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Unboxing of the All-New Discovery | A portrait of the sailing legend, Ben Ainslie | Look into the future of mobility and transportation | Copenhagen – probably the coolest city in the world?


B E S T B A R N O N E The technology used in BAR’s America’s Cup Class boat is mindblowing. Here’s the low-down WORDS M I K E Y H A R V E Y ILLUSTRATION A L E X P A N G The boat Sir Ben Ainslie will skipper when he challenges for the America’s Cup in Bermuda next year will be among the very fastest sailing boats yet built. It is the result of a unique and far-reaching collaboration with Land Rover, Title and Exclusive Innovation Partner at Land Rover BAR. Engineers, technicians, aerodynamicists — even artificial intelligence experts — from Land Rover have been embedded at the team’s base in Portsmouth on the south coast of the UK for over a year now. Together with Land Rover BAR’s own designers, they have been working on project R1, the race boat due to break cover early in 2017. Much of its technology is still secret; however, the team have shared some the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic tricks that will allow it to sail three times faster than the wind, so take a sneak peak behind Land Rover BAR boathouse door. 01 JIB The forward jib sail is possibly the only element of the boat familiar to traditional sailors, the odd rope here and there aside. It’s small compared with the wing, only 388 square feet (compared with 1,140 square feet) to comply with the rules for the definitive 2017 America’s Cup Class regulations. The ACC boats will race without a second downwind sail, the so-called ‘code zero’ sails you can see the crews spectacularly furling and unfurling at the downwind and upwind marks. Light and incredibly strong, the jib is made mostly of carbon fiber, laid down as tapes and then bonded together. 02 WING SAIL The giant wing sails are the engines of America’s Cup Class boats. Constructed of a pure carbon fiber vertical element and lightweight ribs made of a sandwich of carbon fiber with a card filling, the wing’s surface is made of Clysar, the same shrinkwrapped plastic that covers packs of fruit in your supermarket. Land Rover’s advanced aerodynamics teams have worked closely with BAR to understand how the surface deforms in the airflow to maximize wing power. 32

03 HULLS America’s Cup sailors talk about three modes of sailing: ‘H2’ is when both hulls are in the water; ‘H1’ when they’re flying one hull; ‘HZero’ is, however, where every skipper wants his boat. With neither hull in the water, the drag is at its minimum. All six teams are perfecting techniques to keep their boats in zero mode on all parts of the course, upwind as well as downwind and throughout maneuvers likes gybes and tacks. Keeping the boat on its foils has seen some describe the hulls as ‘foil delivery systems.’ The boat that stays on its foils longest – the ‘flytime’ – is the boat that will win the Cup. 06 FOILS If you’ve sailed a dinghy, then you will know about the daggerboard that keeps the boat from being blown sideways and over. The foils on America’s Cup boats evolved from daggerboards but crucially turn through over 90 degrees, feature a hydrodynamic tip (roughly the size of an ironing board) that’s a foil (like a wing) in section. Some call 04 CROSS MEMBERS The hulls and the cross members that hold them together, as well as the trampoline the crew uses to cross the boat, is called ‘the platform.’ It’s much more than just a foundation for the wing and foils. The cross members are aerodynamic in section giving the entire boat more lift, but also providing ‘righting moment,’ the force that stops the boat from being pushed over by the power of the wing – they’re not allowed to use the upwind foil to keep the boat flat and stable. them ‘daggerfoils.’ Regardless of what you call them, they have made a profound difference to the sport, increasing speeds three fold. Such is the force of the dense water (786 times more dense than air) that the small foils can lift the entire boat and crew, which together are about the weight of a Range Rover, right out of the water. 05 WHEEL Sir Ben Ainslie will steer the ACC boat with a wheel and not the tiller he uses on the World Series boat. There’s a wheel on each side, just behind the grinding stations where the ‘power crew’ pump hydraulic pressure into the control systems. That includes the rake adjustment for the foils on the wheels that Ainslie will use to control the pitch and ‘altitude’ of the boat. Some skippers have said keeping the boat stable is more like flying a helicopter than sailing a match racing yacht. 07 RUDDERS The tips of the rudders that jut out from the rear of the two hulls of the catamarans feature smaller foils that also contribute lift and help keep the platform stable. The angle of attack of the foils is controlled – just like the main foils – by Sir Ben Ainslie from the steering wheels. 33

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Land Rover Magazine 39


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