With days to go before the last America's Cup World Series race, Land Rover BAR has unveiled more details about R1 - the race boat the British team will be using in the final in Bermuda next year.

With a giant 77-foot high wingsail, Land Rover BAR is hoping its America’s Cup race boat, known as R1, will give them the edge in the final in Bermuda next year.

Land Rover engineers have been using industry-first aerodynamic testing to exploit and explore new areas of performance gains – all in a bid to make the boat faster through water and the air.

Land Rover BAR training America's Cup

Learning to go faster

Their understanding of aerodynamics and the use of computer technology is as a result of the knowledge gained on developing cars

Watch Sir Ben Ainslie’s interview about R1 below

The team has created sophisticated software to explore the detailed and dynamic performance of the wingsail, analysing 80 million computational cells in each test, which will seek definitive results to help further performance gains.

The director of research at Jaguar Land Rover, Tony Harper, said: “This engineering process is similar to processes we use at Jaguar Land Rover to assess how our vehicles respond at high speeds. Our aim is to minimise the effect of aerodynamic forces that act to deform parts of the vehicle and to make them more fuel efficient.”

“We have been working extremely closely with the design team at the base in Portsmouth and the America’s Cup race boat, known as R1, which will be ready to launch early next year,” explained Harper.

“The engineers are seeing their hard work pay off and as the cup will be won on those vital few seconds, we anticipate seeing significant performance gains which we believe will ultimately help the team to win in Bermuda,” he stated.

Land Rover’s engineers have also developed sophisticated software which analyses the carbon fibre wing to make the boat even faster.

It is as important as shaving fractions of a second off the performance of an F1 racing car.

This software, called Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI), combines aerodynamic testing approaches to increase the performance of the boat’s wing – the catamaran’s main source of power – with structural analysis of its deformation.

Training on the Land Rover BAR test boat

Training on the Land Rover BAR test boat. Credit: Harry Kh

This has been created because the carbon fibre wing not only needs to withstand strong winds and be crafted from the lightest structures, but also needs to deform to generate acceleration and speed – not drag.

The FSI system processes data from separate software used to analyse the structure of the wing and the airflow around it. Combining this information is key.

One example is how the Clysar – the film covering the wing – distorts and impacts the boat’s speed due to natural forces.

By combining these processes, the team is able to gain a deeper understanding of the interaction between the wing’s aerodynamics and structural dynamics to evaluate the new airflow and changes to the wing shape.

Engineering manager at Land Rover BAR,Richard Hopkirk, said: “This is complex work in the fine grain of the wing’s performance. We couldn’t have done this work without Land Rover. Their computational sophistication and resource has made a substantial difference to how we have tackled this problem.”

“We expect to see real gains out on the water next summer as a result of this work. With the America’s Cup, we could have the best sailors in the world, but it’s just as much about the design of the final boat which will give us the cutting edge next summer,” he stated.

Land Rover BAR America's Cup Testing

Testing R1. Credit: Harry Kh

Land Rover BAR head to Fukuoka in Japan for the final America’s Cup World Series event on 19-20 November, 2016.

The British team is top of the overall leaderboard, and the event is crucial in determining their position going into Bermuda next summer.

The America’s Cup race boat, currently known by the code name R1, will be launched in early 2017 in Bermuda, the host of the 35th America’s Cup in May and June 2017.

America’s Cup World Series Leaderboard:

Land Rover BAR – 437


Emirates Team New Zealand – 420

SoftBank Team Japan – 399

Artemis Racing – 391

Groupama Team France – 360