Archive for the ‘CFD’ Category

Mahalo Wins Swan 42 Nationals

Mahalo At Windward MarkSince its debut in 2007, the Swan 42 National Championship has provided close racing in hotly competitive One-Design fleet, with a class that provides a good mix of high-performance boats with strict professional limitations.  As a result, the National Championship has become a highlight of the summer calendar in Newport, and this year featured a mix of teams that were trying to qualify to represent the New York Yacht Club at this fall’s Invitational Cup, as well as international teams that were using the event to prepare for the Invitational Cup – making for a very competitive field.  This year, it was Charles Kenahan’s Mahalo that walked away with the championship, finishing first or second in six of nine races.  In 2014, Doyle Sailmakers began working with Mahalo to develop a new Stratis ICE upwind inventory for the Swan 42 Class.  Third place went to John Greenland of the Royal Thames Yacht Club sailing Better Than, who were also using Doyle Sails with Doyle’s own Alan McGlashan aboard trimming headsails.

Kenahan Win 2015Because of the desire to keep the class Corinthian in many regards, the class has strict sail limitations that put an emphasis on sails that not only perform well initially but hold their shape overtime.  The Stratis ICE sails have proved their worth at this point, having helped Mahalo to impressive performances on both sides of the Atlantic over the last year,  including a 5th place at the  Rolex Swan Cup last fall.

Mahalo Nationals 2015 Diana McConnellKenehan is a relative newcomer to the class, having bought Mahalo in 2012. And he’s had to fight his way up the ladder in a class full of some of the country’s best sailors.  “We had not had our core crew together since the Rolex Swan Cup last September in the Med,” said Kenahan. “We were all very excited to be back together. I spent plenty of time in the back end of the fleet and you look forward and see these boats that are just set up so well, just ‘locked in’, and they tend to carry it for most, if not all, of a regatta. We were just lucky enough that this was our first time ‘locked in’. We’re very pleased about that and we hope we can do it again. It’s camaraderie, pursuit of excellent and it’s a lot of hard work.”

Doyle began the development process last spring  utilizing the same sail design process that has proven successful for some of the most competitive Mini-Maxis and One Design classes, while also looking to utilize materials that would ensure the longevity needed to keep the boats up to speed for years to come.  Combining cutting edge CFD and FEA modeling with extensive on the water validation, Doyle has successfully made in impact an a short amount of time.  “We’re ecstatic with the results we’ve had so quickly and appreciate all that Charles and his team on Mahalo have done to help with that.  Watching Mahalo improve over the last year is a testament to how hard the team has worked.  Results like this are also always a good validation of our sail design and manufacturing technology” commented Robbie Doyle, who has been on the forefront of Doyle’s recent efforts.  “It’s not easy to get into an established class like the Swan 42, but with the resources Doyle has at its disposal we can quickly develop a winning sail program.”

CFD Analysis


Inaugural J/70 Worlds will feature top Doyle Sailors and Sailmakers

Doyle Sailmakers is proud to be involved in the inaugural J/70 Worlds in Newport, R.I., running from September 8-13 at the New York Yacht Club.  Many of our Doyle customers and sailmakers will be competing in this inaugural event. Doyle’s One Design team has built sails for many of the competitors and with over 90 boats on the starting line for this event, the starting line will be crowded with numerous world champions in other classes – all vying to be the first J/70 world champion.


The boat has also recently been chosen as Sailing World’s 2014 Boat of the Year and is designated as an International Class by ISAF (International Sailing Federation). At only two and half years old but over 600 boats sailing in over 20 countries, Doyle Sailmakers is proud to be one of the premiere one-design sailmakers for the fleet.

Adding to the luster of competing in the inaugural worlds is the fact that many of Doyle’s sailmakers will be a part of this event, including 2006 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Jud Smith, who has been building sails for many Doyle customers in the J/70 fleet as they prepare for this event.

“Although this is the Worlds, at this time it will primarily US Boats being sailed but this will be the regatta to peak for,” Smith said. “It will be interesting to see how some of the boats do who are peaking right now. There are some boats who are at the right time to peak and there are certain players who have emerged strong very recently – so this is their time.”

Relative_ObscurityMany Doyle customers and sailmakers will be at this event. Peter Duncan, who got into the J/70 class early on, has been training all summer after campaigning his Etchells for most of last year. Sailing USA 49 “Relative Obscurity”  he brings along long-time crew Tom Blackwell and has added Mark Ivy and Doyle’s own Greg Marie.  Earlier this year, Duncan finished 3rd in the 40 boat fleet at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week.

Jud Smith will be sailing with his wife Cindy, Jake Ladow, and Doyle One Design’s Will Felder.  Earlier this summer, Smith won the J/70 class at the Marblehead NOOD regatta.

Doyle CFD’s Tyler Doyle, who has spent extensive time developing proprietary software to analyze sail shape and boat setup in real time for the J/70, will be sailing with Chris Boulter, Indre Jankeviciute, and Terra Berlinski on USA 245.


Brad Boston of Doyle Boston (Canada), fresh from winning the Viper 640 North Americans last week, will be racing with team “Hooligan”, with skipper Tres Sheehan, Curtis Florence and Lindsay Bartal.

Mark Ploch of Doyle City Island in New York will be racing his USA 61 “Sugar Daddy” with Mark Foster, Rob Fear and Tomas Hornos from Doyle One Design.

We are looking forward to a very exciting and successful regatta.

Full regatta information can be found here.

Shockwave wins Copa del Rey 2014

Shockwave ArialLaced with the Who’s Who of the sailing world, the Mini-Maxi Class (IRC0) in this year’s Copa del Rey regatta provided very close and exciting racing throughout the week long, 10 race event. Leading from start to finish was the oldest boat in the fleet – the Reichel/Pugh 72 Shockwave – skippered by George Sakellaris and powered by Doyle Sails, including her latest Stratis ICE headsails. This inshore regatta win complements the Shockwave Team’s offshore victories in this year’s Newport-Bermuda Race where Shockwave was the elapsed time winner, while sweeping 1st overall in the Gibbs Hill Division under IRC and ORR. In the spring of this year Shockwave won overall the rough and tumble Caribbean 600 Race.

The secret to Shockwave’s success has always been the combination of all aspects of the latest technology driven by a close knit team sailing the boat. Doyle’s CFD Team led by Tyler Doyle worked with Reichel/Pugh to fine tune the keel and bulb, and worked with the Future Fibre’s team to optimize the mast in terms of weight and windage. Similarly all sail decisions in terms of inventory, and shapes are done with in-depth CFD analysis with the CFD team working with the sail design team to analyze effects on performance and rating.

Shockwave Copa del Rey 2014

One of the latest advances for this regatta came from utilizing Doyle’s latest Stratis ICE fiber, which allowed the team to create a new jib which maintained the standard ultra-light weight requirements of the program while still maintaining its shape through a wide range, so that a single jib could be used from 10 to 22 knots.

Four out of the five Mini Maxi boats won at least one of the 10 races held, and the top three teams faced the last day separated by only three points. The title was decided in the final race with victory and championship for Shockwave with 19 points, and Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente, with a partial Doyle inventory, on 22 points, and Roberto Tomasini’s Robertissima III, on 23 points, completing the podium.

Shockwave Awards Ceremony


For full results, please visit here.

To learn more about Stratis ICE, please visit here.

Shockwave Wins Line Honors in 2014 Newport-Bermuda Race

Shockwave Finishing Bermuda Race -4 Copyright PPL

Shockwave sailing in toward St. David’s Light. (Talbot Wilson/PPL)

George Sakellaris and the team aboard the Reichel/Pugh mini-maxi Shockwave crossed the finish line off Bermuda’s St. David’s Lighthouse Monday morning at 5:34 race time EDT (6:34AM local time). Her elapsed time was 63:04:11. The close contest between Shockwave and her rival Bella Mente, Hap Fauth’s 72 foot Judel/Vrolijk mini-maxi, was a near repeat of the 2012 race, where both boats smashed the course record and finished with Bella Mente a mere 3 minutes ahead. This year, Shockwave led by seven minutes, after the two had battled head to head within sight of each almost continuously for over 635 miles. Although the boat for boat racing was close, Shockwave won comfortably on corrected time besting her rival Bella Mente by 1 hr and 44 minutes in ORR and similar margin in IRC.

As with the 2012 Race, Robbie Doyle sailed as the “stratitician,” working with the navigator, Andrea Visintini, the Tactician, Stu Bannatyne, skipper George Sakellaris and overseeing the sail program.

