Newport, RI – The Sailing Yacht Research Foundation(SYRF) is pleased to announce that World-class navigator and America’s Cup Technology Director Stan Honey has been elected by the Board of Directors to be the new Chairman, taking over from the role filled by Steve Benjamin, who will remain on the Board. Both Honey and Benjamin are well-recognized world-class sailors and past winners of the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award.

Another Board member, Jay Hansen, will now fill the role of President of SYRF, taking on an active role to work closely with Executive Director McKenzie Wilson in guiding existing SYRF-funded projects as well as finding new opportunities to help SYRF fulfill its mission to support the science behind handicap racing. Hansen is recently retired from being the Chief Operating Officer of the North Technology Group and has had over two decades of experience in guiding research and development project.

This change in leadership comes at a time of numerous ongoing activities for SYRF, including the following projects and updates:
– PPP: Progress continues with the Performance Prediction Project which is being run by North Design Services researchers JB Braun and Michael Richelson. 

– 14 Meter Model Hull: this design provided by SYRF helps researchers calibrate CFD models to tank test data, and is the test model for upcoming NUMECA sponsored CFD seminar at the Webb Institute. Institutions or groups interested in attending or hosting a seminar should contact SYRF’s Executive Director, McKenzie Wilson.

– Offshore Multihull Research: SYRF collaborated with the Offshore Multihull Association (OMA) in the development of a PCS iOS mobile application to better allow racers to understand their current standings against other boats while racing. This PCS application is non-specific to multihulls and can be used in any event that is scored using PCS, including the ORC World Championships; the application will be made available for download through the iTunes application store later this year.

– Boat Performance Database: As a follow-up to last year’s Data Analysis Program made in cooperation with KND-Sailing Performance, SYRF is providing an online platform for collecting performance data from individual boats where this data can be shared with the sailing design and research community. This is an important and unprecedented effort to collect in one place observed performance data that can be used to validate prediction models.

– SYRF Library additions: Thirty-five research papers and presentations from the 4th edition of the INNOV’SAIL conference held in Lorient, France in June 2017 are now uploaded to the Library. This is one of the world’s three major academic conferences held where a broad spectrum of scientists, naval architects, engineers, sailors, sail makers, boat and rig builders and others share ideas on all aspects of aero- and hydrodynamic research, data acquisition and analysis, material science and engineering, and more.

Another recent addition to the Library is a copy of the feature article, Finely Tuned Tuned Spinnaker Trim,” published in the September issue of Sailing World Magazine on the influence of sail trim on downwind boat speed learned from the Downwind Aero Moments & Forces Phase 2 study. This is article illustrates how SYRF-funded research can have direct as well as indirect benefits to the sailing community.

– Yacht Racing Forum: SYRF Executive Director McKenzie Wilson will be traveling to the Design and Technology Symposium of the Yacht Racing Forum in Aarhus, Denmark held over November 27-28th to give a presentation on SYRF’s Performance Database project. SYRF Communication Director Dobbs Davis will be moderating this Symposium that annually attracts designers, sailors, boat and spar builders, sailmakers, and other technologists to discuss the state of the art in the science and technology of sailing. Among the speakers are SYRF Advisory Council members Andy Claughton and Alessandro Nazareth to speak about developing Superyacht rating systems, with Claughton to also give a Keynote address on the technological contributions made to sailing by the last America’s Cup.
“This is an exciting time at SYRF,” said Jay Hansen, “because we have many interesting projects underway that are starting to yield results that can have both direct and indirect benefits to big boat sailing.”