Posts Tagged ‘Code 0’

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.


1925 Mackinac Winner, Bernida, Wins Again

1925 Mackinac Winner, Bernida, Wins Again

Bernida with her Doyle Code 0

In 1925 Bernida skippered by Russ Pouliot beat 12 yachts to win the first race to Mackinac. Racing this year for the first time since the 1920s, the 32-foot Bernida, skippered by Al Declercq, beat 117 other yachts to win the Shore Course of the 2012 Bayview Mackinac Race.

Declercq, who has previously won 23 Mackinacs, bought the historic Bernida knowing her history and with the goal of having her win another Mackinac.

Bernida, with no motor, no seats, no berths, no galley and no head, had few creature comforts for the crew of six including three fathers and three sons. With light wind before the start, Bernida was towed to the starting area. There was only space for 2 at a time to sleep below atop sails. Freeze dried food kept the crew nourished.

Key to Bernida's win was her Doyle Code 0

Doyle Sailmaker’s Al Declercq designed the ideal sail inventory, leading Bernida to victory over her newer rivals. Key to Bernida’s success was her Doyle Code 0.

Al Declercq Explains Bernida’s Winning Code 0

Bernida’s Code 0 was made out of CZ 5. As the sail was small enough to not need a furling unit to be easily deployed and furled, the Code 0 was not put on a furling unit, which allowed for maximum luff length. In the race, it was easy to get the Code 0 up and down in a conventional manor.

“As we went off the starting line, half of our class had genoas up sailing with the wind – too far aft to be effective, and the other boats had strapped in spinnakers – sailing below course. The apparent wind angle was 55 degrees. We used the Code 0 for the first three hours of the race. One hour into the race, we were almost a mile ahead.

“When the wind went aft to 65-70 apparent, we switched to an AIRX 600 A-3 with a larger foot and mid-girth. We continued to gain on the fleet with the A-3 up. Eventually, the wind went aft to 115 apparent, and we switched to an S-2 symmetrical spinnaker (a masthead AIRX 600 sail designed to sail in 7 to 18 tws). Although the S-2 is a great sail, we were only able to hold our own with the fleet using our conventional spinnaker.

“Several hours later the wind went forward again, and we switched back to the Code 0. Once again we devastated the fleet with the Code 0 up. We were able to sail a knot faster than the rest of the class for a couple more hours and added to our lead. We were able to fly the Code 0 several more times during the race and each time we enjoyed similar results. In my mind this race proved that you will not be able to win long distance races moving forward without a Code 0 in your quiver.

“It is amazing to me that although we have known for five years that you need A-sails to reach, on any size boat of any design, that so many sailors have been slow to add these sails to their inventory. In this particular race, had any other boat in our class had a similar Code 0, they most likely would have trimmed three hours off their time to the island.

“Our 93 year-old boat, with modern sail shapes and materials, had no problem keeping up with the fleet. So the lesson learned is – if you happen to own an old boat, that does not mean you should still be sailing with old ideas.”

– Al Declercq

Bernida’s History

Bernida was built in 1921 in Boston as an R class racing sloop. She was first owned by Russ Pouliot of Detroit and won the first Port Huron to Mackinac Race in 1925. Bernida won the Mackinac again in 1927, before bouncing from owner to owner and coming to rest in a barn in northern Michigan. Bernida had been under renovation since 2004.

The R Class Rule

In 1898, Nathaniel G. Herreshoff conceived a new racing rule that seven years later was adopted as the Universal Rule. The Universal Rule remained the official formula for the measuring and rating of yachts until 1927, when it was super-ceded by the International Rule. The Universal Rule was a formula-based rule that allowed for development of open classes rather than one-design classes.

The Rating Formula: .18L x √LA ÷ 3 x √D
Where L = Length, SA = Sail Area, and D = Displacement

R Class had a maximum allowable rating of 20.

