Last weekend was a victory for Altair and Artemis Racing as “our” Americas Cup team – who signed a technical supplier contract with Altair in early 2015 – won the Chicago edition of the Louis Vuitton Americas Cup World Series (ACWS) (spectacular short video here).
Oracle Team USA is defending their 2013 America’s Cup win, and are racing against five Louis Vuitton ACWS teams vying to qualify as the sole challenger in the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda. Chicago was the second of 6 events throughout this year.
The ACWS boats are breathtakingly spectacular and entirely different from a traditional sailboat: They are 45 foot long and have a 70ft high mast carrying a rigid sail similar to an airplane wing. L-shaped daggerboards are able to lift these boats out of the water, even in just 10 knots of wind. Due to the usage of composite materials, the boats weigh only about 1320kg (2910 lbs) and can reach 40 mph. Even for experienced sailors they are an unreal sight, as they seem like otherworldly giant mosquitos flying at low altitude.
Team Artemis not only won, but also showed the most consistent performance of all teams over the weekend which bodes well for technology performing on the edge of possibility.
Lots of work is left for the team, especially when the format switches to the 50 foot Americas Cup catamarans towards the end of the year. Altair’s technology can represent a real advantage for Artemis Racing here: While the class rules prescribe many parameters, such as width, length and weights of the boat and its individual parts, there is still lots of room for interpretation and optimization. Our experience in composites optimization, CFD simulation and fluid structure optimization will be adding huge value to the engineers of Team Artemis.
Meanwhile we wish the crew around double Olympic Gold medalist and Team Manager Ian Percy all the best for their next event in Portsmouth July 21st – 24th!
Stay tuned for more updates.