Forcefield News

Team Evolution Go Wind Tunnel Testing

15/06/2012 10:11:00

On 13th June Forcefield sponsored athletes from Team Evolution Alpine Racing were invited to use the wind tunnel alongside members of the British Speed Ski Team at Cambridge University, where research was conducted by James Richardson into drag created by different aerodynamic positions.

Team Evolution Junior Team athletes Max Baggio, Max Moss & Darcie Mead, along with British Senior Team athlete and 2010 Olympian Ed Drake all benefited from this great opportunity on a range of levels. With each athlete only physically able to stay inside the tunnel for a couple of minutes, the volume of data fed through to the computers was far greater by utilizing several different athletes one after another and helped James compile more accurate live data that the coaches were able to apply to their athletes tuck positions an experience that should prove invaluable ahead of next season and before the athletes head down to Chile and start on the speed work on snow this summer!

By looking through the data available from the initial phase of testing they managed to get a lot of information and further understanding of positioning for shaving off those 100ths of seconds. The equipment set up, in terms of catsuit material, helmet shape and back protection used, makes far less difference in terms of aerodynamics than the drag created by the body position - so the main benefit of using the right gear is to allow the athletes to achieve the correct position, meaning the most important factor is that their equipment has to be comfortable and allow them to move freely into this “ideal position”.

As part of phase two of testing James Richardson and the Cambridge University technicians set a monitoring screen into the floor of the tunnel that allowed the athletes to see the exact changes in drag created by each position as they varied stance and hip height. Paul Telling, Junior Coach and Programme Director explained that, “Once we’d worked with James to establish a stable gliding position all the alpine athletes were able to adapt their tucks as we went, mainly checking the difference in speed between arched or flat backs and high or low hip positions.”

Team evolutionTeam Evolution Wind Tunnel testing

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