||J. W. Slooff
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The intended reader will already have found out that this is not a book with glossy pictures by Beken of Cowes of the glamorous and fabulous sailing yachts of the world. It is a lot more sober and a little more scientific than that. This book has come about as a follow-up on a course on the aero- and hydromechanics of sailing that was written by the author for the Heiner Sail Academy in the Netherlands in 2002/2003. The piupose of the course was to provide yachtsmen with (top-)amateur or (semi-) professional racing ambitions with a solid background of the aero- and hydromechanics of sailing. The ambition of the author was to do so in a manner that he could justify from his own background as a professional fluid dynamicist and a cruising yachtsman, while trying to keep the material accessible for attendees without profound academic schooling. This, of course, is not the first book on the aero- and hydromechanics of sailing. A.C. Marchaj's "Aero- hydrodynamics of sailing" is generally considered as "The Bible' on the science and technology of sailing. And lightly so: it contains an incredibly broad and deep treatment of almost all aspects of sailing technology. Many readers, however, may find it difficult to find then way in Marchaj's book, in particular if their objective is to find out in a relatively straightforward way about how and why sail boat performance depends on the configuration and trim of boat and sails. While working on this book a new. very valuable volume on the science behind sailing yachts and their design appeared on the horizon: Fabio Fossati"s "Aero-Hydrodynamics and the Performance of Sailing Yachts". Fossati's book provides an excellent description of the state of the art of fluid dynamic technology as applied to sailing yachts. It also addresses the physical mechanisms of sailing in considerable depth.