Doyle said, “There was a constant analysis and dialog onboard as the position of the Stream was fluid, and the weather pattern was also shifting. We had to hunt to find the (Gulf) Stream… we never found the 4 knot real road to Bermuda. It had broken up before we got there. Forecasters had predicted it might, but they suggested we might get there before it would start to dismember. The Stream was really breaking up pretty quick.”

Shockwave Coming in to the Finish Monday Morning. PHOTO CREDIT: Barry Pickthall/PPL

Shockwave Coming in to the Finish Monday Morning. PHOTO CREDIT: Barry Pickthall/PPL

“We tried some new ideas and ways to optimize the boat for the ORR rule” explained Doyle. “Bella Mente is a more powerful reaching boat than Shockwave so in order to defend our 2012 victory we felt we needed to improve our rating as we did not feel we could beat her in a reaching drag race which the Bermuda Race can often be. After a detailed weather analysis of the past 10 races over a 20 year period we made the decision to switch to a fractional spinnaker hoist. We designed and built a new full size Fractional Code 0 (labeled Super-FRO by the crew) to complement our existing smaller FRO. We only carried one free-flying spinnaker and then two Fractional Code 0′s.”   Both FROs were set on top down-furlers for easy sail handling and crossovers. The combination proved successful, as the powerful “Super FRO” carried the boat through some crucial transitions.  “Surprisingly its best moment came when VMG running in 8 knots TWS into head seas with Bella Mente right on our tail. Even though she was carrying a full size mast head spinnaker we were able to open up on her with the more stable Super FRO.”

Doyle CFD worked on the analysis to ensure the corner loading was in line with the boat

Doyle CFD ‘s analysis was critical to ensuring the Super FRO’s success onboard Shockwave

“We had one day of practice with the Super FRO, during which we saw what a powerful weapon it could be, but also how much it really loaded up the sprit. We had Doyle’s CFD team working with Reichel/Pugh’s office to re-engineer the sprit to handle the sail, and the guys were reinforcing the sprit until 3am the morning of the start!  A total team effort to pull off this incredible result again.”

The win adds to Shockwave’s growing list of recent victories, highlighted by their division win in the 2012 Newport-Bermuda Race, the 2013 Montego Bay, and the 2014 RORC Caribbean 600 Race. Originally launched in 2008 as Alpha Romero 3, Shockwave has proven to be a dominant force in the last 3 years.  Doyle Sailmakers has been intimately involved in the boats resurgence, helping optimize not only the sail program, but also the mast and keel for a full aero and hydrodynamic package.

For more information on the Newport-Bermuda Race, please visit here.

Results from this years race can be found here.


Shockwave Wins Caribbean 600

Shockwave at Redonda.  Credit Tim Wright/photoaction.comGeorge Sakellaris’ R/P 72 Shockwave took the overall IRC win in this year’s Caribbean 600, correcting out to finish roughly 1 hour ahead of rival Bella Mente.  After 600 miles of racing, Bella Mente, Rambler 90 and Shockwave crossed the line within 15 minutes of each other, after close racing all along that saw numerous lead changes.  The win adds to Shockwave’s growing list of recent victories, highlighted by her Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division win in the 2012 Newport-Bermuda Race and first in the 2013 Montego Bay Race.  The overall IRC win was the highlight of a number of impressive finishes for Doyle-powered boats, with Line Honors for Bella Mente – carrying some specialty reaching sails from Doyle and featuring Doyle’s own Mike Sanderson as a helmsman, Botin 65 Caro, with a full Doyle Stratis inventory taking 5th overall in IRC, First 40 Lancelot II winning IRC Two with a new Doyle Stratis Mainsail, and the 62m Hoek Schooner Athos greatly improving on last years performance and battling it out with longtime superyacht rival Adela.

A grueling 600 mile race circling around many islands, with stiff breeze the whole time, the race places a premium on having a well prepared boat and crew.  In anticipation of this year’s race, Doyle refined the sail inventory to make sure that the team would have the right sails, without carrying too many.  Robbie Doyle, who in addition to managing the sail inventory served as Shockwave’s tactician for this race, explains the thought process, “We looked at the conditions that we were likely to see, and then when designing and building the sails worked to make sure that their ranges were as large as possible.  Thankfully our Stratis process allows us to make some of the lightest sails available, so we increased the DPI’s a bit to ensure we could carry the same sails longer.”

