The 35th America’s Cup

Repeatedly, the simulation produced counterintuitive results which were later proven to be superior on the racecourse.

The Problem

The 35th America’s Cup was contested in wing-sailed foiling catamarans, boats that fly above the water and sail upwind at three times the wind-speed. The question is, what’s the best way to manoeuvre these boats through tacks and gybes to maintain speed and make the best progress down the course. Traditional sailing knowledge is useless in this era of superfast flying boats.

The Model

Working closely with our America’s Cup client, Canopy built a new boat model from the ground up, specifically with simulation via collocation in mind. The wing, the jib, the foils, and the rudders were all represented as force maps, parameterized from CFD. The representation of the racecourse was crafted to lend itself to collocation.

The Simulation

We can’t say too much about this simulation, as it belongs to our client. What we can say is that it learnt more about sailing wing-sailed foiling catamarans in the first 25s of its existence than most AC designers have learnt in their lifetimes. Repeatedly the simulation produced counterintuitive results which were later proven to be superior on the racecourse.

The Exploitation

Running our simulation on their cluster day and night, our client learnt how to sail their boat and found the true performance of their designs, informing the development of foils, rudders, and systems which improved boatspeed, not just in a straight line, but around the course as a whole, including the crucial tacks and gybes.

The Future

With a large upheaval in regulations for the 36th America’s Cup, we’re looking forward to helping our clients get a head start on the competition.