Please select your home edition
Edition
J Composites 2022 - J45 LEADERBOARD

America's Cup: INEOS Britannia's new design Mastermind, Dr Martin Fischer

by Justin Chisholm, Cup Insider 20 Jan 13:41 PST 21 January 2022
INEOS Team UK - Prada Cup Finals - Day 2 - February 14, 2021 - America's Cup 36 - Course E © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

Justin Chisholm of yachtracing.life and CupInsider.com interviews INEOS Britannia's high profile design team acquisition.

Ineos Britannia’s new chief designer Dr. Martin Fischer looks exactly the way you expect a brilliant scientist/naval architect to look.

Serious and steely-eyed behind an impressively large pair of black framed spectacles, the German designer’s appearance is softened considerably by his hairstyle – an undeniably unruly crop of pure-white hair that immediately puts you in mind of Albert Einstein.

In conversation he is disarmingly polite and accommodating.

Fischer followed up his original physics degree (where he had specialised in fluid dynamics), with a PhD in geophysics, before moving on to work for 10 years on climate research using coupled ocean atmosphere models.

“That’s pretty different [to yacht design],” he admits. “But it's not so far away – because the the equations are the same. It's all fluid dynamics, it's just the scale that that is different.”

Fischer was introduced to sailing at the age of nine and says his love of the sport was what prompted him to study physics and to specialise in fluid dynamics.

Other than ‘a little club racing’ here and there, he says he doesn’t sail much these days. Back in the day, however, after graduating from the Optimist fleet he raced A Class catamarans for 15 years, followed by a further seven-year stint in Formula 17 cats.

Fischer has long been an established name in the professional yacht racing game and has been a go-to designer for a variety of top flight professional sailing teams – both inshore and offshore.

Amongst many other projects, he was the brains behind the underwater appendages for Franck Cammas’ all-conquering Groupama 4 Volvo 70 which dominated the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, he led the design team for Team France in the 35th America’s Cup, and he was at the heart of the Luna Rossa design programme for last year’s 36th America’s Cup finalists.

Aside from all that, Fischer is also responsible for designing one of the world’s most successful one design foiling catamaran classes – the GC32.

“Originally it was not designed as a fully foiling catamaran,” he explained. “At first it was a foil-assisted boat and then after foiling hit the America’s Cup it was decided to transform it into a foiling boat. That was a relatively easy process as it was already designed for foils.”

For the 37th America’s Cup Fischer has switched allegiances from Luna Rossa to join Ben Ainslie’s British Ineos Britannia syndicate – the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team-boosted Challenger of Record for AC37.

I tracked him down to his desk at the team’s new base in the vast Mercedes F1 team HQ in Brackley, England to find out more about his move to the British team and to quiz him on the changes to the AC75 design rule and their potential impact on AC37.

Cup Insider: This will be your second time working for an America’s Cup team acting as the Challenger of Record. Is there some advantage to being Challenger of Record?

Martin Fischer: Because you are involved in the rules discussions, that’s an advantage, – not a huge advantage, but an advantage nevertheless. It means you get a head start on the rules, at least. Plus, if there are things you don't like, you can negotiate that.

CI: How much was your decision to join the British syndicate for the 37th America’s Cup influenced by the team’s tie in with the Mercedes Formula 1 team?

MF: Of course I knew that Mercedes Formula One had been involved with the British team to a certain degree during AC36. But when I got in contact with Ben at the beginning, I didn't know about the new relationship. So of course that that was a nice surprise – a very nice surprise, even. Even before that though, I thought that this team looked looked interesting, and it was one I really wished to join.

CI: Looking back to the last America’s Cup Match between the Italians and the New Zealand, from your unique vantage point was it ultimately because the Kiwis had a faster boat that they won?

MF: Yes, the boat was definitely quicker. At the beginning we did pretty well, and I think that was because we had more race practice than the Kiwis. Also our boat had an advantage at the start. We had bigger foils and therefore we had more possibilities at the at the start. So that gave us an advantage.