Bernida Being Towed from Detroit to Port Huron


Full Results
First-race winning sailboat to try again
Mackinac or bust: Boats ready
88th annual Port Huron-Mackinac sailboat race under way
View from the crew: Chippewa back to winning ways
First-race winning sailboat to try again

The Technology Behind Shockwave’s Overall Bermuda Race Victory

CFD/FEA Applied

by Robbie Doyle, Shockwave’s Tactician/Navigator

Shockwave Wins Class, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, and wins North Rock Trophy. PHOTO CREDIT: Daniel Forster/PPL

The 2012 Newport to Bermuda Race was about record breaking speed and problem-free sailing in challenging conditions. This year’s overall fleet winner in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division under both ORR and IRC was the 72′ Shockwave owned and skippered by George Sakellaris and powered by Doyle Sails. Key to Shockwave’s success was selecting the ideal inventory for conditions and the ability to deploy and furl her Code 0, with complete confidence and full control in very challenging conditions. The sail had to roll tightly, so it could be left up for periods of time. Doyle developed a unique top down furling Code 0 to make this a reality.

Most significant was Doyle’s use of high resolutions RANS CFD to analyze Shockwave’s sailing characteristics versus her sail carrying ability. Doyle analyzed five different sail combinations to evaluate the driving force versus heeling moment to determine the optimum sails to carry aboard for the race. Specifically the analysis compared a conventional double head rig, a mast head Code 0, a fractional Code 0, an A3 and an oversized reacher (a large LP headsail with penalty.) Initial CFD analysis revealed that Shockwave would require more power than the standard jib top and genoa staysail, double head rig could provide. Further analysis illustrated there would be a very narrow window where an A3 could be successfully carried from a stability standpoint. The free luff of the A3 would also make it a difficult sail to drive through waves. Yet, knowing that with the right sail combination Shockwave had break-a-way speed potential it was ultimately determined that a mast head Code 0 delivered the most driving force over a wider range of conditions for a given heeling force than the other combinations. The tight luff of the Code 0 provided additional benefits as well. The sail could be depowered without fear of collapse, and it would be very stable for driving hard in offshore conditions.

Difference in shape between a penalty reacher and a Code 0

The next step was to apply the CFD derived sail forces to a FEA structural model of the sails to determine the lightest Code 0 that could be built for Shockwave. The CFD/FEA analysis suggested that a sail half the weight of the existing Code 0 provided by another sailmaker. The weight savings would also make the sail much easier to handle.

Not satisfied with the current state-of-the-art in Code 0 furling Doyle partnered with Future Fibres and KZ Marine to develop top down furling for a Code 0 with an internal torque cable in the luff. Previously, top down furling has been used for free flying, downwind sails with the torque cable external to the luff of the sail. Shockwave’s Code 0 was designed from the outset to use top down furling gear with the torque rope in the luff. This new adaptation of top down equipment created a system that worked flawlessly during the race. The top down approach rolls the head of the sail very tightly and the tight roll continues down to the tack, compared to conventional furling gear that furls the sail tightly at the tack and loose in the upper leech where the roach often never furls properly. The tightness of the furl Shockwave minimized windage when the sail was left furled during rapidly changing conditions and greatly improved handling the sail. The crew was always confident that the sail could be deployed without prematurely unfurling and the tight furl made dropping the sail to deck much easier.

Ultimately, Doyle’s diverse engineering capabilities combining CFD/FEA, sail design and design of the sail handling systems for the Code 0 were a significant contribution to Shockwave’s victory over her newer rivals.

For more information regarding how Doyle CFD or Doyle Sailmakers can aid you in your next project contact: Tyler Doyle at Or visit or

Newport Bermuda Race 2012: Shockwave Wins 5 Awards

by Robbie Doyle

Shockwave Wins Class under both IRC and ORR, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Throphy, North Rock Beacon Trophy and George W. Mixer Trophy. PHOTO CREDIT: Daniel Forster/PPL

The 2012 Newport Bermuda Race started on Friday June 15th with a total of 166 entries. This year’s race was by far the fastest one ever. The first three finishers: the 90′ Reichel/Pugh  Rambler, the latest 72′ Judel/Vrolijk Bella Mente, and the 72′ Reichel/Pugh  Shockwave all shattered the old elapsed time course record, with Rambler setting a new record of 39 hours and 39 minutes, beating the previous Lighthouse Division course record set by Roy Disneys Pyewacket in 2003 by over 14 hours.

