The results of the 1997 World Titles, held in Kingston, Canada, highlighted that there was considerable scope for improving the upwind performance of the international Mirror Class by making small adjustments, within the tolerances allowed by the class rule, to the sails and underwater foils. This paper describes some aspects of the Australian research and development programme in preparation for the 1999 World Titles to be held in South Africa in April.

Computational methods, based on the vortex lattice method, have been used to provide direction and guidance for the on-the-water testing and trialing programme. The use of these theoretical tools has enabled a far wider range of sail, dagger board and rudder parameters to be investigated than would be possible using purely on-the-water testing.

The usefulness of well-understood computational and numerical methods in sail and foil design has been demonstrated; it has also been shown that these tools are within the reach of relatively small budget research and development programmes. The proof of the pudding may be at the 1999 International Mirror Class World Titles ... (watch this space)

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