Altair Extends Its Sailing Heritage at the F18 Catamaran World Championships in Kiel, Germany

Altair’s products have been fundamental in the most prestigious professional sailing events for over two decades. Starting in 1995 with the PACT95 Young America entry, followed by supporting America’s Cup Teams AmericaOne in 2000 and Luna Rossa in 2006, then the winning 65-foot yacht of Groupama sailing team in the 2012 Volvo Ocean Race. Earlier this year, Team Artemis announced Altair as technology partner in the team’s bid for the 35th America’s Cup.

The partnership with Artemis includes use of Altair’s technology and expertize in areas of wingsail foiling catamaran design such as composites development, aerodynamics simulation, structural optimization, and fluid-structure interaction.

So, even though we do not build Formula 18 (F18) catamarans, we do have a long history of engineering for extremely competitive sailing campaigns. Plus, many of us share a passion for sailing.

As one of these avid sailors, I am excited to be sailing at this year’s F18 World Championship in my home country with my great friend and an accomplished sailor, Sebastien Gouin-Davis, Vice President of Products at Amatis Controls. Sebastien has a long list of successful races in his sailing career, including the 2012 edition of the F18 World Championships in Long Beach, California, where he finished 50th out of 115 teams. My sailing experience extends to 33 years now with 19 years in racing catamarans. I have sailed in many races including the memorable 2003 Daimler Chrysler North Atlantic Challenge from Newport, Rhode Island to Hamburg, Germany, several North American Championships, as well as the 2012 F18 World Championship in Long Beach.

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The 2015 F18 Worlds Championship is hosted by the Kieler Yacht-Club, and staged on the well-known Kieler Woche race area. The greatly anticipated weeklong championship has 200 registered catamarans racing, with sailors from 24 countries. Long-term rivalries will be reignited and most importantly, newer and faster boats, which continue to evolve with lighter materials and higher performance, will prove their worth on the water.

The high-performance F18 catamaran is defined by a box rule dictating parameters, such as strict requirements on the weight of the boat and crew, sail area, width, building materials, and more. These rules are certified by an international standardized measurement and all boats must undergo a check to ensure compliance on the first two days of the event, and as a result, all boats appear be very similar. On the other hand, it is possible to use our solvers to optimize the structural performance, aero- and hydrodynamics to develop a more efficient design!

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The registrations and weigh-in of the boats will take place Saturday, July 11th to Monday, July 13th. A practice race will be held on Monday with the opening ceremony and dinner. The race will officially begin on Tuesday, July 14th and concludes on Saturday, July 18th with the championship prize ceremony. The first two days of the race will be qualifiers to divide the teams into a gold and silver fleet. Many of the teams consist of professional sailors, and many former and hopeful Olympic teams will use this event as an opportunity to compete with the world’s best sailors. Live video coverage and tracking will be provided to the public on the event page throughout the championship race.


To represent Altair and our continuous support and solutions for the world’s leading sailing events and F18 catamarans, our boat will proudly fly the Altair flag high. Follow the championship on Facebook, and look for us on the water!

Ulrich (Uli) Gollwitzer
Ulrich (Uli) Gollwitzer

About Ulrich (Uli) Gollwitzer

Uli is currently the Marketing Manager for HyperWorks® at Altair. He joined Altair Germany in 2004 as an Application Engineer, and moved to Altair Troy Headquarter in 2007 as Program Manager for solver interfaces. He has over 10 years of experience and knowledge in the CAE market and Altair’s core products. In his current role, he is the technical link between the software teams and the marketing team. He provides technical contents, as well as production of video testimonials and promotional product clips, to employees and the public. Uli holds a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Würzburg and a Master's Degree from the University of Bochum.