From the following article posted on April 17th, 2014 by Virginie Bouchet
As children, we all drew sails. Two triangles, a mast and a hull and we had the most beautiful pirate ship in the world to hunt treasures on deserted islands around the room. Today, as a ‘Sail Designer’ at North Sails, Gautier Sergent is definitely still like a big kid.
From New Zealand, where he had already been working with ‘North’ for nearly 10 years, Sergent came to Brittany in order to work in the sail loft of Franck Cammas’s team for the victorious campaign in the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race. Now based at North Sails France in Vannes, Gautier works especially closely with Jacques Guichard, the master sailmaker at Spindrift racing, who manages the sail plan for the team.
“Computer modelling tools have evolved in recent years,” Sergent explains. “We already understand the forces on the structures, but now we can take into account the consistency of flow, i.e. better reproduce the effects of the flow of the wind on the sails and for example simulate turbulence more accurately. Spindrift 2’s sails are so large that it is impossible to reproduce their behaviour in a wind tunnel. Digital tools allow us to get ever closer to reality.”
read more here
and the video from the article: