Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Isotak Ocean

2013 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Wild Oats XI to be tested

by Robert Mundle on 14 Aug 2013
Wild Oats XI at full speed while crossing Bass Strait during her record-breaking run in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2013. The new hydrofoil wing will help lift her bow over waves. Brett Costello/News Ltd © http://www.news.com.au
Bob Oatley’s record-breaking super-maxi, Wild Oats XI, has been fitted with a radical, retractable, hydrofoil-type wing in a bid to make her even faster when sailing downwind.

The wing, licensed by Dynamic Stability Systems in England, will be put to the test for the first time under racing conditions at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, starting August 17.

Wild Oats XI, the six-time winner of line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race, will be subjected to an extensive analysis program when using the wing during the week. It will be an important part of her preparation for this year’s Hobart classic.

Stability specialists, Dynamic Stability Systems, is a collaboration partner in the project. The company will benefit from an exchange of data with the Wild Oats XI team who designed and fitted their own foil system.

The foil concept for Wild Oats XI evolved after months of research into finding a way to improve the yacht’s ability to surf when sailing downwind in strong winds.

‘We considered many options while looking for a solution to the problem,’ said Wild Oats XI’s co-owner, Bob Oatley’s son, Sandy. ‘After weeks of deliberation the hydrofoil wing became the logical answer.’

This has led to the fitting of a retractable aerofoil-shaped wing into a horizontal cassette that extends across the yacht at the waterline, between the mast and keel. The foil is extended and retracted using hydraulic motors.

‘The purpose of the wing is to provide hydrofoil-type lift to the forward sections of the yacht so drag is reduced and speed increased,’ Sandy Oatley said. ‘Its intended use is only for downwind sailing. On upwind legs it will be fully retracted and not project beyond the hull.’

It was while Wild Oats XI was sailing downwind across Bass Straitin last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart race – while heading to her record-breaking line honours victory – that it became apparent there was an opportunity for improvement. Senior members of the crew agreed that if a way could be found to increase lift in her forward sections then her average speed – which was at the time in excess of 20 knots – could only go higher.
The new carbon fibre wing, which was made in New Zealand, is 55cm wide, and when in use will extend 2.75 metres out from the hull on the leeward side.

It was tested for the first time during trials off Sydney a week ago, and the consensus was that it improved the yacht’s performance.

‘There was a noticeable lift in the bow when we were reaching and running,’ said Wild Oats XI’s skipper, Mark Richards. ‘At this early stage it’s safe to say it makes a difference. We are certainly looking forward to putting the concept through a complete series of tests at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.’

The fitting of the wing is the latest in a string of modifications aimed at keeping the eight-year-old Wild Oats XI competitive against more recent designs. This recent change has led to Richards and his crew affectionately referring to the yacht as ‘the Swiss Army Knife’, because of the number of appendages she now boasts: the new hydrofoil wing, a retractable forward rudder, two retractable dagger boards, the canting keel, and the conventional rudder at the stern.

Luxury car-maker, Audi, returns as the title sponsor of Hamilton Island Race Week in 2013.

Henri Lloyd 50 YearsBarz Optics - Melanin LensesLancer Not Equal

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Hoisted on their own petard
Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear... Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear in World Sailing’s premier event, the Sailing World Cup. In that time, a flurry of material has espoused all manner of joyous points including travel grants and prize money. That’s terrific and the hope is that somehow this will overcome the tyranny of distance for Melbourne
Posted on 9 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
So, thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 4 May