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May 1997 - Design Competition Page

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Design Competition

Details of the Design Competition are still being worked out. The unknowns at the moment are the judges (various eminent people have been invited), the prize(s) (other than glory) and the closing date (at least 31st March 1998, maybe later). There is also a hope that we might be able persuade someone to sponsor it.

The certainties at present are the challenge, which is to design a competitive, yet cost-effective, boat for the year 2000 Europe One STAR single handed transatlantic race. The size must be in the range from over 30ft (9.14m) up to and including 40ft (12.19m) LOA (length of hull excluding bowsprit, bumkin, self-steering gear or externally hung rudder). (The LOA of a multihull is the overall length of the whole assembly of hulls.) The idea of the competition is simply to find the design which, in the opinion of the judges, is best suited to short-handed ocean racing, and would give the best chance of a class win in its class.

All boat designs entered must meet the RWYC Safety Rules (see below), and should be capable of remaining afloat when holed (ballasted monohulls included), and also be either self-righting, capable of being righted by their crew without any external help, or of being sailed on "inverted". As this should include multihulls, this item should provide a suitable challenge to test the inventiveness of the AYRS.

We note that the rules do not specifically ban proas although there is a clause which allows the organisers to reject any entry which they consider to be unsafe. In the past few races this has effectively excluded proas. This means that if an entrant to our design competition wants to use a proa design, or some other similarly radical configuration, then they will need to provide our panel of judges with information which will convince them that the design would be safe. If appropriate, our judges will consult the RWYC as to their views on a particular design.

Quality of presentation is not of fundamental importance. However, if an entry is poorly drawn or inadequately detailed the judges will be less able to assess its potential and so the chance of it winning the design competition will inevitably be reduced. Competitors should try to include:

  1. Summary of dimensions including hull lengths, beam, draft, sail areas, estimated displacement, payload and ballast.
  2. Drawings (lines, with/without offset tables) to show the shape of hull(s), keel(s), rudder(s), the arrangement of the rig, multihull hull connecting beams/structure, deck layout, general arrangement of the internal and deck layouts.
  3. Detailed drawings as may be necessary to show any unusual features and also any critically stressed areas such as monohull keel attachments or multihull crossbeam connections.
  4. Details of construction including the build of typical skin panels. Also brief details of rig construction. This information may be presented as drawings or as a written specification or as a combination of these.
  5. Brief details of engine, tankage, drinking water supply, self steering gear, electrical system, liferaft stowage, sail stowage, galley equipment, navigation equipment etc. This information may be shown as notes on drawings and/or as written specifications. The location and size of these items should be shown on the drawings.
  6. Any calculations which may be necessary to support a claim that the craft can be righted without outside assistance from a capsize.
  7. Written details explaining the thinking behind the design and explaining any unusual features, justifying claims of seaworthiness, etc.

If we receive an entry which looks interesting but which is not fully detailed then we may reject it, or, if the judges so require, invite the entrant to send further information. Judges decisions will be final.

Design copyright will remain with the designer, subject to a grant of permission to AYRS (and the sponsors, if any) to reproduce the entry, in whole or part. At the very least, this means the winning entries will be published by AYRS, and there is hope of further publication in the yachting press. There is always a possibility that such publicity could result in a potential race competitor approaching the designer with a commission for a full design!

There has also been some interest in a sailing model competition run in parallel with this design competition. This would allow that entrants to include a model of their design concepts (or photos of a model) as part of their submission, and if we get enough models built we could have a 'long distance' model yacht race. It has been suggested that a model yacht race across Portland Harbour could be the equivalent of trans-Atlantic for the full size boats! We would also very much like to have any models displayed on our stand at the London Boat Show, 1999. If anyone is interested in building such a model (I think at least a couple of people are considering it) could they let us know ASAP since we would probably need to standardise on scale if we are to have any kind of model race. We would also have to consider how the models are to be steered - wind vane or radio control.

Several people have already indicated their firm intention to send in entries so we look forward to a good competition and we hope that there will be an interesting AYRS publication based on the designs.

More details will be published as they are agreed.

All correspondence to "Design Competition", BCM AYRS, London WC1N 3XX

OSTAR DESIGN Rules

These are a précis. The full rules will be available from the Royal Western Yacht Club of England, Queen Anne's Battery, Plymouth, GB-PL4 0TW, UK. Fax: +44 1752 224 299. We understand that the Rules for the Year 2000 Europe 1 STAR are not yet final, but that the changes will not significantly affect our competition.

The significant points are:

The remaining rules are details, but competition entries will need to comply with them. Potential entrants are therefore advised to obtain a copy from the RWYC.

Later news may be found by following this link


The AYRS Newsletter is published quarterly by the Amateur Yacht Research Society Ltd, BCM AYRS, London WC1N 3XX, UK. The AYRS as a body is not however responsible for opinions expressed by individual authors.

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