Shockwave Wins Five Awards

  • The North Rock Beacon Trophy Best Corrected Time (IRC) in St. David’s & Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Divisions
  • Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Trophy Best Corrected time (IRC) in Gibbs Hill Division
  • Class 10 Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Medallion 1st Place IRC
  • Class 10 Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Medallion 1st Place ORR
  • George W. Mixer Trophy Gibbs Hill Navigator
  • The Newport Bermuda Race is sailed in two divisions: the amateur crewed division that races for the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy, and the professionally crewed division, which competes for the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Trophy. Both divisions race under two different rating rules: the condition variable ORR and the single rating IRC.

    This year’s overall fleet winner in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division under both ORR and IRC was the 72′ Shockwave owned and skippered by George Sakellaris and powered by Doyle Sails.  The North Rock Trophy, awarded to Shockwave as the IRC corrected time winner of both the Gibbs Hill and St. David’s Divisions, is a silver replica of the 1960-1990 North Rock Light Tower that once warned mariners of the rocky approach to Bermuda from the North.

    This was George’s first Bermuda Race and marks the third major victory for Shockwave this year, starting with Charleston Race Week and then the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta. While her results so far this year have been consistent, it is remarkable to note that between Charleston Race Week and the NYYC Regatta, Shockwave was fitted with a new mast and every sail in her inventory needed to be heavily modified to fit the new rig.

    Team Shockwave Celebrating Win in Bermuda

    In the three weeks between the first sea trial of the new mast and the start of the Bermuda Race, Doyle’s team of sail designers and sailmakers worked tirelessly to adapt the existing sail inventory to fit the new dimensions of the rig and associated hardware and produce winning sails. The combination of experience sailing the boat and CFD/FEA analysis helped Doyle guide the boat through a seamless transition that produced sails that performed brilliantly out of the bag.

    The jumbo head configuration of Shockwave’s carbon fiber Stratis main was optimized for IRC using Tyler Doyle’s CFD/FEA analysis, matching the boat’s stability verus the driving force and heeling force of the sail. Shockwave’s offshore main used in the Bermuda Race is estimated to be 40% lighter than our competitor’s similarly sized 3Di sail.

    Similarly, the shape and construction of our Stratis Technora Code O was optimized using the combined CFD/FEA analysis. Even the aerodynamic sectional shape of Shockwave’s new rig was optimized using Doyle’s CFD analysis. While the resources required to run full RANS CFD/FEA analysis is not trivial, it ends up being much more efficient than multiple rounds of sail testing in real life and makes the reason for one sail’s advantage over another much easier to comprehend.

    Shockwave’s latest secret weapon was an ultra-lightweight, high-performance, Stratis Code O on an innovative furling system that she used at both the start and finish and about 40% of the miles covered. This sail carried Shockwave to speeds as high as 24.9 knots! Many on the crew attributed this sail in their 30 minute victory on corrected time. See photo of Shockwave’s Code 0.

    Three keys to the race were:
    1. Choosing the right sail inventory for the race based on weather forecast. Key to our inventory call was taking a Code 0 and not an A3 spinnaker. We also had a jib top and genoa stays’l. In addition to the main, those were the three sails we used the entire way.

    2. Hitting the stream just right. Navigationally, we nailed the entry and exit point of the stream and had 5 hours of 3+ knots of favorable current.

    3. Helmsmanship. To drive the boat as hard as we did and not have any damage required some very good helmsmen, and we had a handful.

    – Robbie Doyle


    Race Website
    Results Scored Under IRC
    Results Scored Under ORR
    More Photos of Shockwave from Cory Silken
    Shockwave’s Facebook Page