Extreme Sailing Series, HPYD 4 and the Volvo

Groupe Edmund de Rothschild flying a hull in flat water in Oman during the first event of the 2012 Extreme Sailing Series
Groupe Edmund de Rothschild flying a hull in flat water in Oman during the first event of the 2012 Extreme Sailing Series

Merfyn Owen and Ian Campbell presenting at HPYD 2012
Merfyn Owen and Ian Campbell presenting at HPYD 2012

Cut and pasted together: Abu Dhabi on the left, Groupama on the right. No convergence of views here of what is right.
Cut and pasted together: Abu Dhabi on the left, Groupama on the right. No convergence of views here of what is right.

The adjustable forestay on Camper which has caused a number of protests to be lodged by the Groupama team during the Volvo Ocean Race. Nice work ETNZ.
The adjustable forestay on Camper which has caused a number of protests to be lodged by the Groupama team during the Volvo Ocean Race. Nice work ETNZ.

About to return to Australia Merfyn Owen is coming to the last week of a five week visit to the Middle East, and Australasia which has included the Extreme Sailing Series in Oman as well as presenting a paper at HPYD 4 and being dockside at the Volvo Ocean Race in Auckland.

“ Because of project pressures over the last two years it was my first visit to an Extreme Sailing Series event. The level of organisation was impressive, the close quarters and quality of the racing so much more highly developed than the Formula 40’s or the Round Europe Races I competed in during the eighties. “ Of course, Open 60’s with their square head sail plans, rotating rigs, multiple appendages and sailing at high Froude numbers have much in common (from a naval architecture point of view) with racing multihulls. “Multihulls are still very much on OCD’s radar and we expect to be back working on these kind of projects in the future” – commented Owen.  Indeed, the trimaran Fiery Cross was Owen’s first design, engineer and build project . She was completed in Looe, Cornwall in 1987 and at 35' x 34' FX was probably the world's first as wide/as long offshore trimaran. The concept was ratified using a VPP program developed by him and run on the Cray computer at UCL as part of his naval arc. degree. Pictures of her off Southern Ireland on her way to winning her division in the 1989 Round Britain and Ireland Race can be found at: OCD Facebook - Multihulls

The fourth HPYD (High Performance Yacht Design) conference was held during the Auckland stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in March 2012. The focus was on the design, analysis, testing and performance of cutting-edge racing and super yachts. Part of the program included an evening debate/questions and answers session open to the public, chaired by PJ Montgomery. Merfyn Owen and Ian Campbell (Wolfson Unit) presented a joint paper (co-authors Clay Oliver and Giorgio Provincali) on appendage design for high performance yachts which was based on some of the CFD analysis and five weeks of model testing undertaken for the Acciona project in 2010.

Finally, on Sunday the fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race started from Auckland. Although OCD haven’t yet had a Volvo 70 built we’ve undertaken thousands of hours of design analysis in order to create valid candidates for all three editions of the race. In addition our appendage designs are to be found on a number of Volvo 70’s and we have continued to be involved in consultation and sailing with teams right up to the present event. Despite the disappointment of not having a boat on the water we remain fully engaged with the race and take every opportunity to keep on top of news, breakages, developments and of course  discussions with the sailors.

Before the start there was an interesting opportunity to look over the boats. It was apparent that there was still no convergence into the same corner of the box - designers/teams have been coming to different conclusions as to how to win the most points during the race. The difference in lcg position of the bulb mass can be seen here on Groupama and Abu Dhabi. Camper's bulb is even further forward, uniquely forward of the daggerboards. Emirates Team New Zealand opened Camper up to the public in the week before the race and graciously also allowed Merf Owen to walk around the deck and take a look down below. Shown here is  a photograph of the controversial adjustable forestay which has been the subject of a number of protests from the Groupama team.

 

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