AeroCloud and Sub7 attempt history's farthest triathlon
Kristian Blummenfelt achieved the unthinkable. He and his team set the new Sub7 IronMan record
Thu 09 June 2022
Kristian Blummenfelt set a new record
Sub7 was an attempt by Kristian Blummenfelt to achieve the unthinkable, to become the first man in history to break the 7-hour barrier in a triathlon. That said, on the 5th of June 2022, Kristian Blummenfelt set the 6:44:25 record.
NablaFlow was introduced to the Sub7 project in the fall of 2021. Since then, we have been working closely with the team to improve aerodynamics in preparation for the Sub7 attempt.
Our task: using AeroCloud to win a Sub7 triathlon
The Sub7 project was an interesting challenge from a fluid mechanics perspective. Triathlon is a complex sport in that it combines three different disciplines. Each discipline has its own aerodynamic or hydrodynamic features, so there were many potential issues we could look into in order to find performance gains.
Besides, the Sub7 project is a triathlon with a twist: it allows pacers. It's a team competition rather than individual, so aspects like drafting, pacer formation, and race strategy all come into play. We had to optimize all these factors for ultimate performance, which was a challenge. We had to prioritize what details to focus on within a short timeframe.
What is the quest for marginal gains in triathlon
Kristian and his team, with Olav Aleksander Bu as their driving force, are known for their meticulous attention to detail and their data-driven decision making. They turn every stone possible and use every available means to find any small advantage they can. Working with people who share this sense of curiosity and creativity allowed us to gain insight into new ways of doing things that we may not have considered before.
Triathlon is a big driver of technology and understanding of aerodynamics. Professional triathletes have already made great strides toward optimizing aerodynamic performance. But there is still much to be gained. For professional triathletes, the quest for marginal gains is never-ending.
From initial sketches to a triathlon record: how aerodynamicists can solve strategic challenges
Using AeroCloud, the Sub7 team was able to address and tackle aerodynamic challenges and issues efficiently. The automated CFD process enabled them to quickly brainstorm ideas, set up high-quality simulations, and get answers within hours. The quick turnaround time helped the team set their creativity free and solve problems efficiently in a short timeframe.
In the end, we offered the team a fast, flexible, and comprehensive solution that enabled them to experiment with multiple scenarios at once.
With the help of AeroCloud, we were able to upload and run multiple parts, multiple models and multiple yaw angles simultaneously. There was no need to spend time setting up the model or optimizing the mesh manually. The algorithms behind did it automatically. This provided us with fast results which enabled us to make the final best decision. We went from idea to results in no time.
Yes, AeroCloud makes time trial aerodynamics available to everyone
When Kristian and the Sub7 team set out to break the IronMan distance record, they knew that an optimized performance would be key. Using AeroCloud's fast simulations, they were able to manage their equipment and strategy so that they could achieve the record-breaking goal.
Consequently, the Sub7 team was able to set new records in the IronMan distance race. They broke the 7-hour mark for the first time on June 5th with a total time of 6 hours, 44 minutes, and 25 seconds.
The benefits of aerodynamics extend beyond the elite level. It can help triathletes and all athletes perform better. Not many non-professionals used to have access to such CFD or aerodynamic simulations before. As from today, AeroCloud makes the CFD simulation tools available to everyone.
Use computational aerodynamics to squeeze the most out of cycling strategy
The results for our selected customers have been impressive. We've seen different professionals find gains as large as 10-20% in investigations into rider position on the bike. AeroCloud is a high-performance computing aerodynamics platform that allows athletes to easily and quickly experiment with aerodynamic equipment and set new performance records.
The user-friendly nature of our computational fluid dynamics tool makes it accessible to non-professionals, too. Since it does not require any expertise or training, anyone can benefit from using it. By providing an online interface, AeroCloud makes aerodynamic optimization available to everyone.
How AeroCloud can become your sports aerodynamics resource
There are many ways to improve your sports performance, but one of the most effective is by gaining insight into aerodynamics. The reality is that it can be difficult to get started with this type of adjustments without access to a wind tunnel or expensive simulation tools.
That's where AeroCloud comes in. We make it easy for anyone—from beginners to experts—to get the help they need to set new performance records. Whether you don't have access to resources or just aren't sure where to start, we're here for you.
Fredrik Fang Liland holds a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Beginning his studies at the University of Stavanger, he continued his education at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, graduating with an MSc. A member of NablaFlow from its founding, he has contributed to the development of AeroCloud since then. His aerodynamic expertise and problem-solving skills have helped NablaFlow push AeroCloud forward.