Blog post

Interview with the engineers of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli boat for the 37th America’s Cup

Oct 13 2022 · 4 min read

As the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli prototype was getting ready to sail the waters of Cagliari, Italy, we took a moment to interview Matteo Ledri, Head of CFD, and Andrea Vergombello, VPP and CFD Optimization of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team about the role ESTECO Technology played in designing the new boats to be ready for the next America’s Cup in 2024.

ESTECO: The 37th America's cup envisions an evolution of the previous concept, which comes with new challenges along with a strong reliance on virtual prototypes like previous years. How did modeFRONTIER help you in the preliminary design phase this time around?

Vergombello: The main concept of the boat didn’t change radically compared to the previous Cup. This plus the class rule limited the number of components that you can test on the water, the sum of the two aspects increase the need of tools to optimize different parts of the yacht with the ability to connect different software in a direct and smart way. ESTECO provides us with a tool like modeFRONTIER on which we can rely, and with which we can test the different optimization strategies. modeFRONTIER gives us the capability to easily set up an optimization connecting different software, some of them already integrated within the tool.

ESTECO: Multi-fidelity and multi-disciplinary optimization have become a crucial aspect in the design of complex systems like the foiling monohull. How did you use modeFRONTIER’s capabilities to address these topics?

Vergombello: We’re using modeFRONTIER to improve the different components of the boat. In this period we’re mainly focusing on hydro and aero-optimization like hull and appendages. In some cases, aside from the performance goal, the constraints are also important in terms of numbers and impact on the final concept. Without an automatic approach, the time needed for the design could grow exponentially. modeFRONTIER becomes a crucial tool to have in a context like this.

ESTECO: The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team has been using modeFRONTIER for several past editions of the America’s Cup. But this is the first edition where you will also be using ESTECO VOLTA. Can you tell us more about how ESTECO VOLTA and its web-based interface for simulation process and data management are helping your collaborative engineering efforts?

Ledri: The development of multiple components of a boat requires a multidisciplinary approach, and to do that we need to have specific workflows for each of the different topics that are involved in the full optimization of the components. With VOLTA we’re able to have a collaborative environment where specialistas of any different areas of the boat can develop their own part of the process and then everything is joined in the ESTECO VOLTA environment. We can also use ESTECO VOLTA to have a more efficient usage of our computational resources.

ESTECO: The America's Cup is a highly competitive environment, where time may be one of the most important factors along with the performance. Could you tell us about any time saving and performance enhancements obtained with ESTECO Technology?

Ledri: We’re dealing with a problem with a multitude of variables and a lot of constraints, and we need to have a tool that allows us to explore all the design space that is achievable. modeFRONTIER is speeding up our process a lot because there are a lot of state-of-the-art algorithms that allow us to explore the design space in a better way.

Andrea Vergombello

Born in Venice in 1983, Andrea holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Padova and is specialized in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and VPP studies applied to sailing yachts. Andrea gained a lot of experience working as CFD and VPP consultant involved in the main stages of different projects. He is at his fourth America's Cup, the third with Luna Rossa.

Matteo Ledri

Matteo graduated in 2004 in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Trieste. Experienced sailor, he competed at high level on dinghies and offshore classes. Expert in CFD, performance analysis, parametric design and numerical optimization. This is the fourth America's Cup for Matteo, the second with Luna Rossa.

Nela Lazarevic

With a background in journalism, Nela Lazarevic worked as a Communications Specialist and Digital Marketing Specialist at ESTECO from 2016 to 2022.

Faster than the wind: the optimization experience in the America's Cup Challenge