Working together, the UK Sports Boat Association (UKSBA), Farr Yacht Design and marine marketing specialists, Activate Switch, are in the process of helping to establish the High Performance30 Class (HP30s).
“We have received a huge amount of interest from UK owners, looking for high performance sportsboat racing, in the UK,” comments Jochem Visser. “Having raced against the these boats at Cowes Week last year and followed their progress, it seemed sensible to team up with Activate Switch to pool resources and put a sailing programme together for 2016.”
Activate Switch are the European marketing agents for Farr Yacht Sales and the Farr 280’s and have recently helped launch the Fast40+ Class, providing marketing and media support. The company is specialist in marine marketing and events.
“The concept is to deliver fast, close racing amongst a fleet of very similar boats,” says Joe Hall (Activate Switch). “The most critical part is ensuring that the performance profiles are as close as possible, so the owners of these boats can get as much fun out of them as possible.”
Having worked hard to develop the Farr280’s in the UK over the last eighteen months, Activate is wary of classing the boats as sportsboats. “It is true that these boats are sporty,” comments Joe, “but they have received the same levels of design investment and use the same systems and technology that you find on much larger Grand Prix yachts; they are more like mini TPs, which is why we plan to brand this type of racing High Performance30.”
Over the last eighteen months, there has been a migration of owners from traditional displacement sailing yachts, into lighter displacement boats with higher performance profiles, both here and the USA. Generally speaking, these owners either bought these boats on the promise of One Design racing, or they were wanted to try fast, performance racing, instead of traditional displacement racing.
We started this project over three years ago when we set out to design the best High Performance race boat under 30′,” comments Patrick Shaughnessy (President of Farr Yacht Design). ‘In its conception the Farr 280 was filling a distinct market void, since then several other builders have become involved, introducing similar products, but for a number of very good reasons, no one has broken through the glass ceiling to achieve sustainable One Design.
We recognize that our owners, who have invested in these exceptional boats, need somewhere to race, so this initiative is designed to help them get out sailing. The logic for this is simple, if we first can help deliver fleet racing, in the UK and USA, then the One Design fleet development program will follow on the back of that.
The programme is designed to be that catalyst, creating a single fleet of performance boats, which encourages more people to come along to race and have great fun on the water. By grouping similar light boats together under the High Performance banner, the usual concerns that result from racing high performance boats, against heavy cruiser-racers under IRC are greatly minimised.
Farr Yacht Design will help by developing the Class rules that get this programme off the ground. The plan is that the boats will not optimise to a rule, but aim to stay ‘in class’ so they can compete in both HP30 and One Design events.
The HP30 Class rule is currently under development and to be announced soon but in principle, it will be designed to the following criteria:
Ballasted keel boats with asymmetric kites on centreline based poles
Maximum length overall of 30′(9.15 m)*
Maximum displacement of 2000kg
Maximum DLR of 100 in which DLR=27.87x(Boat Weight)/Length Waterline^3
A minimum limit of positive stability of 60 degrees
* for the first season(s) boats upto 9.5m may be included under a grandfather rule subject to meeting all other requirements.
The Rule will be for boats from 7m to 9.15m specifically targeted at racing around the 30′ bracket such as the C&C 30, FarEast 28, Farr 280’s and other sports yachts. There will be an upper limit in length for this class (currently at 9.15 m) and a lower limit in minimum rating (TBA soon).
Initial feedback from a number of high profile regattas has been very positive, and the fleet is aiming for Class starts at the following events:
by Joe Hall