Is this a breakthrough in sailing technology? ACC- Automatic Camber Control, looks set to demonstrate that wing sail technology can be a reality for cruising sailboats.
The innovative technology behind the wing sail is the result of a long and passionate research program by Hugues de Turckheim. Hugues began experimenting with wing sails some forty years ago while working as head of the Tiga windsurfing team. He has been passionately pursuing solutions that would enable the production of wing sails that are light, simple to build and control, able to be easily reefed and stowed, affordable, and readily adaptable to conventional monohull and multihull cruising yachts.
Philippe Marcovich, sailing enthusiast and founder of Sicomin Epoxy Systems saw the potential for Hugues' invention and has fitted a 60sq.m. ACC wing to his 10m LOA carbon catamaran which was launched and trialled on October 29th 2020 in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc.
Philippe reports that the rig provided ample power in the light air that prevailed on the day. Philippe was impressed that the rig sails very close to the wind and tacks quickly and effortlessly. Philippe is keen to carry out further trials in open waters after a few fine adjustments have been made to the rig.
The composite components for the 17m wing were built by Tual Le Guillerm at the Crazy Lobster ship yard in the port of Le Légué.
The mast is a tapered section and the sail is supported by a series of hairpin battens, but it's the simplicity of the control system that is at the heart of the new rig.
The technology that makes the wing so unique is still under wraps (a patent is in the works) but Hugues has fitted to a model of the rig to our 20m Mauritius trimaran and it looks impressive.
One of the major advantages of the ACC Wing is that it is perfectly compatible with Gennakers, Code Zéros, and spinnakers. Philippe says the rig is adaptable to yachts of any size from about 10m up and he's keen to see it fitted to a vessel suited to long range ocean sailing.