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Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week - UK debut for the new GC32 catamarans
The Great Cup, a new circuit due to launch properly in 2014, is raced in latest generation GC32 one design catamarans. These have been designed by foil expert and fluid mechanics PhD Martin Fischer, designer of several World Championship winning F18 dinghy catamarans such as the Phantom, as well as the foils on Franck Cammas’ Volvo Ocean Race victor, Groupama.

These 10m long by 6m wide catamarans are built by Premier Composite Technologies in Dubai and feature reverse ‘Dreadnought’ bows, L-profile rudders and unique double S-shaped daggerboards, with control lines to alter their pitch.

To get technical momentarily - the daggerboards are not raised and lowered between tacks, but are always either fully or partially down. Fully lowered, the daggerboards provide maximum area to prevent leeway when sailing upwind. Uniquely, in this configuration the pitch of the windward board can be altered thereby pulling the weather hull down and creating extra righting moment (a feature banned on AC72s). When off the wind the boards are raised slightly. This causes their surface area to be reduced and, thanks to their double-S shape, the boards to become angled in, providing vertical lift.

Photo : © Christophe Launay/www.sealaunay.com
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