sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Foiling in just 8 knots: the new Mk2 GC32
Foiling in just 8 knots: the new Mk2 GC32

'Up on foils, the GC32 achieves incredible speeds, stably.'    Sander van der Borch Photography www.sandervanderborch.com

Foiling in just 8 knots - After six months of intense R&D, the GC32 has been fitted with its Mk2 set of foils and has now joined the twin-hulled elite - like the AC72s of the last America’s Cup - in becoming a fully foiling, airborne, racing catamaran.

The Martin Fischer design, in production at Premier Composite Technologies in Dubai, had its first sailing season last year. Then it was fitted with L-shaped rudders and double-S shaped main lifting foils, which, above 15 knots, typically held 80% of the boat’s displacement. New state of the art T-shaped rudders and J-shaped main lifting foils now enable the GC32 to sail clear of the water.

With its new foils fitted, the GC32 has been undergoing sea trials in La Grande Motte in the south of France with spectacular results. So far the boat has proved able to foil in as little as eight knots of wind and impressively can do so not only downwind, but upwind too – something that was rarely seen on the AC72s, until Oracle Team USA mastered it during the 34th America’s Cup itself. But most impressive is that the GC32 can foil stably, with almost no hobby horsing or porpoising.

Also, while the AC72 crews had to bust their guts as they wrestled their powerful craft around the race course - principally because of the constant grinding necessary to keep pressure in the hydraulics operating the wingsail and the foils - on the GC32 there is nothing like the same athletic requirement: there are no hydraulics and the rig uses conventional soft sails.



The helm on the GC32 has proved to be well balanced and while it takes some minimal liaison between helmsman and mainsail trimmer to get up on the foils, to ‘get in the groove’ and then to remain there, the boat is surprisingly easy to sail even for a crew of average ability. In short, you don’t need Olympic medals or to have spent decades racing catamarans to get foiling in the GC32.

Despite being well-mannered, the GC32 still delivers unprecedented performance. After just two weeks of sailing, the boat has been foiling upwind at more than 20 knots in less than 10 knots of breeze and recorded 27 knots downwind in the same conditions. On one subsequent run the boat averaged 30 knots over four minutes. And these numbers are just from the preliminary trials - speeds approaching those of ORMA 60 trimarans a decade ago, all achieved under full main and jib alone, without using the gennaker, from a boat almost half the length, that can be demounted and trailered home after racing!

How is this possible?

   Sailing Intelligence  
The key to the GC32’s combined high performance and foiling stability, lies in its latest generation foils. In profile these resemble the foils used on the AC72s which form a V-shape when lowered and then incline inwards when raised, turning the ‘V’ into a discreet ‘L’ shape. However the significant difference with the GC32’s foils compared to the AC72s’ - which were developed for San Francisco’s strong conditions – is that the former are substantially larger relative to boat size. In fact the 1.6m long horizontal lifting part of the GC32’s foils is the same length as some of the smallest foils Cup teams were developing for their AC72s.

But this is where the similarity ends. The GC32 foils are substantially higher aspect (ie their chord and thickness is much less for their length). This approach maximises the foils’ vital lift to drag ratio and this, combined with their span, is what enables them to operate so effectively in low wind strengths.

In terms of their lineage, the foils are the latest iteration of those developed for Franck Cammas’ International C-Class Catamaran Championship winner Groupama C (for which Martin Fischer was part of the design team) and the Fischer-designed Flying Phantom F18, originally the Groupama team’s test platform for its C-Class catamaran.

Further refinement of the GC32 foil’s design has since taken place in conjunction with the GC32’s project manager, Andrew Macpherson, former Alinghi engineer Brett Ellis and Laurent Tournier of the foils’ builder, Heol Composites. The result is foils very close to the limit of what it is currently possible to build in composites.

Heave stability

The stability of the ride when foiling is partly due to the size of the foils, but also their design. The V-shape the main lifting foils form when fully lowered encourages them to auto-stabilise: The faster the boat goes, the more the foil lifts out of the water and the less lift it provides. Conversely as boat speed lowers, so more of the foil drops into the water, exposing a greater surface of foil, which provides more lift. The end result is good ‘heave stability’ and minimal porpoising.

The design of the latest foils also addresses more subtle aspects such as the effect leeway has on them and how their bending characteristics affect performance.

'It has been a long winter because making it fly was pretty ambitious,' admits Laurent Lenne, the Amsterdam-based French entrepreneur, who is creator and owner of the GC32 class. 'We want a state of the art product and if everyone is flying in the America’s Cup, then we had to do that too.

