The Science Of Sailing

Details

Event

George E. Pake Auditorium 2003-02-27

Speakers

Event

The Science Of Sailing

In February 2003, New Zealand is defending the America's Cup, the longest-running sports competition in the world, against a challenger selected from nine syndicates by a series of two-boat elimination races beginning in October 2002. The would-be challengers came from syndicates based in France, Great Britain, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. Some syndicates have spent $80 million on their campaigns. Computer systems are increasingly used during the design (particularly modeling the hydrodynamic behavior of hulls and keels, and aerodynamic forces generated by sails), design iterations (building a database of performance parameters and boat configurations during months of two-boat testing), and as aids to tactical decisions during actual races (navigation and performance data for one's own boat, as well as the opposition). The colloquium will cover the design process (modeling, tank and wind tunnel testing, and two-boat tuning), dealing with design tradeoffs, such as lift and drag of keels, and those tradeoffs stemming from the design rule, such as between boat length, displacement, and sail area. Progress in construction materials since the first Cup Race in 1851 will be outlined.

Finally, some novel designs such as the Australian winged keel in 1983 and the Kiwi clip-on in 2003 will be analyzed.

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