AIVC Event – Romsey Cafe Sci : “Science of Hydrofoils in Sailing”

An online talk for Romsey Cafe Scientifique presented by Jonathan Ridley from Warsash Maritime Academy, Southampton Solent University on “High Speed Sailing – The Science of Hydrofoils”. This is a refresher on the similar talk at Basingstoke IVC Cafe Sci from Mon July 24th 2017.


The sport of sailing has been transformed of the last few years. The mix of advance materials, hydrodynamics and engineering has taken what was a fairly sedate sport into the 21st Century. This talk will look at the theory of sailing, the design and use of hydrofoils, and the advanced materials that enable modern racing yachts to fly at speeds of 50 knots.

Steam may give way to sail, but for the top racing yacht, foils have replaced sails. Come and find out about the technical challenges involved in hydrofoil design for racing yachts and what can be achieved. Jonathon will also discuss what can go wrong as illustrated by the recently reported capsize of the Team New Zealand entry in the Americas Cup Race.

After qualifying with an engineering degree from Southampton Institute, Jonathan worked for the United Kingdom’s Defence Evaluation Research Agency (known as DERA) and later QinetiQ at Haslar. In this role he worked with both experimental and computational fluid hydrodynamics ranging from the application of flow simulations for consultancy to research to develop and validate numerical models to simulate fluid flows. As well as this theoretical work, Jonathan worked on small and large scale experimental hydrodynamics projects investigating the resistance and motions of ships. He did this on a wide range of projects ranging from submarines and large civil and military vessels to America’s Cup yachts.

Following his this Jonathan joined Warsash Maritime Academy as a Senior Lecturer, teaching Naval Architecture and Ship Stability to both Merchant Navy cadets and senior officers, along with undergraduate students on engineering and maritime operations degrees. In this role Jonathan also undertook consultancy work covering naval architecture, education, training and assessment for the maritime industry. In 2010 Jonathan became a Principal Lecturer with responsibility for the management of Merchant Navy cadets and Student Support.

In 2014, Jonathan co-authored ‘Reeds Volume 13: Ship Stability, Powering and Resistance’, part of the renowned Reeds Marine Engineering and Technology Series, which is now a core text book on many Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering degrees.

Jonathan is now the Head of Engineering at Southampton Solent University, with responsibility for a range of degrees including mechanical engineering, design and manufacturing.


September 24


07:30 pm - 09:00 pm

Click to Register:

Manchester IVC