In the last twenty years the theoretical approach to aerodynamic design by means of Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) has evolved substantially. The recent improvements in computer performance have made the use of Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations (RANS) feasible for practical design applications, thereby opening new frontiers in aerodynamic design. RANS codes have broadened the availability of design tools and expanded the design criteria. The latest generation of racing yachts has greatly benefited from the use of these new tools in the design of hulls, appendages and sails. The proposed contribution is focused on the use of RANS in assisting the sail designer. A fully viscous incompressible research code originally developed for aerospace applications has been extended for use in sail plan analysis, thereby allowing the designer to test and compare a large number of sail modifications in a relatively short amount of time. A parametric approach to sail design in upwind conditions will be presented for an America's Cup Yacht. The benefits, weaknesses, and potential of 3D RANS solutions will be discussed in detail.

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