Tornado (sailboat)

The Tornado is an olympic class sailing catamaran, with a crew of two. It has been in the Olympic Games since 1976. It has been deselected as an olympic class for the 2012 games. It was designed in 1967 by Rodney March of Brightlingsea, England, with help from Terry Pierce, and Reg White, specifically for the purpose of becoming the Olympic catamaran. At the IYRU Olympic Catamaran Trials, it easily defeated the other challengers.

To increase its performance even further, the Tornado was modified in 2000, with a new sail-plan which included a Spinnaker and Spinnaker boom, as well as an increased sail area of the existing sails. An additional trapeze was also added, and the jib was made self tacking.

The Tornado typically flies one of its two hulls; the crew balancing the boat with their own weight and by controlling the sails. With only one hull in the water, drag is significantly reduced. The Tornado also features an adjustable, rotating mast, which not only greatly improves the aerodynamics of the crucial leading edge of the sail, but also allows improved control over mast bend and thus mainsail flatness. For the high speeds and apparent wind directions seen by this high speed vessel, a flat sail profile is often required.

The Tornado is said to be capable of speeds above 30 knots (56 km/h) reaching, and 18 knots (33 km/h) upwind, the Tornado class is often characterized as "the formula 1 of sailing".

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