Trudeau 12 Metre Handicap – Exploits

We have raised the handicap of the Trudeau 12 Metre to 0.76 up from 0.69.

This is due to a number of exploits being used by more sailors and thus the overall times of the boat rising quite dramatically. On the North Sea Olympic course, the average time for the Trudeau 12m 6 months ago was around 18 min, now it is 14 min.

An exploit is usually a design fault that allows the boat to go faster under certain circumstances. They exist in RL sometimes. Is it cheating or not to exploit an exploit, some say yes, but we consider it not cheating, it is a design flaw that has been found to usually increase speed. In SL, cheating is carrying a pocket wind-setter or using an auto trimmer or autopilot of sorts illegally and other things like this..

When an exploit is found, often it is reported to the builder, and most times the builder fixes the problem. In the meantime, we are raising the handicap of the boat to allow for their use.

One sailor I know has stopped sailing the boat due to these exploits being used, another has stopped racing with the boat. It is crazy to see the boom parallel to the boat when running. This is not what the boat was designed for and not in the spirit of racing.

Until these exploits are fixed, they need to be made public, so everyone has the same chance. So we list them here.

  • Running with the boom Parallel to the boat and spinnaker up. Increase of around 1 kts.
  • When sailing with crew, both skipper and crew hike to the leeward side of the boat. Increase of 2 kts.
  • When beating solo, skipper hikes to the center of the boat. Increase in speed.
  • When on a reach solo, skipper hikes one position to leeward. Increase in speed.
  • When beating, head upwind, then drop to 30° AWA. This results in an increase of speed.

4 thoughts on “Trudeau 12 Metre Handicap – Exploits

  1. It is fair to put exploits out.
    I m not sure all your points qualify as exploits though. Maybe the boat was actually designed to be sailed like this. Only lengthy practice, trying out different options can let you know.
    Having the skipper to hike out may or may not be necessary… Depending on the boat design, some need a bit of heeling, some an exact angle, others are to be sailed as flat as possible….
    We tend to forget it with modern designs but many boats do need some heeling to reach max speed. Especially the 12m. Because of class rules, water line was kept short relative to overall length. But as soon as the boat heels, the water line lengthens, thus increasing max potential speed, which is directly linked to the length of the water line.
    To “sail with the leeward rail in the water” could be the tell-tale to know where the boat is really moving 😉
    My 2 cts… Cheers & Bon vent !


    • I’m just reporting on what others have put forward. I never used any of these. My take on heeling is that a boat like this is going to heel quite a bit to leeward (in RL at least) due to the massive sail and traditional keel. Look at the crew all sitting on the rail to try and keep it upright (here). I don’t thing they are going to intentionally sit on the lee side for any reason 🙂 Yes, and i agree, the boats are designed to sail at a heel. The hull is optimised for the ideal heel angle whatever that is.


  2. To be precise the sweet spot upwind is 27°-29° AWA, main and jib set to 0°. Also on broad reach in solo with Genoa and all weight to leeward the boat gain 2 kn speed boost. I sent a notecard to Jacqueline but I think she is busy with the new 2 boats i saw on her sky box.


  3. The more I sail Trudeaus (especially the 12m and the Runa), the more I think all your points are NOT exploits, but the results of optimizing factors in given conditions as people practice and get better at handling the boat, given the way the boat was designed.

    Regarding these so-called exploits, there is a good reason for them: getting to the optimum heeling angle.


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