Altair Engineering is no stranger to America’s Cup Racing
Altair began its involvement with America’s Cup racing in 1995 as a technical supplier to the PACT95 team. A year after winning Industry’s Week Technology of the Year Award for its topology optimization software, OptiStruct®, Altair consulted and applied this technology to optimize the strength and weight ratios of the hull and appendages for PACT95’s Young America entry.
At this time in America’s Cup racing, the hull structure was the only part of the boat’s design that is secret from competitors. Applying OptiStruct to optimize the best placement for the ring plates and bulkheads yielded a novel inner hull structure design resembling a spider web of trusses. The optimized Young America hull structure provided a clear speed advantage, prompting Team Dennis Conner to use USA-36 Young America in the Americas Cup finals instead of their USA-34 Stars & Stripes.
Although the yacht was defeated by New Zealand in the finals, its technical superiority prompted three American syndicates to approach Altair for help in designing entries for the 2000 race. Altair chose to collaborate with the AmericaOne team spurring a deep technical appreciation, passion and continued involvement in yacht racing throughout Altair’s operations worldwide.