Video: Inside America’s Cup testing at Land Rover BAR HQ

2016-11-11By Chris Jefferies

Land Rover BAR has given an insight into the aerodynamic testing that has gone into designing its America’s Cup raceboat.

The final design for each team’s ACC boat is not due to be confirmed until early 2017, but this video gives a good insight into how Ben Ainslie’s team is developing its foiling catamaran.

Tony Harper, Director of Research at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “This engineering process is similar to processes we use at Jaguar Land Rover to assess how our vehicles respond at high speeds. Our aim is to minimise the effect of aerodynamic forces that act to deform parts of the vehicle.”

A key weapon in Land Rover BAR’s technological arsenal is Fluid Structure Interaction, a piece of software that combines aerodynamic data measuring the performance of the rigid wing sail with structural analysis of its deformation.

The result is that Land Rover BAR can more accurately calculate how much stress they can put their boat under before parts start to fail. Despite the high-tech nature of the America’s Cup catamarans, this is a very real risk, as the recent SoftBank Team Japan accident during on-water testing in Bermuda proved.

Richard Hopkirk, engineering manager at Land Rover BAR, added: “We expect to see real gains out on the water next summer as a result of this work. With the America’s Cup, we could have the best sailors in the world, but it’s just as much about the design of the final boat which will give us the cutting edge next summer.”

Land Rover BAR currently sits 14 points clear at the top of the overall America’s Cup World Series leaderboard heading into this month’s ACWS Fukuoka event, which takes place over the weekend of November 18-20.