Designing foiling technology in a bid to win America’s Cup

19th May 2017
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Designing foiling technology in a bid to win America’s Cup

Together Altair and Artemis Racing have applied design and simulation technology to help place Artemis Racing in a position to take it all in the 35th America’s Cup. The design of the daggerboards – foils that lift the boat out of the water to break the drag barrier – will be a critical differentiator between the competing teams as they have a significant impact on a boat’s performance.

The Altair and Artemis Racing technical teams have placed a great deal of emphasis on perfecting these composite material structures.

“Technology plays a huge part in the America’s Cup,” said Iain Percy, Team Manager and On-Water Tactician for Artemis Racing. “It’s been said the fastest boat has won the America’s Cup for the last 160 years and I’m not sure that is about to change. The daggerboard is the appendage that we fly the boat off and also transfers side force into driving force. Millimeters of difference make knots of difference so the optimal manufacturing and design of the daggerboard is absolutely critical.”

The teams have focused much of their effort on optimising the strength, shapes and thicknesses, and how water and wind interact with daggerboards using a simulation-driven design approach. To accomplish this, Artemis Racing used several Altair technologies from the HyperWorks suite including:

  • HyperMesh complex composite material finite element model development
  • OptiStruct for structural analysis and optimisation
  • RADIOSS for nonlinear, large deflection analysis

Two sets of daggerboards were created to withstand the unexpected challenges from Mother Nature – one pair designed to perform optimally in heavier winds and waves and another for lighter wind and wave conditions – both designed to rapidly lift the boat from the water with minimum drag.

“The tools that we use are at the forefront of the industries,” said Brett Ellis, Lead Engineering for daggerboards and rudders. “We are working to tight tolerances and small differences in section shapes on the daggerboards can lead to relatively big gains on the water. We are all pushing hard and pushing the design limits to win that America’s Cup.”

"The technology involved in designing these boats is a critical component to providing a speed edge for the teams vying for the win," said Uwe Schramm, Chief Technology Officer, Altair. “It was an honor to collaborate with the Artemis Racing design team and apply our design and simulation technologies to create a world-class sailing vessel.”

Artemis Racing represents Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet (KSSS – the Royal Swedish Yacht Club), the fifth-oldest yacht club in the world. Artemis Racing has a multinational crew comprised of the most successful and respected sailors and designers in the world. The sailing team members have participated in 12 America’s Cup campaigns and competed in 21 Olympics Games, winning 11 medals, seven of which were Gold. Additionally, Artemis’ engineers, boat builders and support team have been involved in 64 America’s cup campaigns, including 14 victories. Altair has released a short film documentary titled ‘Surface To Air’ that was developed to celebrate the hard work and innovation that is positioning Artemis Racing to win the 35th America’s Cup.

You can follow Artemis Racing’s journey in the 35th Americas Cup in Bermuda here.


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