Tornado (sailboat)

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Current Specifications
Tornado catamaran.svg
Tornado insigna.png
Class Symbol
Crew 2 (twin trapeze, since 2000)
LOA 6.09 m (20.0 ft)
LWL 5.84 m (19 ft 2 in)
Beam 3.08 m (10 ft 1 in)
Draft 0.15 m (6 in)
0.76 m (2 ft 6 in)
Hull weight 155 kg (342 lb) (boat weight)
6.3 kg (14 lb) (mast tip weight)
Mast height 9.08 m (29 ft 9 in)
Mainsail area 16.61 m2 (178.8 sq ft)
Jib / Genoa area  5.33 m2 (57.4 sq ft)
Spinnaker area 25.00 m2 (269.1 sq ft)
D-PN 59.0
RYA PN 644
Infobox last updated: 18 September 2012 [1]
Former Olympic Class

The Tornado is a double handed multihull class recognised as an International Class by the International Sailing Federation. It was used for the Olympic Catamaran discipline for over 30 years.


The boat was designed in 1967 by Rodney March of Isle of Sheppey, England. At the IYRU Olympic Catamaran Trials for international status, 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.

One hull flying

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 still among the fastest double handed catamarans, with an ISAF Small Catamaran Handicap Rating System rating of 0.934 and a D-PN of 59.0.[1] It is the fastest catamaran in the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick scheme, with a Portsmouth Number of 644.[2] Some have characterized the Tornado class as "the Formula One of sailing".



The Tornado was used as the as equipment for the multihull discipline in the Olympic Games from 1976 through 2008, when multihulls were deselected. Please see the individual years for results Olympic Sailing Regatta

World Championships[edit]


  1. ^ "Multihull Classes". US Sailing. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Portsmouth Number List 2012". Royal Yachting Association. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 

External links[edit]