Name: Tom Speer
Team: Oracle Team USA
Role: Aero & Sail Project Leader
Date of birth: 26 March 1953
Country: United States
“For decades, yacht design and aerodynamics was something I did in my spare time as a hobby,” says Tom “Now I get to do it full time – my avocation has become my vocation. In ight testing, I was evaluating other people’s ideas. Now I get to see my own ideas y across the water. ”
In his first career Tom retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the USAF, and then was a ight controls engineer with Boeing until his second retirement. Tom’s third career began when ORACLE TEAM USA design director Mike Drummond contacted him during the lead up to the 33rd Cup.
Tom’s website, www.tspeer.com, has been a common reference for designers interested in wingmast/sail combinations, rigid wing rigs, landyachts and hydrofoils. His hydrofoil sections have been used on Moths, Ian Farrier-designed trimarans, and an experimental kite-powered hydrofoil.
For the 33rd Cup Tom designed the cross-section shapes for Mast 3 and the wingsail on USA 17. For the 34th he’s responsible for designing the two-dimensional cross section shapes for the wingsail, including how many elements (aps, tabs, etc.) to use, what their proportions should be, and their exterior shapes. He’s also working on methods to analyze the test data, and on new methods of instrumentation for the wing.