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Olympic Games Paris 2024: Evermer and science support Olympic sailing to win more medals in Marseille

Olympic Games Paris 2024: Evermer and science support Olympic sailing to win more medals in Marseille

When Ifremer and several national structures are involved in the potential success of French athletes in Olympic Games ! It's a very tangible application of what science can offer practitioners of three Olympic sailing disciplines: windsurfing (IQ Foil), kite surfing (Nacra 17), and boat (Nacra 17). For four years, through the “Carbon to Olympic Gold” project. Funded by the High Performance Sport program of the National Research Agency (ANR), scientists are working alongside the French Sailing Federation to improve the performance of the tricolor.

Ifremer serves to know the chips

This is particularly the case with the French research institute Ifremer, entirely dedicated to ocean-related knowledge, and headquartered in Brest. More specifically speaking about flakes, these appendages that allow you to fly above the water for speed. The issue is thatAct on the famous details, the marginal gains, that can make the difference To win an Olympic medal, or get a gold medal instead of a silver one.

“There are big differences”

If you're on a catamaran, the challenge is to take off as quickly as possible to limit the floats' friction with the water and reduce drag. If you're surfing or kite-flying, the challenge, when you're in the kite, is that this foil exerts the least resistance in the water to move quickly. We're talking about Hydrodynamics. Despite the alleged single design of these appendages, these hydrodynamics vary greatly depending on the different models. “From the outside, if you look at them, you tell yourself they are exactly the same“, explains Pierre Noismoin, national coach of women's surfing within the French team. “But in detail, whether in terms of features or mechanical measurements such as bending of the wafer or part of the wafer, there are significant differences.

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These differences are strongly felt by athletes on the water. And this is where Ifremer fully comes into play.with Create test benches“, explains Benoît Ogier, a researcher in hydrodynamics, “This makes it possible to characterize the mechanics and geometry of chips. The benches allow the differences to be accurately measured, as felt by the athletes“.in order to suggest that the French Sailing Federation make informed choices.

The Olympic Water Body as a place of study

To do this, a huge amount of data has been collected over the past four years. First in a neutral way. But very quickly, scientists made numerous measurements at the test site in Marseille. “Kitefoil has an operating limit called aeration.“Continues Benoît Ogier, a researcher in hydrodynamics at the Evremer Institute in Brest, “It is the suction of air to a specific part of the foil, column, or outdoor part. Sucking in air disrupts the flow, which itself changes the density of the fluid. Today, this is the operational limit for all kites. But it changes depending on the water body. then, We were really concerned about Marseille's privacy Ventilation conditions or not, surface treatments, roughness, etc. So that the research is relevant to Marseille. In location, there can be large differences in water temperature depending on the Mistral, as the body of water is located between the islands and the coast, and is very rugged. In short, this parameter of Marseille has been taken into account.“Given all these studies, the Blues will be able to choose the optimal team according to the different models proposed for the Olympics.

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Wider scientific work including aerodynamics

This scientific work was not limited to hydrodynamics. Led by ESPCI (Ecole Supérieure de Physique Industrial et Chemistry de la Cité de Paris), the “Carbon to Olympic Gold” project brought together the Naval Academy, the University of Nantes, the LadHyX laboratory of the École Polytechnique, and the FAST laboratory. Université Paris-Saclay), the National Sailing School and the French Sailing Federation. The institutes provided scientific support to athletes. A great deal of work has been carried out in the field of aerodynamics wind tunnelEspecially studying the boards (board and kite) and correcting some athletes’ positions that harm performance. Traction channel testsIn Nantes, it made it possible to study the phenomenon of ventilation and simulate ideal sailing conditions for foils. On-board hardware workswith sensors arranged on the supports, were also fabricated.

“Increase the number of medals”

All this made it possible to feed flight simulators, which are commonly called speed prediction programs. These details, for example, allowed England to reap a real harvest during the previous Olympics. This is also the meaning of this multi-million euro funding granted by the National Research Agency. “It's very funny, she did not set an immediate goal of scientific publishing. But she requested an increase in the number of medals for the French sailing team. From a research point of view, we are a UFO“, smiles Benoit Ogier.

Selected ones on foil backing

  • Women's IQ: Helen Noysmon
  • Men of Layered Intelligence: Nicolas Goyard
  • Women's Paper Quill: Lorien Nolot
  • Men's Kite Wing: Axel Mazzella
  • Nacra17: Lou Berthomieu and Tim Murniak.
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