#157 2019 season and TJV - it's a wrap !

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Normandy Channel Race

It all started with the Normandy Channel Race, back in May. Everyone who's ever put a new boat into an offshore race will tell you it's a huge effort and worth tapping yourself on the back just to get to a big race start. #157 Cape Racing Yachts was delivered to V1D2 in April for final fitting out of deck, rig, sails and electronics. She sailed twice, completed the 90-degree class measurement test on Thursday, official launch was the Friday, Saturday was load food, do weather and a lot of little jobs. Sunday was race start and quite the team effort to get that far! The goal was to finish, but Jörg and Cedric did oh so much better than that.

Beating down the Western Solent, Earendil #145, the pre-race favourite was forced to ‘duck’ #157 as she took a small lead and held it heading out past The Needles. The first thirty hours of the race had virtually the whole fleet in sight of each other. This continued until on the second night when all the 40s entered a windless hole south of Portland Bill. By the morning first and second place had a lead of over thirty miles, with the back marker over forty miles from leader Earendil, with Cape Racing Yachts in third. After a second windless section at the Lizard, in which the leaders escaped once more this lead grew to an amazing 120 miles.



The ‘elastic’ that holds all the boats had shortened again however by the time the fleet re-entered the Channel and off Jersey the deficit to the leaders had reduced once more to 30 miles. They were not to be caught however and instead what ensued was an amazing battle for third place. The result: The lads did it! Jörg Riechers and Cédric Chateau After match racing through the last night crossed the finish line just over a minute ahead of Route du Rhum winner # 154. Fifth over the line a minute later, her Lift 40 sistership, #150.

Jörg was grinning:  “Now we are officially qualified for the Transat Jacques Vabre. We are more than happy with our 3rd place and the speed of our Cape Racing Yachts Class 40. The 3rd place is a superb team effort. Cédric Chateau and me would like to thank everybody involved. First of all, Andrew Thomson to make all this possible. Our preparator Romain Gayant for his positive attitude during the prep of the boat, V1D2 and Marc Lefèvre for the infrastructure and their technical advice and last but not least Owen Clarke for designing such a nice boat"

Fastnet Race

Their followed the Fastnet race in August, #157 took the start and was first over the line leading again down the Solent. Skipper Jörg Reichers was doing a great job of keeping Cape Racing Yachts at the front of the fleet switching pole position with the Manuard designed Mach 3 #153 of Luke Berry before leading the 40s out past the Needles.  Once out into the Channel the breeze started moving a little further aft and the fleet began to stretch out along the channel as boats negotiated the tidal gates at St Albans, Portland, Start Point and the Lizard. In reaching conditions #157 suffered a failure in the connection of its steering system. A problem we hadn’t encountered previously and that had no possibility to repair at sea with the tools/parts available. A despondent crew were forced to retire to Plymouth and lick their wounds.



La 40 Malouine - St Malo

Over a weekend in September thirteen Class 40's met in St Malo for the first edition of the 40 Malouine regatta. This was the last Class 40 racing before the season's grand finale, the Transat Jacques Vabres. An opportunity for some of the fastest boats to line up against each other. After a double handed overnight course of 180 miles on the Saturday, the fleet finished the series with two ten-mile coastal races off the Brittany coast. #157, Cape Racing Yacht's Class 40 under her christened name, Imagine was again crewed by Jörg Riechers and Cedric Chateau. The German/French team put up a consistent performance with a 3,3 and 1 in the last race to finish second overall behind TJV favourite Luke Berry on #153 Lamotte et Module Creation.

Transat Jacques Vabres 2019

With the confusion and melee of the start out of the way, the middle of the first night saw Jörg and Cedric passing Guernsey going like a train in fourth, reaching at 15kts +. A more comfortable start than usual to this race, but as the fleet headed out into the western approaches the wind began to go forward and build. By the end of the second day as the fleet approached the time to tack south there had already developed a noticeable split between boats heading west and those favouring south. Now named Linkt (after her race sponsor) #157, Linkt (Cape Racing Yachts) was sandwiched in position terms between #158 and #159, the latest 'scow' designs from Raison and Manuard.



#158’s position to the west saw them drop down the rankings in the early stages but those extra miles sailed early on at low vmg were to prove crucial later in the race.

 Into the second week, with all to play for the fleet had split either size of Madeira and there was well over a hundred and fifty miles between the lead boats from west to east.

A few days later, the western boats were flying with more pressure over that side of the course. However, speed differentials can change quickly on Class 40s with just a few knots of breeze op or down the range making a big difference. It was still all to play for, with three boats out to the west, three boats to the east and the uncertainty of the Doldrums, the ‘Pot Noir’ ahead.

Alternating between 4th and 6th before exiting the doldrums, the guys were well placed for a possible 4th place. But it was not to be, first #150 got into the new breeze ahead. The #157 and #150 were overtaken on the close reach to the finish by the more powerful Mach 4, #159 that had been struggling in the run up to and passage through the windless zone. Louis Duc on #150 held on to his lead to the finish in Salvador in 5th place, five hours ahead of Jorg and Cedric, reversing their position after the first race of the season.

Summary

A great effort by everyone, to get to the starts and finish the races they did in such good positions. #157 has proven fast all season, ultimately reliable and at an on the water and sailing cost of @ Euro 450,000 an extremely attractive alternative to current European builds. In terms of design/build, we know there’s still more performance available in this design as well as options to customise ballast and deck configurations for courses such as the Route du Rhum and the two round the world races that have been announced.

To log an interest for this all-rounder or a new custom design for the 2020 season and beyond contact racing@owenclarkedesign.com

 

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