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

11:18 AM 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

Before the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, Ken Read, skipper of the US supermaxi Comanche gave this tour above and below decks of Jim and Kristy Clark's new 100ft flyer. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Tough Stuff Down the Tassie Coast *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
By nine a.m. this morning (Monday) ten boats were finished, amongst them several of the 50 footers arriving in a group just before 8am. The consistent theme amongst all those we interviewed was the strength of wind late yesterday on the run down the Tasmanian coast. ... [more]  

The overnight and morning finishes have been marked by some very close racing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race. The battle for third place was won by Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer), after the canting keel supermaxi dropped back significantly yesterday afternoon, and then powered through in the fresh northerly ... [more]  

Sail-World is now running live in the changed website format. If you are running on a Mac with iOS please scroll to the bottom of the site and check that your region is set for your region and not some other. It can be correctly set up using the drop down boxes. Then go to the top, click refresh, and you should be away. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats XI and Comanche Finish Images *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
The Comanche and Wild Oats XI teams were equally gracious in victory and defeat on the dockside in Hobart today. It had been a close fought battle and while Comanche had reeled Wild Oats XI back in overnight to within 9nm , there simply wasn't enough air to power up the American boat in the run across Storm Bay and up the Derwent River. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: In what skipper Mark Richards described as the crew’s most hard-fought line honours triumph, Wild Oats XI held off the impressive challenge posed by Comanche, the newly-launched entry from the United States. Completing the race in 2 days, 2 hours, 3 minutes and 26 seconds, Wild Oats XI finished eight hours shy of the race record she set in 2012. ... [more]  

After being dismasted a short time ago in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Giacomo is motoring to the lee of Maria Island. In other race news, a very disappointed Bill Wild has retired his Reichel/Pugh 55, Wedgetail, from the race after suffering mast damage in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race at approximately 7.40pm off Schouten Island. All are safe and well on board. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Spithill was one of six helmsmen on Comanche. 'We can’t leave it at that,' he declared after finishing in Hobart. He says that on his watch this morning the boat reached a top speed of 32 knots and knows what she is capable of. 'Everybody got to see the true potential of this boat at the start. ... [more]  

Top international yachting photographer, Carlo Borlenghi was in the air above the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race fleet and provided these images of the third day of racing in the classic ocean race, as the leaders closed in on the finish, and the dock celebrations by Wild Oats XI. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - 'This is the sweetest victory by far,' Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards declared today after steering the silver-grey thoroughbred to a record eighth line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart. 'To rewrite a bit of sailing history doesn’t come along every day. To win a Hobart is a great honour but to win an eighth; I can’t believe I am here,' Richards said. ... [more]  

Photographer Andrea Francolini was on the water at 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours finish and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI entered the Derwent River some forty minutes ahead of Comanche at the Iron Pot and gybed her way up river in 5-10 knot southeaster, bright sunshine and crystal clear light to take a record breaking eighth line honours win in this race at 3.03pm The size of spectator fleet that accompanied Wild Oats XI and the crowds on the dock were much the largest ever sen for this race. ... [more]  

The Volvo 70 Giacomo lost her rig in the vicinity of Maria Island about 5.30pm local time yesterday evening. A second yacht Wedgetail (an RP55) lost the top off her mast in the same area at the same time. Giacomo is a Volvo 70 owned and skippered by Jim Delegat (NZL) and has a full New Zealand crew aboard ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Wild Oats XI takes number eight by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
Wild Oats XI finished at 303pm, with her big A2 flying. Her elapsed time was two days two hours three minutes and twenty six seconds 02:02:03:26 That was some eight hours outside the race record she set in 2012 of 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds. ... [more]  

At the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race photographer Daniel Forster was on the water and provided this gallery of images from Day 2. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats XI scores comfortable 8th win by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) has crossed the finish line for the Rolex Sydney Hobart race to take her eighth win in the offshore classic. She crossed the finish line in the Derwent River sailing on port tack with a big asymmetrical headsail flying, and accompanied by a bevy of spectator craft as she crossed the finish line at 3.00pm local time. ... [more]  

In Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's annual Boxing Day race the hometown Gibbs brothers, Riley, 18, and Sawyer, 16, started last in their 49er skiff but passed all of the other boats of various types to finish first in brilliant sun but cool light air Sunday. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI is still leading the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, some 38-nm from Hobart, and hoping to close in on a record eighth line honours win. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The crew on the American super maxi Comanche have not thrown in the towel. They do not believe the race for line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart is over despite Wild Oats XI’s commanding lead. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Bob Oatley’s 10 year-old super maxi Wild Oats XI is racing towards an historic eighth line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart this morning. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats rounds Tasman Island by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Seven time race winner, Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) looks set to take her eighth win, after rounding Tasman Island just before noon, local time. The supermaxi rounded the landmark with a ten mile lead over the US supermaxi Comanche and has about 35nm to sail in a direct line to the finish line off Hobart. ... [more]  