RORC Caribbean 600, 2014“With the amount that conditions change in this race, sail changes can just be too costly.  In the end, we used the J2 (Medium Jib) 95% of the time, and just twisted it off a bit in the bigger squalls.  We only carried 3 jibs, which helped save weight.”  Flying the same jib up the majority of the race allows the crew to stay aft and on the rail, keeping the boat moving.  The other big change was adding a new Fractional Code 0.  “After last year’s Montego Bay Race, we looked at our sail inventory and felt that the jump from the Jib Top to the Code 0 was too big.  We built a new FRO to fill that gap.  It was the workhorse of the race, as coupled with the Top Down Furler, we could leave it up, and just furl or unfurl as the conditions changed without any drama on the foredeck.”

Owner George Sakellaris was pleased with the results.  “I have a great crew and it was an excellent race, lots of wind and the racing was very close.  I have done many offshore races but this is the first time I have raced this one and it was against tough opposition. I think the winds were favorable to us and the Shockwave team used that to our advantage. At the end of the day, winning yacht races is all about the team performance more than anything else.

Robbie Doyle was similarly enthusiastic after the race. “That is what ocean racing should be all about.  Beautiful racing between three very tough competitors, all fighting it out the whole way.  A heavy-weight battle without a doubt – no question. I have had great moments in sail boats, but that was as much fun as I can remember. For 600 miles we were always in touch with each other, either up a few minutes or down a few minutes, and it all came down to the last beat to finish. It was like an epic tennis match.”

Next up for Team Shockwave will be defending her Newport-Bermuda Race victory in June.

Team Shockwave After Finishing

Team Shockwave After Finishing

Gallery: Doyle Sails in the 2014 Caribbean 600

The Beat Goes On: Shockwave Wins 2013 Montego Bay Race.

Having proved her mettle for inshore racing, Shockwave, driven by owner George Sakellaris followed up her recent Key West victory  with a near record breaking performance in the 2013 Montego Bay Race.  Stretching 810 miles Ft. Lauderdale to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Shockwave and her crew were able to complete the course in an impressive 2 days, 11 hrs and 23 minutes and missed the course record by a mere 58 minutes.  On corrected time, she also won the IRC division.

SW with her Doyle Stratis Code 0

The race started in light wind that went down to 2 to 3 knots the first evening. The following day, Shockwave made big gains towards the record reaching along Eleuthera and Cat Islands, averaging 20 knots with her Code 0. After rounding the tip of Cuba she hit a high of 26.4 knots using her newest A4 spinnaker and was on pace to beat the record only to be thwarted by a lightening wind that shifted aft as she approached the finish, protecting the record set by Titan 12 in 2005.

The Reichel/Pugh designed, McConaghy built Shockwave is powered by a 100% Doyle Sail inventory tailored to match the boat’s performance curve using the latest analysis and insight from Doyle’s in-house  CFD and design team.  For this regatta, Shockwave was utilizing her 2-year old offshore race main – the same sail that carried her to victory in last year’s Newport-Bermuda Race. “The success of the sails we are using is a clear indication of the durability and strength of the Doyle Stratis laminates,” tactician Robbie Doyle pointed out.  The Code 0, an ultra-light Doyle Stratis sail with curved radial seams for super-precise shaping and strength, was used for about 50% of the miles sailed and once again proved to be the most versatile and easy to handle headsail in the inventory.  By combining practical experience with cutting edge design resources, Doyle’s team has been able to deliver sails that clearly enrich the performance of the boat and the crew.

Next Team Shockwave will head to the Mediterranean for the PalmaVela regatta in May.  Be sure to Like Team Shockwave on Facebook to stay up to date with her activities.

For complete race results, visit the event website.

For information on how Doyle Sailmakers can help your next project, contact your Local Doyle Loft.

Shockwave Wins Key West Race Week

After winning IRC 1 of both the 2012 Charleston Race Week and NYYC Annual Regatta, and then overall in the 2012 Bermuda Race professional division under both IRC and ORR Shockwave ended her 2012 racing season with an unfortunate  “bang” – hitting an unmarked rock in Sardinia. She has opened her 2013 racing with a different impact – by defeating one of the latest designs, and current mini-maxi World Champion, Bella Mente, in a head to head battle in the 2013 Key West Race Week.

