Thursday, August 28, 2008

Will it hold up?

Photographer: Gilles Martin-Raget

Team conducts engineering tests in preparation for sailing.

The BMW ORACLE Racing design team is carefully reviewing the team’s new 90-foot trimaran boat in a series of dockside engineering load tests in Anacortes this week. The tests are the final step in the team’s preparation to sail the boat for its initial shakedown in Anacortes, WA where the boat was built.

“The loads on the boat and mast are enormous,” said BMW ORACLE Racing design coordinator Mike Drummond. “We are going through the boat carefully to check systems and loads before we physically hoist the sails.”

The static load tests are a standard part of any new boat commissioning. The boat was launched on Monday. The enormous mast was then installed dockside. The tests will continue dockside until the team is ready for the maiden sail expected some time over the Labor Day holiday weekend in the USA.

The team partnered with Van Peteghem and Lauriot Prévost (VPLP) of France and one of the most successful skippers in multihull racing, Franck Cammas, to design the innovative trimaran. Led by Mark Turner and Tim Smyth, the BMW ORACLE Racing construction team built the carbon fiber composite boat at a purpose-built facility in Anacortes. Bringing unique technological competence and setting new standards in the area of intelligent lightweight design, BMW has been a key partner in developing the boat. -