With the front runners in the Rolex Sydney Hobart expected to sneak through in light to moderate tail winds, the weather prognosis for the remainder of the fleet is, well, interesting. The simple analysis is that fresh northerly winds will give the fleet a fast ride on Sunday and during the daylight hours of Monday. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) is expected to cross the finish line, around 4pm on Sunday and take her eighth line honours win. The race leaders are making good time down the coast of Tasmania, and at daybreak had approximately 100nm to sail. ... [more]  

Sydney to Hobart - Another 40 foot white-wash? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team
With the Supermaxi battle probably all over in this 70th Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, unless Wild Oats XI drops her rig in the next five hours, she is set to take her eighth line honours victory so at last the attention will shift to the real race, the battle for handicap honours. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Your Turn, Then My Turn, Then Your Turn! *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
With the front runners over halfway to Hobart, this year’s race is turning out to be quite a page turner already; and that’s just the big boats. So let’s start with them. Wind back to the start, first honours to Comanche in the shoot out to the first mark. To be fair it was akin to pitting a brand new Bugatti Veyron against some classy and quick Ferraris and Porsches. The result in those ... [more]  

There is absolutely no way anyone can predict these before the vast majority of the still 109 vessels racing actually get home to Hobart Town. One can, however, talk about the very things that do go into making these results that so many chase and to do so, we have to work through a myriad of vessel designs, ages and types. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014; Handicap Honours Predictions VIDEO *Feature by Dale Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
Given the weather models for the race, Crosbie Lorimer did the rounds of the CYCA dock just prior to the start of the race to find out who the various skippers, navigators and tacticians believed might take out the overall Handicap win on IRC. Here are some of their predictions, how they are panning out for some and an update on the position at the front of the fleet. ... [more]  

Sydney Hobart 2014: A ridge too far for Comanche by Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR Media
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - That’s the conclusion that one might well draw from the huge difference in the performance of the Hamilton Island super maxi Wild Oats XI and her main challenger, the US boat Comanche. ... [more]  

Photographer Daniel Forster was in the air again for the Sydney Hobart 2014, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The chase for line honours at the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is intensifying with the leading boats approaching the halfway mark of the 628-nm race. ... [more]  

By Grand Prix ocean racing standards she’s an old girl, and there’s no denying she’s had a few makeovers during the past decade, but Bob Oatley’s 30-metre long supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, was leaving no doubt today that when it came to speed she’s still got great legs. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - After 24 hours the Hamilton Island supermaxi Wild Oats XI has taken the lead for the first time in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the 70th sailing of the event. ... [more]  

Photographer Howard Wright was on the water at the start of the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2014 -15 Barcelona World Race - Food, food, some not so glorious!!
2015 Fireball World Championship - Notice of Race released
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Supermaxi Race Start VIDEO *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Perpetual Loyal forced to retire with hull damage *Feature
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart: Clouds backs the small boats for overall win
Rolex Sydney to Hobart: Replay video coverage on Sail-World *Feature
Sydney Hobart - Comanche leads but Oats XI keeps the rubber band on
Will Comanche take a scalp?
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014- Southerly takes its toll
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Comanche leads in softening morning breeze *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Comanche take a gun to the knife fight + Video
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Supermaxi contest + Video
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Images from the flying start on Sydney harbour
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Start photos by Andrea Francolini
Sydney Hobart 2014 The Cutting edge Formula 1 yacht still leads
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 – Grand dame heads back to Sydney
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Day 1 start images by Carlo Borlenghi
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Race Start Images by Crosbie Lorimer *Feature
Clipper Ventures 10 starts Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Another year another record
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014 – Comanche on the warpath   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – Spinnaker start forecast   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI ready to go   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: Hobart coverage - December 26 - Live   
Rolex Sydney Hobart - The Peyron Perspective -Old People On New Boats *Feature   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche   
Rolex Sydney Hobart; Wild Oats XI trials Goose for Christmas   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - The Weather Gate *Feature   
For Christmas a Shiny new Sail-World.com *Feature   
Sydney-Hobart: Wacky Races 3 – Gravel and Red Max versus VMG *Feature   
Yankees at the Gate - A pre Sydney-Hobart conversation with Ken Read *Feature   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Line Honours Skippers Press Conference - Video   
Barcelona World Race 2014-15 -A different Christmas   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovery video *Feature   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Another great journey south   
Sydney Hobart - Ragamuffin's David Witt explains deck failure + Video   
Wild Oats XI - Damage drama in lead-up to Sydney Hobart Race   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race images by Photographer Carlo Borlenghi   
Five faces behind the 100ft super maxis by Andrea Francolini   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT