America’s Cup Teams Leverage Cadence CFD Solutions to Optimize Hydrodynamics Performance


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Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced that three teams competing in the 37th edition of the America’s Cup will be counting on Cadence computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solutions to help them improve overall race performance: four-time winner and defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand, Challenger of Record INEOS Britannia, and New York Yacht Club American Magic. The America’s Cup is the pinnacle race in sailing and offers incredibly competitive and exciting racing for sailing enthusiasts around the world. The next highly anticipated edition will be held in 2024.

Hydrofoiling technology made a sensational impact on the race in the 2013 America’s Cup, which was illustrated in an exciting race between Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA. Hydrofoils are the wing-like structures attached under the hull of a race boat that lift the boat out of the water at increased speeds, making it appear to fly above the surface. Emirates Team New Zealand has been leveraging Cadence’s Fidelity™ Marine technology for their hull and hydrofoil design ever since the race in 2013. In 2021, they raised the coveted Auld Mug trophy, the oldest in international sports, for the fourth time.

Hydrofoiling and efficiencies in the water are critical when every second counts in highly competitive racing. With an increasing demand for efficiency, fidelity and speed in the water, Cadence CFD solutions offer multidisciplinary technologies that enable design teams to analyze and model real-world scenarios, enabling them to determine optimal designs for maximum performance, long before the first prototype touches the water.

“The AC75 yachts used in the race actually spend most of their time flying above the water,” said Dan Bernasconi, technical director Emirates Team New Zealand. “By having a hull design optimized for hydrodynamic takeoff and touchdown efficiency, we are much more equipped to predict performance. Cadence Fidelity Marine is the leader in hydrodynamic modeling and simulation and is an important part of our comprehensive tool suite.”

INEOS Britannia, which is competing in its third consecutive America’s Cup campaign, has a strong team lined up for the event. The team plans to learn from the experience of its previous two campaigns to lead a hard charge towards bringing the America’s Cup to Britain for the first time in its history.

“Simulation and CFD are the principal tools used to predict and refine the performance of our America’s Cup race boat,” said Martin Fischer, INEOS Britannia chief designer. “When it came to selecting a provider for these services for AC37, we at INEOS Britannia believe the Cadence Fidelity solutions will best fit our needs.” 

New York Yacht Club American Magic, formed in 2017, is driving towards a vision to “win back” the cup. The team name includes a nod to the New York Yacht Club’s 101-foot schooner “America” that won the first race back in 1851, as well as to “Magic,” the first yacht to successfully defend the Cup in 1870. In that first race, “America” finished eight minutes ahead of their closest rival and thus garnered the namesake for the race.

“American Magic has selected the Cadence Fidelity Marine software as its primary CFD tool for hydrodynamic analysis and design as it continues to provide state-of-the-art numerical simulation capabilities for marine applications,” said Len Imas, PhD, American Magic Design Team. “Among commercial and research codes in use today, it remains the industry leader over the course of multiple America’s Cup campaigns by providing robust and accurate results and expanding functionality in areas involving high-performance hull and appendage design analysis, marine vehicle dynamics and fluid-structure interaction.”

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