Owen Clarke Design's FujiFilm amongst other twenty nine Class 40's prior to the start of the 2007 TJV
Class 40 bridges the gap between the small Mini Transat 6.5’s and their larger and more expensive cousins the Open 50’s/60’s. Ideal in concept for the non-sponsored sailor to be sailed short-handed in trans-oceanic events such as the Melbourne-Osaka, Route de Rhum, Round Britain and Pacific Cup. The concept of the class and the boat is however also to race fully crewed in classic events including the Rolex Fastnet and Sydney-Hobart, as well as club races such as the RSYC Biscay Race and in the famous regattas like Spi Ouest, Cork Week and of course the class’s own ISAF World Championships.
In 2009 the class ran its first official ISAF World Championships in Hamble, UK. Well attended events run along similar lines had already been held in both 2007 and 2009. The world championships came on the back of the RORC Rolex Fastnet Race in which yet again the class had its own division with an impressive nineteen entrants. Earlier in the year Class 40’s completed in the inaugural RORC 600 Race in the Caribbean, an event which is to be repeated annually and which the class and the RORC would like to see sufficient 40’s entered to have their own division.
Further north in the United States and Canada the class did have its own divisions in the Bermuda 1-2 and the Marblehead-Halifax Race in 2009. Both events were won overall on PHRF by a Class 40, the Owen Clarke designed Cutlass. The class in North America is represented on the association's executive by Mike Hennessy, owner of Dragon who is an excellent ambassador and organiser for the association there. North American sailors can contact us and we will pass on your details. As well as seeing the number of boats racing grow from the seven at present, the goals in New England for 2010 are to co-ordinate attendance at races so that there will be a Class 40 division in the Newport-Bermuda Race as well as a number of other regattas in New England that had Class 40’s racing in 2009, for instance, the Ida Lewis Distance Race. On the west coast of the US between San Diego and San Francisco there are two Class 40’s, including a new Bill Antrim design which will be taking part in the Pacific Cup. Obviously we’d like to see more since conditions on the downhill sleigh ride to Hawaii would see some exciting sailing on these boats. Where, if the performance of the Open 50 Pegasus is anything to go by Class 40's will not only be among the front runners of their division, but also have a chance of winning overall under corrected time.
Meanwhile in Europe, the Solidaire du Chocolat starts on the 18th of October 2009 and is the first transatlantic race organised by the association itself solely for Class 40’s. There are twenty eight entrants from eight nations including the United States, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Finland, Germany, the UK and France. This double handed race starts in France and finishes on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. That means that up to twenty eight Class 40’s will be in the Caribbean at the beginning of December, some of these will be available for charter for the 2010 season especially if we can receive preliminary interest early enough for owners to ship cradles and make arrangements for storage/berthing rather than delivering or shipping their boats home. The class is however organising a feeder race back to Europe starting some time in February 2010. That means there should at least be some Class 40's available for sailing in the sun this winter.
OCD have compiled a list of races including the Caribbean regattas with contact websites that are suitable for or have had Class 40 entrants in the past. This list isn’t exhaustive by any means but forms a good starting point for those that want to take part in an event on a Class 40 in the next two years. Download an Excel file here.
The class has a preliminary calendar for 2010 or races that it is organising or directly involved with that can be downloaded here.
To enquire into the charter of a Class 40 for racing or just for the fun of it, please download the Excel enquiry form here and post it back to us or email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org