Every tool will help, but as we've seen at last Cup with the 'CFD & Simulation Kings', you'd better also put the designer onboard BAR AC45 or their Nacra 20 on a 20knots days, and they will get all the feedback they need...! --
Full text at ben-ainslie-racing.americascup.com/en/news/135_BAR-develop-virtual-flying-machine.html :
..."James Roche came to Ben Ainslie Racing from McLaren Applied Technologies, where he had worked on the design of the skeleton sled that Lizzy Yarnold used to slide to gold at the Sochi Winter Olympics. ...
...The simulator would link the Sailing Team – who would use it as part of their training – and the Design Team; creating an important feedback mechanism between the two core parts of the performance team well in advance of the launch of the Cup boat. It also provides an equally important feedback mechanism within the Design Team’s own processes.
“We are trying to run the simulator as part of the same project as performance prediction. The models that we use to calculate theoretical data on how a particular design of boat will perform are exactly the same models that the simulator uses, so there is a positive feedback loop between the two as we refine them.”...