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BMW ORACLE Racing Designs World's Biggest Wing


Scott Mintz
by Larry Boulden, Design World Senior Editor

This February, in the picturesque Spanish port of Valencia, BMW ORACLE Racing's skipper Russell Coutts will take the helm of one of the most technologically advanced - and hopefully fastest - boats ever built, in a bid to capture the 33rd America's Cup. The most remarkable feature of the trimaran - named "USA" - is that it will be powered by an enormous wing, rather than a conventional sail.

As Mike Drummond, BMW Oracle's Racing Design Director explains: "A wing of this scale has never been built for a boat. In terms of size, it dwarfs those on modern aircraft. Towering nearly 190 ft (57 m) above the deck, it is 80% bigger than a wing on a 747 airplane." It was analyzed using a process very similar to CFD, using CD-Adapco's Star-CCM analysis tools.