SYRF Has Productive Summer

Newport, RI – Projects supported by the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) have not been on summer holiday this season, with progress made in several areas of research. Each of these programs helps further SYRF’s stated mission “to develop and catalog the science underlying sailboat performance resulting in more accurate sailboat handicapping formulae for the benefit of all racing sailors.”

As reported in June, the KND Analysis Project of collecting race logs from select boats entered in the New York YC Annual Regatta, the Bayview-Mackinac Regatta, and the Chicago-Mac Race has yielded a total of 60 days of data. These logs have been compiled into a composite log file, and are available for download from the SYRF Technical Resources Library. For best viewing and analysis, be sure to try KND Sailing Performance’s RaceReplay software, available for trial and download online at the KND website.
“The value of this data will be to allow handicappers to make better use of race results in judging the accuracy of their ratings,” says SYRF Technical Director

Jim Teeters. “Using the actual weather, not what was assumed and embedded in the ratings, enables meaningful comparisons between actual and predicted performance.”

“Another possibility for this project to become more efficient is for KND to develop an automated process for evaluating the data logs,” says SYRF Executive Director McKenzie Wilson. “We will discuss this more with KND, as it can make the processing time and effort much easier and allow for many more races and racers to participate.”

Another SYRF project that has been working through the summer has been the Downwind Aero 2 Study, where North Sails and the Wolfson Unit at Southampton University have been developing the sail shapes needed for the CFD runs to be performed in this study. Initial results are expected in late September or early October.

The Wide Light 2 project to study the performance of modern high-speed offshore boats has also made progress, with designers on the SYRF Advisory Board contributing their knowledge to develop a parent hull shape suitable to put through the suite of CFD testing identified as most productive in the Wide Light 1 study.

And finally SYRF has been providing administrative support for an interesting project that is using empirically-derived polars from the performance logs of large fast cruising multihulls to develop a new Multihull Rating and scoring scheme. Already through shadow scoring the initial results have shown significant reductions in corrected time differences, implying a more fair approach to handicapping these luxurious high-speed craft. Much more work is needed on developing a system of measurements and a VPP, or to continue with the log-based empirical approach.

“Its great to see this progress on our research agenda,” says SYRF Chairman Steve Benjamin. “We are also excited to have had McKenzie recently invited to give presentations about SYRF to an international audience at the Yacht Racing Forum in Malta in November. A SYRF presence at the Forum will further expose the value of our work to a broad audience of sailors, designers, builders, researchers and the media to the importance of the SYRF mission.”

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