Innovative approach reduces technology development costs for teams
AC72 mock-up. Image copyright America's Cup.
by Stephanie Martin
For the first time ever in the America’s Cup, a shared design program is being offered to the entered teams to jump-start designs of the fast, high-tech AC72s, the new wing-sailed catamarans to be launched next year.
With the surge of new teams that just entered the 34th America’s Cup, the 15 teams that met last week’s entry deadline now have the opportunity to share in an initial design package from an international team of proven industry leaders.
“We gave the design and research team a simple brief: give us your best shot at a winning design,” said Iain Murray, America’s Cup Race Management CEO and Regatta Director. ACRM developed the concept and sourced international design and technology leaders to start designing a package for the new wing-sailed AC72.
“This solution is being offered to close the gap on the front-runners, and provide all teams, large and small, the opportunity to be competitive within the time remaining before racing starts in the new AC72 catamarans next year,” Murray said. “Technology is a critical piece of a Cup-winning program and we want to ensure teams have access to the right people and the latest tools to design a fast boat while still managing their costs.”
The ACRM AC 72 will be comprised of a platform designed by high-performance multihull design leaders VPLP of France and a wing and sail package designed by the North Technology Group (NTG), a global company headquartered in the USA. Both VPLP and NTG have assembled an international team of their top talent across all areas of the design and structures spectrum. The project will be coordinated for ACRM by Andy Claughton. Michel Marie is ACRM’s technical consultant for VPLP and NTG.
The package will meet a wide range of requirements, from a “turn key” package for the first time entrant, to a baseline design that a competitor can develop once their own design team is established.
“The concept still allows for creative input from competitors, preserving the basic principles inherent in the Cup allowing for competition in both the technology arena as well as sailing skill,” Murray said. “It simply short-cuts the time needed on the front-end design work, provides some of the world’s best thinking on this new Cup design challenge, and reduces the investment needed to develop a yacht capable of winning the 34th America’s Cup.”
The ACRM design team includes:
VPLP – Platform Design
Vincent Lauriot Prévost
HDS – Structures
Yacht Research Unit Kiel @ Univ. Applied Sciences Kiel -- CFD/ Flow Analysis
North Technology Group – Wing
Wayne Smith (Southern Spars)
Pete Lawson (Southern Spars)