Projects funded by SYRF are selected under the guidance of the SYRF Advisory Council, composed of the sport’s leading international figures in research and design. This group helps ascertain areas of research needed and which projects would make the best contribution to furthering our knowledge base in these areas.


Alan Andrews

President, Alan Andrews Yacht Design, USA

  • Based in Long Beach, CA since 1979
  • Specialty in first-to-finish fast boats for Transpac and other west coast races
  • Winning designs for Mackinac and other races
  • Pioneer designer in TP 52 Class
  • Member CCA, Transpacific YC, Balboa YC
  • ORA Technical Advisory Committee
  • BS Mechanical engineering, Stanford

Steve Benjamin

Sales representative, North Sails, USA

  • Top salesman for North, based in Milford, CT
  • Silver Medalist, 1984 Olympics 470 Class
  • Winner of nearly every prestigious race & championship in offshore sailing
  • Certified marine surveyor and appraiser
  • Chairman, NYYC Rating Rules Committee
  • BA, Yale University
  • Co-owner, Carkeek HPR 40 Spookie

Shaun Carkeek

President, Carkeek Partners, South Africa

  • Based in Cape Town & Valencia
  • Former Olympian for South Africa
  • Naval Architect, Southampton Univ. ‘94
  • Founder, Botin & Carkeek (’94-’10)
  • Winning designs in multiple IMS, ORC, GP 42
  • & TP 52 championships, incl. 6 MedCups
  • Member NYYC Rating Rules Tech. Committee
  • First HPR design: Carkeek 40

Andy Claughton

Southampton University, UK

  • Principal Research Engineer, Wolfson Unit
  • Member, Royal Inst. Naval Architects
  • Tow tank and wind tunnel specialist for 6 America’s Cup programs 1983 – 2000
  • Research & design coordinator 3 America’s Cup teams: Team NZL (’03, ‘07), Team Origin
  • Member, ORC Int’l Technical Committee
  • Member, RORC Technical Committee

Stan Honey

Director of Technology, America’s Cup Event Authority, USA

  • Emmy award-winning developer of technical innovations in televised sports
  • 29 patents in navigational system designs & sports television enhancements
  • Winning navigator, Volvo Ocean Race, Transpac, Jules Verne Trophy
  • Rolex Yachtsman of the Year 2010
  • US Sailing Board member
  • Delegate to ISAF Oceanic & Offshore Committee

Juan Kouyoumdjian

Juan Yacht Design, Spain

  • Born Buenos Aires, now based in Valencia
  • Yacht & Small Craft Design, Southampton Univ.
  • Member design teams for ’95, ‘00, ‘07 America’s Cup challengers
  • Winning designs in last 3 Volvo Ocean Races
  • Numerous other inshore & offshore designs
  • Principal Designer, Artemis Racing Team for 34th America’s Cup

David Lyons

Composites Consulting Group, Australia

  • Lecturer in Naval Arch., Univ. New South Wales
  • Member, ORC Int’l Technical Committee
  • Member, ISAF Spec. Regulations sub-Commitee
  • Australian Melges 24 champion, winner 2000 Australian Sports Medal
  • Winning design, ‘93 Sydney-Hobart Race
  • Member ‘93 Australian Admiral’s Cup team

Adolfo Carrau

Botin Partners Naval Architecture, Spain

  • MSc, Southampton University
  • 2000 Olympics for Uruguay in Lasers
  • Develops VPP & race modeling design tools for hull, appendage & sail development
  • Manages rating & performance optimization studies
  • Winning designs in TP 52 Class
  • New HPR 40 design under build

Mark Mills

Mills Design, Ltd, Ireland

  • BSc Naval Arch., Southampton University
  • Numerous successful custom & production design projects in UK & US
  • Multiple winning IRC designs in Commodore’s Cup, Copa del Rey, Fastnet and other events
  • Winner of 2009 Irish Sailor of Year Award
  • Winner 2010 Asian Marine & Boating Best Designer Award
  • Member, RORC Tech. Committee

