2004 – International America’s Cup Class – Areva Challenge FRA93

Championship Design of an AC72 for Areva, in line for the 32nd America’s Cup

Construction : 2004
Shipyard : Composite Work (La Ciotat, France)
Race programme : 32nd America’s Cup


Match Race / America’s Cup Class

In 2004, Guillaume Verdier was contacted by K-Challenge to design a new America’s Cup Class boat destined to take part in the 32nd America’s Cup, in Valencia Spain, in 2007, sponsored by Areva Challenge.

K-Challenge had just acquired the New Zealand boats NZL 57 and NZL 60 (winner of the 2000 America’s Cup). Renamed FRA 57 and FRA 60, these two boats enabled the French team to start off in official races of the 32nd America’s Cup with more efficient tools, while waiting for the launch of the brand new America’s Cup Class Areva Challenge, FRA 93.

K-Challenge Design team

The team was made up of Bernard Nivelt, IACC expert, Jacques Fauroux, talented specialist of standard boats, Guillaume Verdier, widely experienced, André Jacques for the CFD, Cyrille Douillet for the database set-up and tools necessary to performance analysis, Dimitri Nicolopoulos also a CFD specialist, in charge of coordinating works.

Keel fin

Guillaume Verdier’s first mission was to design a new keel fin. First, he analysed the behaviour of the former New Zealand boats the French challenger had acquired. An interesting and indispensable phase to comprehend the issues and problems at stake. Comparative analyses, coupled with a structural analysis were undertaken on geometric aspects of the keel fin. Several choices possible were designed and compared in VPP (software that integrates global balances and efforts and deduces estimations of the sailboat’s performance). The keel was then wind tunnelled in Marseille to confirm the choice of the design team and calculations codes. This keel was assembled for the Trapani and Malmö Acts.

Calculations and hull

Several types of hulls were defined by the design team. Guillaume Verdier explored various ideas to finally submit his work to Bernard Nivelt who took the final decision. Several testing sessions were undertaken.

Benjamin Muyl and Hervé Penfornis, with whom Guillaume Verdier had collaborated on the 60’ Mediatis Hydro-planer project – Region Aquitaine, joined the design team. They took the responsibility of the FRA 60 follow up during the Malmö acts.

During this period, Guillaume Verdier established the first parametric model of the boat, integrating calculations. The trio complemented one another.

Benjamin Muyl and Hervé Penfornis also ensured the construction follow-up in La Ciotat in the Composite Work shipyard.

After that, Jean Damien Capdevielle joined the team for CFD and meshing.

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