Fair competition in offshore sailing
Published on April 27th, 2018
The Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) is partnering with Stamford Yacht Club to offer an evening of discussions on May 10 on how to prepare for this season’s races to Bermuda and the role science plays in measurement and scoring to produce fair competition in offshore sailing.
The evening features former SYRF Chairman, Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award winner and perennial inshore and offshore champion Steve Benjamin to talk about SYRF’s beneficial role to the sport from an owner’s and sailor’s point of view, as will fellow SYRF Board member Scott Weisman, an experienced offshore sailor and boat owner.
SYRF Communications Director and Seahorse Magazine Technical Editor Dobbs Davis will discuss the importance of measurements, the state of handicap sailing in the US and SYRF’s important role in improving this for all sailors.
SYRF’s Technical Director and founding member Jim Teeters from the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) will discuss how VPP handicapping and its scoring options can benefit the accuracy and objectivity of race results, with particular emphasis on the Performance Curve Scoring (PCS) method used in this year’s Newport Bermuda Race.
SYRF has been a long-term supporter of ORR development and more recently been aiding the Offshore Multihull Association (OMA) and the development of the MultiRule system for fair handicapping of large performance catamarans.
“Rating these boats is a particular challenge, they are all so different in their performance characteristics,” notes SYRF Board member Larry Rosenfeld. “We have now analyzed thousands of racing data log points defining each boat’s performance from sticky light air to flying a hull in heavy air. In fact, we were successful in rating a foiling 46-foot cat on the same course with 50-62 foot cats. Our system is producing good polars (ratings) throughout the wind range and has resulted in very close races on corrected time using our PCS scoring app.”
SYRF has been assisting OMA in the development of a mobile app for PCS that once fully developed can provide real-time race results.
Other projects being pursued at SYRF include cooperation with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) to provide a greater range of data for the SYRF Performance Data Library so that this can be used across a broad range of boat types to help in VPP validation studies.
For more information about SYRF: www.sailyachtresearch.org