The velocity prediction program, VPP, appeared on the yachting scene about ten years ago and it now dominates design and sailing. Originally implemented as a handicapping tool under the Measurement Handicap System, now accepted internationally as IMS, it has seen widespread acceptance for many other uses, from design to tuning and racing.

This capability means that it is productive, even necessary, for the typical sailor interested in good performance to understand how to apply a VPP to his activities. To do so requires an appreciation of how a VPP functions and how it is applied to practical sailing problems, such as sail selection or tactics.

The paper presents a review of VPP fundamentals and then treats the following applications:

- Sail selection and strategy for offshore yachts.

- Tuning and optimization of all boats.

It is the goal of the paper to impart a working understand­ing of the VPP to many sailors so that they can take advantage of the technology in their normal activities.

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