Groupama Team France: Striving for Excellence in the 2017 America’s Cup

From May 26th to June 27th, the 35th edition of the oldest and most prestigious sailing competition – the America’s Cup – has been disputed off the coasts of Bermuda.

A race like this is truly a contest of know-how and technology.  Achieving excellence within a very short timeframe is key to success; race rules dictate that boats couldn’t be water tested until December 26, 2016 – a mere five months prior to the first official race.

One of the six teams entering in this edition is Groupama Team France.  Since Groupama Team France formed later than their competitors, they had to build and test their flying catamaran within 18 months, whereas their rivals had a time frame of up to three years.  The team of 85 includes passionate designers, engineers, mathematicians, physicists, communications specialists and sailors who recognized that optimal preparation required two critical components: a way to not only design but also test many different ideas to develop their boat and the use of a single collaborative platform to streamline communication between both internal teams and external partners working on different parts of the development process.  Groupama Team France adopted the Designed for Sea industry solution experience based on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform from Dassault Systèmes to address both goals.

Designed for Sea allowed the team to model everything in 3D, design the foil, analyze the structure, and simulate the boat’s behavior in the water. The resulting 3D virtual mockup provided the crew with a precise idea of the boat before construction even began. It also enabled the design team to build a strong boat yet lightweight and safe when “flying” over the water at 80 km per hour. Thanks to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform all applications are now integrated into one environment, where in the past multiple tools were needed for 3D modeling, structural analysis, collaboration, flow simulations and optimization.  This saved precious time and prevented errors.

As Martin Fischer, head of the design team at Groupama Team France summarized: “[The 3DEXPERIENCE platform] allows us to easily exchange 3D models and construction plans with [external partners] and, if there are issues to resolve, our communication is more efficient, new ideas flow and errors that might otherwise go unnoticed are more easily corrected. It all boils down to time. If communication is streamlined, the design process is quicker leaving more time to run tests and optimize our boat.” 

Check out the full story and learn more about how Groupama Team France is leveraging Dassault Systèmes’ solutions to unleash the required innovation to perform in the sailing world’s most renowned and difficult competition.

You can also get a look at the boat in a new video.


Alyssa Ross

Alyssa Ross

Alyssa is a Communications Director on the Dassault Systèmes Corporate Publishing team. She’s been part of DS for over 18 years, in roles ranging from public relations to marketing programs. Twitter: @DS_Alyssa