Max Salminen

The Sports & Technology initiative continues to combine passion for sports with expertise in science and engineering

Modern Finn dinghies are flexible in sections of the hull. The subjective perception of the sailors is that this makes the boat faster in waves. In a research project together with Chalmers Sports & Technology and Max Salminen, a two-time Swedish Olympic sailor and current World Champion, SSPA will attempt to verify this. We are now evaluating the tests that we have made with a modern Finn dinghy with a soft hull (Max Salminen’s own Olympic Finn dinghy) and a full-scale model built for previous rudder trials to represent a rigid hull. Can we verify that a soft hull makes the boat faster in waves? Is it possible for us to measure the hydrodynamic resistance between these two different hulls?

After finishing in sixth place in the Olympic games of Rio de Janeiro in 2016 with his Finn dinghy, the Swedish sailor Max Salminen started to wonder about what consequences the choice of rudder had on his performance. Max has previously won an Olympic gold medal in the Star Class in the London 2012 Olympics. In his continuous effort to improve, he turned to the research team at SSPA for support. Max Salminen explained that he wanted to maximise his performance, and one example was to find out what rudder he should choose for the next Olympic sailing regatta in at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

In late 2016, experts from SSPA together with students from Chalmers Sports & Technology started to evaluate and test seven different rudders in various conditions. The results from the studies showed that the choice of rudder could play a decisive difference. The results was published in a paper “Performance Evaluation and Ranking of 7 Rudders for the Finn Dinghy” in 2017. However, the great potential may be in developing a new exclusive rudder for Max. 

In order to incorporate the proper measuring systems in the former rudder trials, a full-scale copy of the Finn dinghy was built at SSPA. The structure of the Finn dinghy is rigid, while the hull is soft and deformable by waves. Meanwhile, the hull of the model boat is all rigid. The hydrodynamic experts started to think about how to continue to do research and to test if soft hull sections causes a lower hydrodynamic resistance or not. What if this results could assist Max in enhancing his performance, when aiming for a gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In April 2018, our experts were able to do research and study the hydrodynamic resistance for the two hulls, the Olympic Finn dinghy with soft hull sections, and the full-scale model with a rigid hull. The study contained 3D scanning, in-situ tests (sailing at sea), CFD calculations and full-scale tests in the 260 meters long towing tank at SSPA. What if it turns out that a soft hull causes a lower hydrodynamic resistance, and is it possible to measure this? The results is now analysed. 

Read more at Chalmers.se - Materials Science - World Championship dinghy tested at Chalmers and SSPA 
 

Photos

In the Sports & Technology initiative, researchers and students are combining passion for sports with expertise in science and engineering. Using state-of-the-art research facilities and working closely with athletes, coaches, governing bodies and industry, the researchers from SSPA and Chalmers find solutions to challenges and jointly research for innovations for the future. Photo: Robert Deaves

Modern Finn dinghies are flexible in sections of the hull. The subjective perception of the sailors is that this makes the boat faster in waves. In a research project together with Chalmers Sports & Technology and Max Salminen, a two-time Swedish Olympic sailor and current World Champion, SSPA will attempt to verify this. Photo: SSPA

In order to incorporate the proper measuring systems in the former rudder trials, a full-scale copy of the Finn dinghy was built at SSPA. The structures of the Finn dinghy is rigid, while the hull has soft deformable sections. Meanwhile, the hull of the model boat is all rigid. The hydrodynamic experts started to think about how to continue to do research and to test if soft hull sections causes a lower hydrodynamic resistance or not. What if this results could assist Max in enhancing his performance, when aiming for a gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: SSPA