In 1976 the United States Yacht Racing Union mandated a new handicapping system for offshore sailing yachts. The purpose was to provide equitable racing among yachts of diverse designs, a feature not possible under the existing International Offshore Rule. Making full use of the Pratt Project for sailing yacht research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USYRU evolved the Measurement Handicap System, in which ratings are expressed, not in linear measure as in past rules, but in predicted speeds on various points of sailing and in different wind velocities. The MHS was first used in the 1978 Bermuda Race. A feature of MHS is a set of regulations to require adequate cruising accommodations.

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