Worm drive rake control mechanism for the main foils. -  Sander van der Borch Photography www.sandervanderborch.com  

'The first time we sailed the boat was very, very tense and it was a huge relief when we flew straight away. But these are fifth or sixth generation foils, following on from all the work done with Groupama and the Flying Phantom, so we knew we weren’t starting from scratch. To nail it from day one – we were very happy with that.

'We wanted to have a very stable boat allowing people to fly very easily and even when you are doing 27 knots, it is a picnic on board. In terms of how the boat behaves, it is very stable, but it is still very, very fast.'

VIP guests

Helping work up the GC32 with her new foils has been former Luna Rossa crewman, Paul Campbell-James, currently helming the Gazprom Team Russia catamaran on the Extreme Sailing Series, where he is a two-time series winner.

'The most amazing thing is that we’ve been fully foiling upwind and downwind in 8-10 knots of breeze - it is amazingly fast and really easy,' he says. 'The tips on the foils are huge and so there is massive amounts of lift available at all times, which is pretty useful. It possibly limits top speed when it is windier, but in order to be able to foil all the way around the track in 8-10 knots of breeze is pretty unbelievable.

   Sailing Intelligence  

'The boat is very stiff, which is good for foiling and the foil design seems very good. It was all just amazingly easy.'
Oracle Team USA coach, Philippe Presti was also down for the trials.

'I think they did a good job,' says Presti of the GC32 team’s efforts. 'I know the time it took to make, for example, the AC45 foil properly and these guys got it right almost on the first shot.'

Presti was present for two days of the trials, the first in stronger conditions when the GC32 averaged 32.5 knots for one five second burst. The second day was lighter and in 14 knots she was making 18-19 knots upwind at around 50deg.

'It is early days for these boats. By just trimming the sails and the foil you would improve the performance by quite a lot. I think the tool is great. Off the shelf, it is pretty impressive.'

According to Presti the take-off boat speed of Oracle Team USA’s AC72 was 23 knots – this compares with around 15-16 knots for the GC32.

In terms of wind strength... 'I would say you need 12 knots to foil upwind, but you can definitely foil upwind from 10-12 knots to the top of the range. Downwind, you can foil pretty low - it depends if you are sailing with the big genniker, but you can foil in 7-8 knots.'

Great Cup


by The Great Cup


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=122136

12:18 PM Wed 14 May 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World





ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets by Olga Maslivets, International RS:X Class Assoc.,


































470 Men and Women Worlds - Game on for Olympic Qualification by 470 International Association Class,












A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video by Luissa Smith, International 470 Class Association,












ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 4 images from Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Emerging Nations Program sailors shine
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Teasing winds play havoc on day 4
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Hot conditions in Santander on day 4
Santander ISAF Sailing World Championships joins Bart’s Bash
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - Grounded fishing boat creates problems
Marseille One Design - GC32 Armin Strom Sailing Team emerge victorious
Rolex Big Boat Series 2014 - Ready for another 50 years
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4
2014 Rolex Swan Cup - Eleventh-hour victories
Extreme Sailing Series - Kiwis clinch Act win in Istanbul + Video
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Two long races today for the J70 fleet
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Impressive to sail out of the Golden Gate
Extreme Sailing Series - Istanbul delivers four days of great racing
ISAF Sailing Worlds Santander - Day 3 images by Sail-World.com
Extreme Sailing Series: Emirates Team NZ bounces back for series win
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - Light winds and current test six classes
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Solid Day 3 for US Sailing Team
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 3 images by Jesus Renedo
Marseille One Design 2014 - GC32 Armin Strom blitzes final day
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Una Etapa 0 complicada para todos   
Santander 49ers: Olympic Gold Medallist says two into 90 does not go!! *Feature   
GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds   
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen   
Santander Worlds – already a spectator success   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 - Day 3 morning report   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Tales from the extreme   
Volvo Ocean Race: Latest starter wins opening race   
2014 J/70 World Championship - Healy, Abdullah, Becker and Borges win   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Full-blown, once again   
ISAF Worlds - Americans jump up Laser and Laser Radial leaderboard   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 3   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 2 images from Sail-World.com   
America's Cup: Luna Rossa sailing with two foiling AC45's + Video   
Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ retain second overall   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio Olympic Laser spots snapped up   
Rolex Swan Cup - All set for final showdown   
Upper Midwest sailors need help to take it to the next level   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - RS:X action begins in Santander   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT