SYRF Newsletter – early 2018-2019 Winter edition

This fall, SYRF and its team have been very active in furthering our mission of developing the science of sailboat performance and handicap racing. We have made significant progress on most of our projects specifically including the following:

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 2019 season.

Sailor Homepage Trans 366

Features 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

JB Braun presenting PPP results at the 2018 Yacht Racing Forum, Lorient, France.

JB Braun presenting PPP results at the 2018 Yacht Racing Forum, Lorient, France.

PPP presented at the Yacht Racing Forum

In late October, JB Braun, from North Design, gave a presentation on the results of the SYRF-supported PPP Aero study at the Design and Technology Symposium (DTS), part of the annual Yacht Racing Forum held this year in Lorient, France. To over 150 attendees – the largest-ever audience in DTS history – JB articulated the project goals and preliminary results, with a discussion on its potential for improving the world of handicap racing in offshore boats.

And even though he was recently tapped as the head of the design team of the new Stars and Stripes America’s Cup program, JB will remain involved with the project.

H0 project at Rolex Middle Sea Race

High resolution GRIB (weather) forecasts combined with optimal routing algorithms

are giving race organizers the ability to better understand how variations in weather can affect results. This H0 approach, so-called because it relies upon the H0 data that represents the set of initial conditions upon which each 6 hour  forecast is based, can also be useful for custom race course modeling to enhance the accuracy and relevance of race results.


SYRF worked with race managers and the technical team at ORC to examine this approach at this past October’s Rolex Middle Sea Race. The methods and approach were tested successfully and some new tools were developed to make it easier to do H0 scoring in future offshore races. We are in the process of reviewing the results to present our findings shortly.

SYRF is looking to continue improving the H0 routing methodology. It is considering races that are more oceanic in character and where major synoptic weather systems, which are well forecast, have a dominant effect on the race results.. Stay tuned for more news from this project.

The Archmides Device, developed as part of the MultiRule effort, being used to measure a catamaran's displacement the morning before a regatta.

Cooperation with OMA and ORC on 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).

SYRF needs your support

We are in the giving season now, and would very much appreciate your show of support for these and other worthy and innovative projects SYRF is funding to help make handicap racing more accurate and more fair for all sailors. Please therefore consider SYRF in your charitable plans this year by making a tax-deductible contribution…more information is available at this link: