Supporting the Application of Science in Sailing

Published on September 23rd, 2015

Newport, RI (September 23, 2015) – The Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) reports significant progress in its role to support the application of science in sailing.

First, the Board of Directors has refined SYRF’s mission statement to be more defined towards benefiting the sport of offshore sailing. The new statement is as follows:

Our mission is to develop and catalog the science underlying sailboat performance resulting in more accurate sailboats handicapping formulae for the benefit of all racing sailors.

This statement will help to guide the Board in its decisions on what proposals and projects to approve for SYRF support.

Second, with the help of SYRF’s summer intern Sam Sheckells, more research papers and other materials were added to the SYRF Library. The total is now an impressive 270 documents.

Third, the Wide Light Project is currently wrapping up, with a report submitted by lead investigator Andy Claughton of Southampton University now in final review. The report and all results will be published on the SYRF website next month, in addition to an article on the project written by Jim Teeters and Dobbs Davis for Seahorse Magazine, to appear in an upcoming issue in late 2015.

Fourth, the Board has approved the exploratory phase of a Cloud-based CFD project proposed by David Egan, which aims to develop a pre-configured tool combining the meshing, RANS, and post-processing softwares necessary for analysis in the Cloud. This project will make these state-of-the-art tools more readily available to both designers and handicappers.

Fifth, there are several new projects under consideration for support, including:
– a joint study with ORC’s International Technical Committee and lead researcher Fabio Fossati of the Milan Polytechnic to examine the correlation of CFD, wind tunnel, and full scale measurements to validate aerodynamic force coefficients for use in VPP handicapping.
– a proposal to use the analytic code from North Sails to predict the aerodynamic forces and moments on downwind sails and compare them to those currently in use by VPP handicappers.
– a proposal for a second phase of the Wide Light study that would consist of a numerically analyzed 9 hull series of a modern hull shape using the CFD methodologies validated in Phase 1.

Sixth, SYRF has partnered with the Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium to host the 22nd edition of this prestigious conference to be held over March 18-19, 2016 in Annapolis, Maryland. Already organizers have received 26 abstracts to papers to be considered for presentation, including SYRF’s own Wide Light Study. More details on the CSYS will be available soon.

Lastly, SYRF is joined by McKenzie Wilson as Research Analyst. Her duties will be to assist in the oversight of new projects, collating and publishing project results, and pursuing new fundraising opportunities.

For more information on SYRF, visit

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