USA wins America’s Cup with “wing sail” built on Janicki tools

BMW Oracle's carbon fiber composite "wing" sail propels the team to victory in the 33rd America's Cup race off the coast of Spain.

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The 33rd edition of the America’s Cup yachting competition was especially sweet for Janicki Industries (Sedro-Woolley, Wash.) this year when the U.S. entry, USA, fielded by the BMW ORACLE Racing team, crossed the finish line to win the oldest trophy in sport. Janicki’s composites tooling specialists are not only avid BMW ORACLE fans but also have been involved in the America’s Cup competition for nearly 10 years. Working with the BMW ORACLE team’s custom boatbuilder Core Builders (Anacortes, Wash.), Janicki provided tooling for most of the carbon fiber components of the USA (previously known as the BOR 90). Most recently, the company manufactured molds for the USA’s radical new wing sail (see top photo), a technological breakthrough that reportedly improved the yacht’s maneuverability and speed by 20 percent. The 223 ft/68.6m tall structure — more than twice as long as a Boeing 747 wing — has a carbon and aramid fiber-reinforced frame, skinned with an aeronautical film material. 

“The team at Core Builders always finds a way to help us expand our limits,” says Jim Payant, Janicki’s VP for marine, energy and transportation. “We’ve developed entire product lines out of this collaboration,” he notes, adding that the two-and-a-half-year effort was “filled with incredible teamwork coupled with some amazing technology.”