Alessandro Nazareth

President, Vallicelli Yacht Designers, Italy

  • Chairman, ORC Int’l Technical Committee, sets agenda for research on ORC VPP
  • BSc Mechanical Engineering
  • Numerous successful custom & production racer and cruiser/racer design projects
  • Multiple winning designs in IOR, IMS & ORC regional and World Championships
  • Raced numerous Admirals, Sardinia & Ton Cups

Grant Spanhake

North Performance Resource Group, USA

  • Born NZL, competed in 4 Whitbread Races (‘84–’02)
  • Numerous sail design consulting & optimization projects, including:
  • 6 America’s Cup teams (‘87-’06)
  • 4 Olympic programs (‘04-’12)
  • TP 52 & Audi MedCups (‘02-’11)
  • Author, all North sail design manuals

Jim Schmicker

Vice President, Farr Yacht Design, USA

  • Senior Naval Architect, Farr Yacht Design since 1988
  • Graduate of Webb Institute and MIT
  • Specialist in rating & performance optimization
  • contributed to Farr success throughout '80's-90's
  • Managing in-house VPP & Researrch tools for current & future projects

Jason Ker

Ker Design, Spain

  • B.Eng Yacht & Powercraft Design, Southampton
  • Multiple winning IRC designs, starting w/Ker 55 Aera winning all ’03 Admirals Cup inshore races and numerous major UK races since
  • Principal Designer, ‘07 Shosholoza America’s Cup challenge
  • Recently joined ORC Int’l Tech. Committee
  • Expert in use of CFD in design

Claudio Fassardi

Performance Consultant, USA

  • Naval Architect and Mechanical Engineer
  • Tank Testing, Prototype Instrumentation and Performance Prediction
  • America's Cup Design Teams '92, '95, '00, '03 and '07
  • Bronze Medal Lighting Class 1983 Pan American Games
  • Soling '84 and Lightning '83 South American Champion

Jim Teeters

Associate Offshore Director, US Sailing, USA

  • President, SYRF Advisory Council
  • Developer of VPP for ORR, HPR & International Super Yacht Rule
  • Past yacht designer with Langan Design Associates and Sparkman & Stephens
  • Design team coordinator, Young America America's Cup programs
  • Past Director of Research, US Sailing, past member of Int'l Technical Committee
  • BA Dartmouth College, MS Stevens Institute

Luiz Kahl

President and Owner, Yachtscoring, USA

  • Mechanical Engineer and Interactive Software Developer
  • Developer, Yacht Scoring Race Management Software and Real-Time Scoring
  • Developer, Bayview Y.C. and Chicago Y.C. Race Management Software, 1999-present
  • Executive Director, US-IRC Foundation, 2008-2011
  • Board of Governors, Storm Trysail Club, 2008-2009
  • Director, Southern Ocean Racing Conference, 2007-present

Peter Holmberg

Professional Sailor, USVI

  • Born and based in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
  • Afterguard and helmsman in three America's Cups (Stars and Stripes 2000, Oracle 2003, Alinghi 2007)
  • Olympic Silver Medal in the Finn Class
  • Longstanding director and rating committee member off the Caribbean Sailing Association
  • Competes in a wide range of sailboats from IC24 to Melges 32, Farr 40, TP52, SC70, Maxi's, to Superyachts
  • Travel and race under CSA, IRC, and ORC throughout the Caribbean, USA, Europe, and South Africa

Dimitri Nicolopoulos-Salle

Founding Partner, KND Sailing Performance, Spain

  • Based in Valencia, Spain
  • Founding partner of KND-SailingPerformance
  • Performs performance analysis for IRC72 and TP52 world titles
  • Conducts CFD analysis for multiple programs including IRC72, Vendee Globe, Wally Cento
  • America's Cup 32 Design Coordinator, Areya Challenge

Bastien Pouthier

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Associated Marine Design

  • Based in Trinidad, West Indies
  • Founding partner of Associated Marine Design
  • Chief Measurer of Carribbean Sailing Association rating rule
  • Yacht Engineering degree, University of Southhampton
  • Conducted over 700 marine surveys
  • Designs monohull and catamaran sail and power yachts

Not Shown

Philippe Briand, Briand Design

Greg Loe, CSA Rule

Rob Pallard, NRC-CNRC

Rob Ranzenbach, Wind tunnel consulting

Jason Smithwick, RORC Rating Office

Help ensure our research and development continues