America Cup Boats - The Ultimate Lightweight Structure?
The new catamaran boats used in the America Cup races are a true example of a lightweight structure and embody many elements that the design of normal tensioned fabric structures take into account.
The wind loading is critical for both and the structural form required to resist or to take advantage of the wind pressures is the key element to success.
Both use highly engineered modern materials that require optimization in terms of orientation, cutting patterns and seaming technology.
The more rigid components need to be optimized also to reduce weight whilst still maintaining structural stiffness.
Congratulations to the USA for winning but also to Team New Zealand for pushing the limits.
More details on the boat sizes and limitations can be found here