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The Mathematical Genius Behind the oldest International Sport


Team New Zealand is the crew sailing against America for “The Old Mug”, a rather ugly trophy that represents the Formula 1 of yachting and is the oldest international sporting competition. It was initially sailed in large sloops, but is now hi-tech in catamarans than lift off the ocean on complex “foils” – thereby providing less hull resistance. This equals high speeds and the use of complex controls to gain speed advantage. Team New Zealand’s Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi, who holds a PhD in mathematical modelling and aerodynamics, backed up with a Masters from Cambridge University, has been credited as the key driving force behind Team NZ’s radical design. You can follow this exciting application of fluid Mathematics in action here.

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NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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