Britton Ward is Vice President, Senior Naval Architect and Shareholder at Farr Yacht Design in Annapolis, Maryland. His primary responsibilities include conceptual design leadership and hull shape development of performance sailing yacht and powerboat projects as well as management and implementation of research and development programs. Farr Yacht Design employs the latest in design software from 3D CAD software systems to state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics simulation tools running on dedicated HPC cluster resources. In many cases scale tank tests and wind tunnel experiments are also completed at various facilities.
Britt grew up in Fremantle, Western Australia where he was an avid sailor spending weekends racing on the Swan River, building boats in the winter and being inspired by the 1987 America’s Cup races and periodic visits from the Whitbread Round the World Racers.
Pursuing his yacht design career, Britt enrolled in the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in New York in 1991. Four years at Webb covered all aspects of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, but offered limited exposure to Yacht Design. During his time at Webb Britt served internships at Sparkman and Stephens in New York and in Australia assisting America’s Cup Measurer Ken McAlpine. While at college, he was an active member of the collegiate sailing team competing at colleges along the Eastern seaboard and held offices as both Sailing Team Captain and Yacht Club Flag Officer for many years.
While attending Webb Britt developed a sound appreciation for how important both artistry and technology are to producing well-balanced, high performance yacht designs. Upon graduating he felt it would be valuable to further round out his engineering background in computational and experimental hydrodynamics, and so enrolled in the Ocean Engineering Department at MIT. He graduated with a Masters in Ocean Engineering and joined Farr Yacht Design in 1996.
During his 19 years at FYD, Britt has been an integral part of Farr Yacht Design’s research efforts for the Whitbread/Volvo and America's Cup programs. He assumed the role of manager for the hull research program for both Oracle Racing's 2003 and 2007 America's Cup campaigns and has been responsible for the development of a number of Volvo Ocean Race, Open 60 and other grand-prix and cruising yacht designs. Most recently, Britt was lead designer of the new Volvo Ocean 65 One-Design class that made its debut in the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race.