Friday, February 26, 2010

Making fast even faster

BMW ORACLE Racing turned to 3M riblet technology to reduce drag and increase the speed of USA, its giant trimaran that won the 33rd America's Cup earlier this month.

3M supplied BMW ORACLE Racing with an experimental riblet film, custom manufactured for USA, which was powered by the largest wing sail ever built.

“The 3M technology makes an already fast boat even faster," said Manolo Ruiz de Elvira, of the BMW ORACLE Racing design team. "Our hulls were more slippery and therefore moved more efficiently through the water than ever before.”

Similar technology was used by the last US team to successfully challenge for, and win, the Cup - Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes team which won in 1987 in Fremantle, Australia.

In recent editions of the Cup, the technology has been banned under the rules. But in a Deed of Gift Match, no such limitation was imposed, and the team turned to 3M to help make its trimaran as fast as possible.

“3M has incorporated new technology advancements into 3M Drag Reduction Riblet Film. We can now more accurately design the most appropriate riblet film for each application," said Brian Winke, 3M's global business manager. "This results in more efficient energy use.”