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Africa's First America's Cup Team to use Fluent
Posted Wed March 01, 2006 @01:48PM
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News Africa’s first ever team to enter the America’s Cup yacht racing series has signed a two-year deal with Fluent to use its world-leading CFD software. Fluent has partnered with each of the past three winners of the world’s most high-tech yacht racing contest and will now attempt to make history by helping Team Shosholoza, based in Cape Town, South Africa claim an unlikely victory in 2007.

The use of CFD in America’s Cup yachting has increased rapidly in the past 10 years, creating a situation reminiscent of F1, where Fluent’s record is even more impressive.


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Eight of the last 11 winners of the F1 Championship have used FLUENT CFD making it consistently the most successful code in F1 design. Indeed, FLUENT is the most successful CFD code in racing design across all sports, with it being used to design the high-tech bicycles and wheelchair racers for the winning UK competitors in the Athens Olympics and Paralympics, and the Speedo Fastskin swimming suits, worn by some of the world’s leading athletes in the Athens pool competition.

For Team Shosholoza, the design aspect they particularly wanted to resolve was hydrodynamics – how the yacht hull and appendages interact with the water flow, both at the surface and below. This branch of CFD simulation is at the very forefront of the technology’s capabilities, demanding an advanced modelling approach. Because of this, Team Shosholoza conducted a series of benchmarking tests to ascertain which CFD tool performed best.

Dr. Charles Crosby who heads Team Shosholoza’s CFD analysis group, explains: “Accurately simulating the surface wave patterns and wave-making drag of a yacht is a very demanding CFD task. After a great deal of comparative testing we have concluded that FLUENT is particularly well-suited to this task. The technical assistance from Fluent has also been outstanding.”

Team Shosholoza’s Chief Designer Jason Ker, comments: “Fluent's accurate free-surface results allow us to gain a great deal of understanding and insight into the subtle and detailed hydrodynamics of the yacht, which would be extremely difficult to obtain in any other way.”

Dr Chris King, Managing Director at Fluent Europe, commented: “I’m delighted that Team Shosholoza has chosen FLUENT CFD for its hydrodynamic testing. As a company we rely on constant innovation to maintain our position as the market leader so it’s pleasing that a modelling capability, developed specifically for the marine industries, has proven to be so effective.”

The America’s Cup will be held between 23rd June and 7th July in Valencia, Spain. There will be a total of 12 teams competing, representing China, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

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