with greater speed has also come some safety concerns
  • Follows death of Andrew Simpson, after yacht capsized during training

Editor's note: MainSail is CNN's monthly sailing show, exploring the sport of sailing, luxury travel and the latest in design and technology

(CNN) -- Never underestimate the little guy.

At just 22 meters long, the new hi-tech America's Cup yacht is more than three meters shorter than its predecessor.

But that hasn't stopped the $10 million boat -- dubbed AC72 after its 72-foot hull -- making big waves in the sailing world.

Read: 162 years of America's Cup design

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The super sleek yacht makes its America's Cup debut this year, replacing the larger 25-meter ACC, which first raced in 1992.

Along with its shorter hull, the new vessel will also have far fewer members on board -- down from around 17 to 11.

But if you thought its smaller size and smaller crew made it less speedy, think again.

The new yacht features two hulls, giving it the appearance of a "flying boat," and helping it to cut across the water with ease.

Read: Futuristic 'flying boat' chases speed record

But with greater speed -- around 40 knots -- comes greater safety concerns.

Earlier this year, British Olympic gold medalist Andrew "Bart" Simpson was killed when the AC72 he was training on capsized in San Francisco Bay.

Read: Remembering Andrew Simpson

As the 34th America's Cup kicks off in San Francisco next month, all eyes will be on the new fleet of futuristic -- and stripped back -- vessels.

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