The America's Cup is the pinnacle event in sailing and it is the oldest sports trophy in the world. The trophy was originally awarded in 1851 for a race around the Isle of Wight, which was won by the schooner ‘America’. It was subsequently renamed after the yacht and was donated to the New York Yacht Club under the terms of the Deed of Gift, which made the Cup available for perpetual international competition.
The 35th America's Cup will be held in May / June 2017 in Bermuda. The races will be sailed in 50-ft foiling catamarans. Instead of a main sail the boats feature a rigid wing. These boats are capable of sailing 3 times the wind speed, with top speeds reaching 45 knots.
The lecture describes the technological and human endeavor to develop and prepare the boat and the crew. Developing an America's Cup boat is a multidisciplinary effort. Excellence is required in such different fields as aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, structural analysis, advanced composite engineering and building, design of mechanical control systems, hydraulics, electronics and flight control, to name the most important ones. Since automatic control systems (autopilots) are forbidden in the America's Cup rules there is a strong two-way feedback between sailing practicalities and the technological choices being made. Combine this with the management of a very tight build schedule for hulls, beams, foils, rudders and the wing and you get an idea what it means to prepare for the America's Cup.
A cocktail reception will take place prior to the keynote lecture from 5:00 p.m.
Martin Fischer, born in 1962 in Celle/Germany studied physics and holds a Phd in geophysics. He worked for about 10 years in climate research in Germany and in Italy. In parallel Martin has worked on racing sail boat designs since the late 90's. He worked on numerous high level race programmes like offshore racing trimarans, the Volvo Ocean Race and inshore race boats. Since 2011 Martin is working full time on the development of race boats. In 2013 he got involved in the Americas Cup. He became the head of the appendage programme at Luna Rossa Challenge and since October 2015 he is the head of the design team of the French Challenger for the 35th Americas Cup Groupama Team France.
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