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Groupama Team France has successfully completed a month long program of on the water testing with its AC Test (AC45 Turbo) catamaran.
NTPT has provided Thin Ply Prepreg materials, lightweight glue films and Automated Tape Laying (ATL) technology to Multiplast, the builder of Groupama Team France’s yachts, which allowed the design team to optimise lay-ups and fibre orientations in the aft wing flaps removing critical weight high up in the yacht’s wing rig.
The AC Test catamaran combines the same wing and cross beams as the AC+ (AC50) yacht but uses the smaller AC45 Class hulls. This combination allows the team to carry out more testing within the rules set by the America’s Cup defender Oracle Team USA, that do not permit sailing on the team’s only AC+ yacht more than 150 days before the 35th America’s Cup match in Bermuda in May 2017.
After a launch presentation in Lorient on 11th July 2016, the catamaran was quickly prepared for sailing and was then put through a comprehensive series of tests between 26th July and 26th August by its crew of 6. Massive amounts of computer data were gathered from every sailing session by a network of sensors mounted on the platform, foils and wing, providing feedback to the Performance and Design departments at Groupama Team France and allowing the team’s engineers to confirm the design is functioning to optimum performance.
Team skipper Frank Cammas and coach Bertrand Pace have both been extremely happy with the progress achieved with the test sailing program so far and the team are continuing to work on the reliability of the yacht’s complex electronic and hydraulic systems as well as testing various foil configurations to produce the optimum shape.
Groupama Team France are determined to see this testing on the water translated into a podium finish at the next round of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (LCACWS). This event, to be sailed in the AC 45F catamarans, will be held in Toulon, France, from September 9th to 11th and is a great opportunity to showcase these radical flying yachts in front of the team’s home crowd.