Changing the Gamesa Part 3

photo Mark Lloyd
photo Mark Lloyd

In the third and final part of a series of three articles Merfyn Owen of Owen Clarke Design and Phil Annis of Future Fibres discuss the choices involved and the detailed design of the new triple spreader rig fitted to the Open 60, Gamesa.

Rig and sailplan                    

Router, a statistical weather and race modelling software used by Volvo teams on successive races was used by OCD to analyse the different rig/sail plan options using twenty years of data covering the Vendée race course between October and March. The resulting differences between yachts with different rig configurations were smaller than one would imagine. The performance evaluation and the use of Router was a useful tool that provided data to help make the new rig choice for Gamesa, but was only one of a number of factors taken into consideration.

Rarely does a team make all the same choices on a project even when provided with  similar or even identical  information and that’s clear when looking down the dock at any IMOCA 60 race start. It’s one of the features that makes the class interesting both to the teams, sponsors and spectators. Take for instance three of Owen Clarke’s boats in the next Vendée that have all had new rigs in 2011. The table below makes for an interesting comparison. Any designer, teams or supplier would be able to write a similar article as this and justify their choice lines based on a hierarchy of needs/goals and their own experience/beliefs.

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