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Dario Valenza along with many others (including me) has been doing much research on foils-particularly for the A Class. This is a segment published Wednesday December 10, 2014: Active foils with mechanical sensors tend to be at a disadvantage in light winds and marginal foiling conditions because there is a drag penalty associated with the control system. In non-foiling conditions the sensors can be disconnected and retracted. But then no lift is available so any puffs would see the passive boat move ahead in foil-assisted mode. Arguably the active setup is also heavier depending on where the sensors are located and how they connect to the foils. So on a small cat the passive foil would have the competitive edge in very light winds. The exact crossover remains a subject of investigation and will be found to depend on variables such as displacement/length ratio, sail area/wetted area ratio and the exact design of the foils... Once foiling the active system requires less deliberate correction by the skipper. This favours the less advanced sailor but probably makes little difference to the nuanced expert who is constantly making adjustments by muscle memory. The crucial difference is this: An active foil can be smaller for a given takeoff speed because lift coefficient can be maximized when needed and dialed out when not required. You can have an aggressively cambered foil on takeoff and a flat low-drag one at high speeds. This is not impossible with passive foils. For example, the section used in the upper portion can have more camber than the one used near the tips. But the compromise is more critical. It is more difficult to have early takeoff and low drag at high speeds.