Category America’s Cup

World Yacht Racing Forum

ST was represented by Founder Doug Schickler at the WYRF in Estoril this year. He attended mostly the parallel Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium, where noted speakers from top design firms, sail and rig makers, and boat builders discussed the state of the industry from various angles.

The upcoming 34th America’s Cup and the changing TP52 circuit were of key interest. The newly minted HPR (High Performance Rule) targeted at the top of the racing rule pyramid was introduced. ST has taken no breaks on this front, getting immediately involved in the details of this yet-to-be-finalized rule, and offering our opinion on what makes sense. We look forward to seeing the first HPR40′s coming out of China in the first months of 2012.

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Evening of Sails

Davide has been invited to speak this week at an exclusive round table on the technology of racing yachts, especially the America’s Cup.

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Whites Dragons

We want to congratulate Fabrizio Dragoni and Edoardo Bianchi, collectively Whites Dragons (FB, or site) for the first successful flights of their catamaran! Schickler Tagliapietra was a tutor and supporter of this project through the process of design, particularly in regards structures. We look forward to more developments in the future.

Below is an excerpt from some recent press releases:


The main goal was to create an easy boat, simple to transport, which can be sailed on foils instinctively, hardly different than a regular cat. Further, it had to be tremendously fast.

Design and Construction:

The two students designed and ultimately self-built this 2 person hydrofoil cat, almost exclusively of carbon fibre. Working with carbon A class hulls as a starting point, and borrowing the sail plan and mast directly from the Tornado class, they were well on their way. Simulation based design, tutored by Davide Tagliapietra, focussed on flight dynamics, VPP, foil hydrodynamics (CFD) and accurate dimensioning of newly built components using Finite Element (FEA).

Principal Data

  • LOA 7m
  • LWL 5.5m
  • Beam 4m (!)
  • All up weight 125kg
  • Mainsail area 16.35 m2
  • Genneker ca. 17-20 m2

By October the boat was sailing regularly and the results were convincing. Speeds over 20 knots with only the main have been achieved. With the genneker, the boat was able to fly in about 6 knots of wind.

North Sails Carasco

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OpenFOAM developments

OpenFOAM is one of two CFD packages that are under consideration at ST for our internal CFD research and ultimately FSI solutions.

In the last months OpenFOAM has been implemented for both stationary and 2-6 DOF cases, generally involving free surface interaction. This implementation is part of ST’s ongoing commitment to be a simulation based practice employing the latest technologies for improved performance.

Here is one example showing a candidate catamaran hull tested at 15 knots. Data such as resistance and moments to maintain proper trim are compared between a number of candidates. With a simulation like this one, the effect of the transom immersion can be more accurately understood.

OpenFOAM simulation of catamaran hull

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34th America’s Cup Preparations

In mid September 2010, the protocol and draft design rule for the newest generation of America’s Cup racing yachts was revealed. To nobody’s surprise the match will be raced in large wing powered catamarans. Already during the course of the last match, ST began acquainting itself with the performance of wing rigs.

Preliminary CFD analysis of 2 element wing

ST has had tools for the generation and testing of curved, twisted and blended foil shapes for some time. New work for parametric and systematic generation of hull forms has been carried out. The control system of wings has been studied and the nascent class rule scoured for valid design directions. This will be the most demanding Cup cycle in recent memory, and ST is ready.

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America’s Cup 90′

The overall length and draft have been chosen; evidence that the concept that the next AC90 rule will be a box rule. The intent is to speed the boats up considerably, therefore an improved DLR has been targeted. The hull form itself has been totally parametrically generated and improved through several iterations toward a balance between easily driven planing off the wind and ultra-high pointing. The bow profile is the result of pushing to the maximum dimension of box rule length, while eliminating all extraneous material.

The minimum drag appendage package has been established based on the idea that the race course and boats will be altered to make downwind performance of far greater importance. The possibility of two rudders has been accounted for in the preliminary design. With extensive experience designing state-of-the-art lifting keel systems, Schickler Tagliapietra are poised to apply highly evolved engineering concepts and techniques to the highest level of inshore racing in the yachting world.

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32nd AC +39 Challenge 2007

Douglas Schickler and Davide Tagliapietra have been an integral part of the development of ITA 85, the IACC racing yacht of the America’s Cup Campaign +39, and in modifying the old ITA 59 for the campaign. This involvement has extended almost two years and concentrated on preliminary structural design, onboard systems, deck, shapes, deck hardware customization, and modifications to appendages and spars.

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