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HDS GSEA Design receives the Federation of Nautical Industries prize

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Digitally simulating the air and water to gain a better understanding of the impact of fluid interaction on a boat’s elements, such is the core of HDS GSEA Design’s experience. On Monday evening, during the French Sailing Federation’s champions’ night, the Lorient-based design office received the prize for high technology, in the design category, organised by the Federation of Nautical Industries. A just reward for these inventors behind the scenes.


Sharper than the FBI, more Breton than the IMF, the FSI is at the very heart of what’s topical in the marine industry and its latest revolutions. This acronym, which means Fluid-Structure Interaction singly sums up the question of performance and reliability in terms of appendages, and notably foils, which have become an obvious solution in the marine world as we know it today.

Since the main idea is to enable multihulls to make headway with solely their appendages piercing the water – and for monohulls to extract themselves as much as possible from the resistance created by the water -, it has become crucial to understand and anticipate how these appendages behave when subjected to the elements. As such, the FSI solution is a piece of software that enables the design of these appendages to be optimised by calculating all the parameters of resistance, flow and stability in flight by digitally simulating the deformed shape of the water around the elements that come into contact with it.

From Team Artemis to Groupama Team France

At HDS GSEA Design, where the spirit of Research & Development prevails, it is a tradition to create its own software. It’s a question of freedom, high performance and also exclusivity. The 7th prize for high technology from the FIN, it rewards the excellence of the company’s so-called Sofia software, which has already attracted no fewer than two America’s Cup teams.

Sofia is a comprehensive suite for proportioning deformable downwind appendages (foils, blades…). This exclusive software first began to take shape in 2013, spurred on by Hervé Devaux, engineer, doctor in vibratory mechanics and offshore and inshore racing guru for the past twenty years or so. It’s the Swedish America’s Cup team, Artemis, which has called upon the renowned calculating strength of HDS, a company that has already advised the Americans in previous editions. The HDS and GSEA Design merger back in 2014 has enabled digital tooling to be given concrete expression thanks to the contribution of Rémy Balze, doctor in fluid mechanics and an R&D engineer in FSI studies on race boat appendages.

Sofia benefits from new data and feedback on a daily basis, which steadily increases thanks to four HDS GSEA Design engineers dedicated to calculations on the appendages, thus reinforcing the performance of this extraordinary piece of software. This solution, used by numerous marine projects, has today been adopted by 2 America’s Cup teams: Team Artemis and Groupama Team France. 

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