A better description
The Role Technology Played in the Biggest Comeback in the History of Sports and how it continues to break boundaries as ORACLE TEAM USA prepares to the defend the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017
Technology, leadership, and innovation: the keys to success in the last America's Cup for the biggest comeback in the history of sports. Fittingly, all this innovation is largely driven by technology, especially when it comes to the boats themselves. Engineering, building and racing the newly designed AC45S and future AC Class demand extensive performance analysis based on collecting huge amounts of data and applying the right analytics to improve boat design and performance. Essentially, ORACLE TEAM USA needed to be information gluttons and analytical junkies. This has led technology to break boundaries and will continue helping design a racing yacht that is smaller and but likely faster than its predecessor. This session outlines the five essential tools that played a critical role in supporting ORACLE TEAM USA win the 33rd and 34th America's Cup and how it continues to drive the team’s success today: data collection, real-time analytics, performance sailing technology, historical analysis, and extreme database performance.
Aaron Perry joined Oracle Racing in 2010 and was part of the team that designed and built the AC72 wingsail catamaran that defended the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. He is primarily responsible for the overall model of the race yacht used to loft the shapes of the hulls and platform as well as lay out key structural components, hardware, and onboard systems. Perry is a native Californian currently living in Bermuda who spends more time in or on the water than he ever dreamed possible.
Ian “Fresh” Burns is now part of his ninth America’s Cup campaign, spanning nearly 30 years of sailing history. He returns to his role heading up performance analysis with ORACLE TEAM USA, a team focused on winning a third consecutive America’s Cup.
Burns was the youngest of three children growing up around Sydney Harbour. His mother had been a keen sailor during the war years and the Burns children were all immersed in sailing from early ages. “As the youngest, I was the logical crew person,” says Burns. “There was no escape, really. From about the age of five, I was crewing regularly.”
After graduating with honors from the University of Sydney in mechanical engineering, Burns began to focus on international racing. “During my university years, I had my first taste of high-level racing when I got an opportunity to sail with Syd Fischer (who spearheaded five America’s Cup campaigns) when he was two-boat testing his Ragamuffin yachts.”
Opportunities to join the Kookaburra America’s Cup team in 1985 with Iain Murray—an old sailing buddy and multiple-time world champion who now runs the America’s Cup Regattas—allowed Burns to combine his sailing skills and technical aptitude in one occupation. Later, forming a design house with Murray, they were responsible for multiple Sydney-to-Hobart winning designs (including designing and navigating the winner in 1995), world championships, and Admiral’s Cup wins. Successive America’s Cups have offered consecutive positions as navigator on board various defenders and challengers, design involvement in carbon fiber masts and hulls, performance analysis, and software development.
Burns joined the Oracle America’s Cup campaigns when they first formed in the summer of 2000. He sailed with the crew as a navigator during the 2002 to 2003 Challenger Selection Series; for the 2007 and 2010 campaigns he ran the design process for the massive winged trimaran. Winning the 2010 and 2013 America's Cups with yachts that pushed the boundaries on what is possible provided Burns the ability to develop and apply the latest technology to the fastest boats.
Focusing on the performance information from the boats to help make them go faster has been a life-long passion for Burns, who has seen onboard yachting technology go from hand-bearing compasses and 10-knot top speeds to multiple computers integrated through a 50-knot platform.