Owen Clarke Design announce their first mid-size IRC racing yacht design

Performance yacht designers Owen Clarke Design have designed their first mid-size IRC optimised racing yacht which may seen sailing in time for the RORC Fastnet Race next year. Developed for racing offshore as well as inshore regattas in areas such as the Solent, the intention is for the yacht to be a ‘Kingfisher moment’, a new and winning concept for its owners and designers. After many months of careful weather, design and rating optimisation here is an IRC design that really offers something different, than for example a Ker 40, for those owners who want to race offshore or inshore, and who may want to be involved in the design and build of their own boat.

Work on the design began in 2011 in response to the demand from a number of owners who’d contacted them previously enquiring about Class 40. OCD handled dozens of enquiries in the UK alone from potential owners who were excited by that class, but were put off by the uncompetitive rating of the boats under IRC. Although attracted to the idea of sailing fast with less crew, owners wanted to race predominantly in shorter distance, IRC rated events. The demand existed therefore for an offshore performance orientated racing boat, so long as they could strip out the aspects of the design that made Class 40s rate badly, while maintaining their great handling characteristics and as much of their pure performance potential as possible. The question was; would the hull and appendage configurations OCD are known for be the solution or would they end up developing a more conventional design, perhaps with a single rudder?

The final result of their studies is two distinct designs, with the same hull type, but with the rigs and keels in alternate positions relative to the stem, thereby suited for different conditions. The hull and appendages are a development of their successful Class 40 designs. Proven high performance, dynamically stable, both easily driven and capable of being pushed hard in moderate breeze and in waves. On the offshore design, the forestay attaches well aft of the stem, evidence of the keel’s position further aft than is the norm in IRC to date. The J measurement is longer than typical and they willingly pay a small rating penalty for that and the 188 square metre spinnaker, which because of the high righting moment, hull design and twin rudders, OCD explain, sailors will have no difficulty handling in more wind than they’re used to.

In performance terms, despite having a TCC that is 55 points lower, on elapsed time both the inshore and offshore designs perform better than any second generation Class 40s under a wide range of conditions. On elapsed time, with a final trial TCC of 1.213 and with water ballast 1.225, both boats proved competitive when raced in a computer model of the 2012 Round Ireland Race. This event suited our purposes because it happened at a convenient point in the design cycle, included an Akilaria Class 40 sailed with five crew and featured two of the datum boats; Tonnerre de Breskens and the winner of the actual race on the water, Inis Mor.

For more information go to: www.owenclarkedesign.com/OCD_401_IRC_Racing_Yacht

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