French launch design competition
While it is probable that the 33rd America’s Cup will be run on a multihull yacht exclusively between the defender Alinghi (SNG) and the challenger BMW Oracle (GGYC), Marc Pajot, CEO and team manager of Team French Spirit is already looking towards the 34th edition of this event:
“France has extensive know-how regarding yacht design and development, but this knowledge needs to be consolidated and organised in order to have the means to work on a long term basis. With the new AC 90 class rule, this year is the perfect opportunity to bring together the bases of a highly qualified and talented design team”
Bertrand Pacé, helmsman number one, also in charge of relations with the Design Team, said: “In terms of conception and design, a new hand has been dealt” says
The competitiveness of the future yacht depends greatly on the quality of the design team, formed by around 15 hydro-dynamic and aero-dynamic engineers, all of whom will be managed by a technical director and a pool of designers. The goal is to create a group of high level specialists who are able to work together closely to find out the best compromise in regard with the designer views and the regatta location specificities, in order to attain the ultimate performance while respecting the boundaries set by the new AC 90 rule.
It is in order to build up that ideal team, to identify talent, tools and means, that Team French Spirit decided to develop an innovative strategy and has thus invited the main French and international naval architect firms to participate in the “Designer Competition” under the presidency of Phillipe Gouard, technical director of the French sailing federation.
Six French and two foreign naval architects will be selected to take part in the Designer Contest, which is held in cooperation with DGA’s tank testing facilities in Val de Reuil and the Ecole Centrale in Nantes.
After having established a point of reference by looking at standard boat models, the selection will take into account the overall global analysis of the projects, hull performance based on water-tank testing and digital simulations, as well as
- Innovations of the project in terms of design
- Resources of the designer’s office
A team of experts has been put together under the presidency of Philippe Gouard technical director of the French Sailing Federation (FFV) form the Selection Panel:
- Bertrand Alessandrini : Hydrodynamics
- Bruno Dubois : Sail designer
- Jacques & Nicolas Fauroux, Naval architects
- Bertrand Pacé : Helmsman Nr 1 & in charge of the Design Team
- Frank de Rivoyre : Structural engineer
- Yann Roux : Aerodynamics, VPP & coordination