Developing the science of sailing

Published on December 18th, 2018

The mission of the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) is to develop and catalog the science underlying sailboat performance resulting in more accurate sailboat handicapping formulae for the benefit of all racing sailors. Translated, exercise extreme caution when entering conversation with the SYRF team. These people will effortlessly foil over your head.

Funded by donations, here’s an update from SYRF’s latest newsletter:

The SYRF Mobile App
Working with our newest Board member Larry Rosenfeld, Executive Director McKenzie Wilson is managing the development of a new mobile app. The SYRF Mobile App will include real-time tracking, a live leaderboard, and KPIs (key performance indicators per leg and overall such as % of polars sailed, distance sailed and average windspeed) for sailors, spectators, and race committee alike.

The app will be available for both iOS and Android. Tracking will be available directly through sailors’ smartphones or third party transponders such as TracTrac and Yellowbrick.

The beta version is slated for March 2019, just before the BVI Spring Regatta, the first event of the Offshore Multihull Association’s 2019 season.

Features of the app include:
– Live race tracking for all types of racing: Windward-leeward, Coastal, and Offshore
– Robust, real time calculation engine for Performance Curve Scoring. It will also be able to handle Time on Time, Time on Distance and One-Design racing for leaderboard presentation.
– Instant insight into competitor performance and course conditions through real-time KPIs
– Enhanced spectator experience with live leaderboard and race tracker
– Collaborative tools, such as mark and course libraries, to streamline course management
– Automatic data sync to the SYRF Performance Database.

New Multihull Rule (ORCmh)
The Offshore Multihull Association (OMA) has asked SYRF to provide its MultiRule to ORC to create the new ORCmh and for ORC to administer the rating rule itself and continue its development in collaboration with SYRF. The OMA owners will govern the rule and how it is implemented.

Working with Larry Rosenfeld from SYRF and utilizing the resources and infrastructure of both ORC and KND Sailing Performance, the new ORCmh system will evolve from the MultiRule system. Over the past three years, the MultiRule, working with KND and SYRF, has provided ratings based primarily on data-driven polars.

The MultiRule has exclusively used performance curve scoring (PCS), for which SYRF and the OMA jointly developed a PCS mobile app to simplify the scoring process for sailors and race committee. The PCS engine developed for this application will be incorporated into the SYRF Mobile App. Data collected for the MultiRule will be maintained in the forthcoming SYRF Performance Database.

Rosenfeld and the ORCmh group are planning both a technical conference and a measurement conference in Valencia in January to prepare for the 2019 season, which kicks off at the BVI Spring Regatta in late March. They will also begin the process of creating a new VPP for multihulls that will be validated by the data driven polars created from analyzing every second of data collected while each boat is racing (as the multihulls have done for the past 3 seasons).

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