It took the the Kiwis a bit of time to figure out how to overtake once Luna Rossa was was in front. But once they had learned how to do that, there was no way for us to win. We sailed 10 races in total and out of these 10 I think Luna Rossa won seven of the starts.

They [Luna Rossa] were also very good around the course – I think the split helmsmen was a good a good move – but the fact that we had more possibilities due to the bigger foils was really important. But then, later on, it was just speed that that won the races.

For the rest of this story go to cupinsider.com/p/martin-fischer-on-switching-teams You will need to subscribe.

Related Articles

Cup Critiqued: Swiss delayed..Challenger List
Alinghi Red Bull Racing's first sailing in their AC75 , has been delayed. Challengers confirmed Alinghi Red Bull Racing's first sailing in their AC75 BoatZero, has been delayed by unfavourable weather in Barcelona. The List of Challengers and order of entry is announced. Luna Rossa re-sign with performance technology partner for 2024 America's Cup. Posted on 12 Aug
Cup Critiqued: Coach Barker joins Alinghi
Rumours that Dean Barker had signed with Alinghi Red Bull Racing, were confirmed at the ARBR launch The rumours were confirmed at the launch of Alinghi Red Bull Racing's newly acquired AC75, that Dean Barker a veteran of seven America's Cups, has shifted to the ARBR coach boat. Posted on 9 Aug
America's Cup: First team ready to foil at venue
The first boat has already splashed in the just four months after the Barcelona venue was announced The first boat has already splashed in the coming America's Cup cycle - just four months after the venue was announced for Barcelona. Twice Cup champion Alinghi Red Bull Racing, was rolled out of the shed and christened in Barcelona. Posted on 8 Aug
America's Cup: Alinghi confirms Barcelona roll-out
Alinghi Red Bull Racing confirms almost ready to go in Barcelona - more action later this week? Via social media the Swiss America's Cup Challenger Alinghi Red Bull Racing have advised they are almost ready to launch their AC75, formerly Emirates Team NZ's Te Aihe, in Barcelona. Posted on 8 Aug
America's Cup: Multiple changes made to Protocol
Significant changes made to the Rules governing the 2024 America's Cup and Surrogate Boats Some of the changes relate to the announcement of Barcelona as the Host Venue, others close loopholes that could have been exploited, and there is a substantial section on Hydrogen-Powered Support vessels. Posted on 5 Aug
America's Cup bases now being allocated to teams
Defender has first choice on site in Barcelona Dalton: "All of the bases are located in the Barcelona Port Vell area along with the dedicated America's Cup race village, hospitality and fan zone areas which will create an amazing atmosphere in the lead up to and during the event in 2024." Posted on 2 Aug
America's Cup: First AC40 in fit-out - Video
The first AC40 multi-use yacht for America's Cup 2024 is being fitted out at the McConaghy Boats The first AC40 multi-use yacht for America's Cup 2024 is being fitted out at McConaghy Boats. The video and still images show the deck/cockpit layout for the first time. Posted on 23 Jul
America's Cup: No more Spy versus Spy
The America's Cup reconnaissance rules are changing for America's Cup 2024. The America's Cup reconnaissance rules are changing for America's Cup 2024, to be sailed in Barcelona, Spain in September/October 2024. America's Cup Media's Magnus Wheatley tries to explain: Posted on 19 Jul
America's Cup: Alinghi Red Bull Racing's new era
Alinghi, twice winners of the America's Cup, will return to the event after 15yr absence In the next few weeks Alinghi, twice winners of the America's Cup, will start sailing after an absence of almost 15 years. Just over two years remain before most prestigious trophy in sailing is contested in Barcelona in September-October 2024. Posted on 16 Jul
Letter from the Antipodes: COVID time-out ends OK
The effect of a nearly three-year exclusion from the international racing scene has been answered The effect of a nearly three-year exclusion from the international racing scene has been answered over the past few days, with strong performances by Kiwi sailors, in several World and European championships. Posted on 8 Jul
Hyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTERCoast Guard Foundation FOOTER 2Lloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px3 BOTTOM