Future Fibres is very excited to announce the completion of contracts for wing manufacture and assembly for Artemis Racing´s AC72 in their challenge for the 34th America´s Cup in San Francisco in 2013.
Having set out from scratch, just one year ago, to create a world class carbon spar manufacturing facility, next door to the existing composite rigging factory in Valencia, Spain, this contract sends a very clear message to the world that Future Fibres is committed to taking mast and rigging development to the next level.
Ewan Mclellan, Future Fibres´ CEO explains: “Having completed an IMOCA 60 mast last year and with the design and construction of the first Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing VO70 rig well under way, this partnership with Artemis Racing is a fantastic platform for the development of the business. We set out with a clear vision to build the fastest and the biggest spars in the world and to shake up the existing industry norms by bringing in new technologies from other industries like motorsport and aerospace. I think our record to date and this latest project, clearly demonstrate our intentions.”
With the delivery of the wing scheduled for completion by December this year, in preparation for the launch of the team’s AC72 in early 2012, the project is ramping up extremely fast. Artemis Racing´s design team and Future Fibres´ experienced production team are having to get to grips with the monumental task of designing and scheduling the multitude of custom components that will be required to complete the 38 metre high, 260m2 wing.
But with six America´s Cups, seven world championships and a Whitbread Round the World Race win under his belt, Artemis Racing´s CEO, Paul Cayard is well aware of what it takes to lead a team across the finish line. Prior to making the decision to partner with Future Fibres on this project, Paul visited the factory in Valencia. “I have dealt with Future Fibres over the years and have been keeping a close eye on the rapidly developing composite rigging market. In this AC, the wing is a key development area with probably the steepest learning curve. For such a task, we needed to find a partner with the production capabilities, but more importantly the quality of people, with the attitude and experience to work with our design guys to optimise every single component of the assembly. Future Fibres have pulled together an impressive team and whilst it’s going to be a big task, we´re looking forward to it.”
Component manufacture will take place in a restricted section of the mast building facility using advanced tooling technology developed by Future Fibres technical partners Persico Spa, together with the new 50m autoclave which is the largest in Europe. So as not to detract from “normal business”, the wing will be assembled in a dedicate unit.
Whilst the “Auld mug” may have moved on, the Cup lives on in sunny Valencia!