Posts Tagged ‘Tyler Doyle’

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.


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

    Altaeros Energies Demonstrates Airborne Wind Turbine


    Altaeros Energies, a wind energy company formed out of MIT, announced that it has demonstrated high altitude power production from an automated prototype of its airborne wind turbine.

    The company recently completed testing of a 35-foot scale prototype of the Altaeros Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) at the Loring Commerce Center in Limestone, Maine. The prototype, fabricated in partnership with Doyle Sailmakers of Salem, Massachusetts, achieved several key milestones. The AWT climbed up 350 feet high, produced power at altitude, and landed in an automated cycle. In addition, the prototype lifted the top-selling Southwest Skystream turbine to produce over twice the power at high altitude than generated at conventional tower height. The turbine was successfully transported and deployed into the air from a towable docking trailer.

    Altaeros is developing its first product to reduce energy costs by up to 65 percent by harnessing the stronger winds found over 1,000 feet high and reducing installation time from weeks to days. In addition, it is designed to have virtually no environmental or noise impact and to require minimal maintenance. The Altaeros AWT will displace expensive fuel used to power diesel generators at remote industrial, military, and village sites. In the long term, Altaeros plans to scale up the technology to reduce costs in the offshore wind market.

    “For decades, wind turbines have required cranes and huge towers to lift a few hundred feet off the ground where winds can be slow and gusty,” explained Ben Glass, the inventor of the AWTand Altaeros Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to demonstrate that modern inflatable materials can lift wind turbines into more powerful winds almost everywhere—with a platform that is cost competitive and easy to setup from a shipping container.”

    The AWT uses a helium-filled, inflatable shell to ascend to higher altitudes where winds are more consistent and over five times stronger than those reached by traditional tower-mounted turbines. Strong tethers hold the AWT steady and send electricity down to the ground.

    The lifting technology is adapted from aerostats, industrial cousins of passenger blimps that for decades have lifted heavy communications and radar equipment into the air for long periods of time. Aerostats are rated to survive hurricane-level winds and have safety features that ensure a slow descent to the ground.

    The emerging airborne or “high altitude” wind sector was recently featured on the cover of the March 2011 issue of Popular Mechanics. In December 2011, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released draft guidelines allowing the new class of airborne wind systems to be sited under existing regulation.

    Altaeros Energies is currently seeking partners to join its effort to launch the first commercially- available high altitude wind turbine in the world.

    Altaeros Energies was founded in 2010 to generate low cost renewable energy by harnessing the strong winds found at higher altitudes. Altaeros Energies won the 2011 ConocoPhillips Energy Prize, and has received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the California Energy Commission, and the Maine Technology Institute.

    Source: Press Release

    VIDEO: CFD Analysis on SpeedDream

    Extensive CFD analysis has been done on the SpeedDream27 prototype by Doyle Sailmakers’ Tyler Doyle to understand how the complexities of an innovative design such as SpeedDream will work in ocean going conditions. Tyler’s CFD analysis has been very useful and groundbreaking.

    SpeedDream 27′ Prototype Wave Simulation. RANS CFD simulation calculated using Flow 3d.

    VIDEO: Doyle, Official Sailmaker to SpeedDream

    SpeedDream is the brainchild of Vlad Murnikov, a radical boat designer originally from Russia, now living in Massachusetts. SpeedDream is the result of a quest to build the fastest monohull on the planet. Doyle Sailmakers is proud to be the official sailmaker to SpeedDream.

    SpeedDream was featured in the BBC program – The Science of Speed. Enjoy this short clip from the program.


    SpeedDream Blog

    SpeedDream Website

    SpeedDream: Mono vs Multi

    Most people would agree, a monohull can never outpace a multihull. Well, we are here to prove that that idea wrong. SpeedDream will outpace the fastest multi’s. Find out how…

    The attached article was written by Brian Hancock, SpeedDream‘s Creative and Media Director, and published in the sailing website

    SpeedDream: Mono vs Multi