Thursday, June 26, 2008

New sail design

BMW ORACLE Racing’s new sail design program underway.

Working with experts at North Sails in the USA, BMW ORACLE Racing's sail design and production team are now well underway in developing the huge new sails required for the 33rd America's Cup.

The sail design team is headed by BMW ORACLE Racing sail trimmer Ross Halcrow, and includes designers Laurent Delage, Robert Hook, and Juan Meseguer. Delage brings valuable multihull experience from North Sails France. Hook, another North Sails veteran, was with Emirates Team New Zealand in the last America's Cup. Meseguer, who runs the North loft in Valencia, returns to the team from the 32nd campaign.

"It is a massive challenge, as with all aspects of the multihull everything is on a larger scale," said Halcrow. "The sail plan for the multihull has huge dimensions yet we must keep weight to a minimum. While we are working with many of the same methods and materials as in the last America's Cup, the designs are quite different. We also are looking at a wider range of sails since we won't know the venue for the Match until six months in advance."

The team's other sail trimmers are also contributing to the sail design program, including Dirk de Ridder (NED), Noel Drennan (IRL), Daniel Fong (NZL), and Joe Newton (AUS). JB Braun (USA) coordinates the "aero program," integrating the rig and sail package, and held a similar role with BMW ORACLE Racing's last campaign. Craig Phillips (AUS) is managing production.

As required by the America's Cup Deed of Gift, the sails and other components of the boat must be built in the country the team represents. -