We’re used to technology trickling down but sometimes it goes the other way. That’s what happened with Harken Air winches, which have moved steadily upwards in terms of size and complexity through grand prix racing fleets over the last eight years, delivering performance gains and major weight savings.
The product, with a brilliant piece of design – a super-strong, featherweight, fully optimised structure with a big hole in the middle and a tiny gearbox on the inside rim, replacing a large, solid lump.
‘The Air winch started as a small single-speed winch that we developed specifically for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda,’ says Harken’s director of global of grand prix and custom yacht sales, Mark Wiss. ‘They’re still using it now in SailGP.’ Read on.