SW Crossing Bella Mente

Photo Credit: Chris Odom/ (

Turning the 5 year old 72’ Shockwave into one of the winningest programs in the world has been an ongoing process that has challenged all aspects of Doyle Sailmakers and its sister engineering company, Doyle CFD, as well as the entire Shockwave Racing Team.  Doyle Sailmakers combined data and feedback from sailing the boat  with an advanced scientific approach – utilizing the latest CFD and FEA to analyze highly defined driving and heeling forces and the resultant loads – to make decisions on not only sails but also integrating mast and bulb shapes.  It has meant working closely with the design team at Reichel-Pugh, as well as the mast designers and other hardware suppliers to ensure that everything worked cohesively.  The confidence of owner-driver George Sakellaris and his captain Reggie Cole has been a major factor as well.

The challenge was not only to catch up to the top boats of the time, but to improve such that Shockwave was competitive with the newest boats coming out of the design offices, as well as to keep up with the top boats that were always being tweaked for just a bit more performance.  Step one was to completely model the boat using CFD to try various sail shapes and sail configurations to see how various options would affect the driving and heeling forces while at the same time keeping an eye on the rating.  Doyle CFD came up with a main design that had a significantly larger square top than conventional IRC wisdom recommended at the time due to the rating “penalty.”  However, the analysis showed that with the optimum section shapes it would increase speed enough to more than offset the rating increase.  It proved effective enough to help the boat to a second place at 2011 Copa del Rey series in Palma, and a 3rd in the 2011 Maxi-Worlds.  Sail by sail, the entire sail inventory was replaced, carefully analyzing new shapes to determine interaction with other sails as well as the hull and rig. The latest FEA analysis allowed Doyle’s design team to optimize string layouts in the sail, resulting in significant weight savings over the previous inventory.  Not only does the weight that is aloft matter, but the overall weight in the boat matters.  In this league everything counts!SW CFD Run

Doyle’s CFD analysis combined with RM analysis confirmed what was known from sailing – Shockwave was a bit challenged in stability to be a truly all-around boat. Additionally, the mast was more limber than was preferred, preventing simply modifying the keel.  Thus, a new mast and keel were ordered.  Many mast sectional options were considered as one had to weigh the increased windage of the larger section versus the increased weight of a smaller, heavier walled section. Shockwave ended up with the best of both as by starting with the large section and using CFD to re-design it to minimize windage for upwind sailing angles she ended up with the lightest mast that matched the low windage of the smallest proposed section.

While stiff enough to be effective up and downwind the boat was still going to be challenged on a reach.  On the water trials confirmed what CFD had indicated: the boat still didn’t have the Righting Moment to effectively carry an A3 Reaching spinnaker in any significant breeze.  The Bermuda Race was one of the top goals for the 2012 season – and typically features plenty of reaching.  Trial CFD runs were performed with smaller A3s as well as large reaching headsails for which a penalty would be paid, as well the “Reaching Code 0.” Because it carried no penalty and could be tailored to match our Righting Moment, the “Reaching Code 0” was decided upon.  It was a good choice.  Shockwave carried the sail  about 65% of the way to Bermuda and led to her victory.  Using the ultra-lightweight Stratis membrane made this sail extremely light weight and yet tough enough to withstand the typical Gulf Stream squalls.

SWwith Spin 4Following the meeting with the rock in Sardinia there was no choice but to get a new keel and bulb.  John Reichel of Reichel-Pugh and Tyler Doyle of Doyle CFD burned the midnight oil trying many iterations of bulbs before deciding on one that not only added significant stability upwind but has clearly improved Shockwave’s off the wind performance.

When interviewed after winning this past Key West Race Week, Robbie Doyle was asked “What has Shockwave done to get her performance to where it is today?” His response pretty much summed up the story: “Nothing really major, but many, many, many little things. The Team has come together in all aspects of execution, and the boat is in a truly sweet spot in terms of balance. We have used a chisel rather than a hammer.”

In advance of Key West, the design team worked on a new concept A1 for VMG course racing in under 7 knots, which proved very successful.  A new A1.5 was made with lighter materials and a slightly larger range to tie in with the new A1, and a new A4 that reflected refinements over the previous sails.  In addition, a new Spinnaker Staysail was made that was substantially lighter than its predecessor and with a smoother furling system for easy sets and douses during inshore buoy racing.  With regards to upwind sails, the boat was sporting a new, larger mainsail and a new J2 that was designed for a balanced entry and twist profile with tighter sheeting angles.

Next up for Shockwave is the Jamaica Race in February.

Shockwave was lucky enough to have Chris Odom onboard Wednesday, who produced this video of the action during the days racing.

Key West 2013 – Wednesday from Chris Odom Photo on Vimeo.