It has been a quiet month but an opportunity to reflect on some of the work that has been achieved and still continues in the background. Since the pandemic started in early 2020, we have launched no fewer than 6 projects across numerous classes. Many of the projects created have progressed to competing within the MYA Racing Calendar. However, there are some projects that we have previously launched, but still haven’t had the opportunity to compete. These are as follows:
Aero (RG65), this design was launched as a 3D printed prototype in July 2020 and during the winter months Damian worked hard on creating the plug for the design, with one moulded hull produced in April this year. Unfortunately, this is where the project was paused. A combination of other commitments and funding has prevented ‘Aero’ from progressing to competition and it is disappointing we were not represented in this years class championships. We will push forward through this winter to have ‘Aero’ ready for competition in 2022.
Pringle (US1m) was launched as a 3D printed prototype in August 2020 and just before the class championships which were scheduled to be in Sacramento, California. Having previously spent a large amount of time in the US, this project provides me with the most enthusiasm. Despite missing the first year because of the cancellation of the regatta, I was still committed to producing a carbon version of the design. Unfortunately, as the pandemic continued around the world, ‘Pringle’ was not able to compete in the US and missed the Sacramento class championships for the second year. This is because the US boarders remain closed to non-essential travel and international visitors. The thought now is to take a step back and not produce a carbon version of ‘Pringle’ at this time. Instead use the 3D printed prototype and compete in the 2022 class championships scheduled to be in South California.
Sonix (10R) 2021, there has always been a desire to improve on our existing class design. Prior to the cancelation of the last World Championship at West Kirby, a lot of work was carried out on the revised hull. Unfortunately, the funding for such a project remains high and does go into the thousands of pounds (£). Therefore, the decision was made to shelve this project because it was felt at the time, with no plans for a future World Championship, money would be better spent else where.
As we move towards the end of 2021, we will spend more time on the water racing and tuning the boats we have. The Sushi (IOM) is my immediate focus because after a disappointing result at Fleetwood in August, we need to address the shortcomings found so we can move forward to meet the challenges in the near future.
A busy month of National Regattas which started with the Vane A – Class Championships. We were represented with the Matrix after a 3 year development period. It was the first competitive race for the revised hull. The general opinion is the performance has improved with Matrix easier to control. So those were the positives which came from the week long regatta. Therefore, now its all about time on the water learning more about how to sail this A – Class.
Next came the Marblehead Championships, again we were represented by the Astrix, this design is now 7 years old. The wind conditions were mainly light and variable, but on occasions the stronger gusts would appear on the lake. Admittedly, the regatta was always going to be a challenge, but on more than one occasion Astrix would qualify for A – Fleet as the wind briefly increased. However, the decision is to revisit the Marblehead Class with a fresh project in the future.
Last came the IOM Championship with some 76 entries. This regatta was probably the most competitive, that we have had the pleasure of being involved in. Represented with a new design called Sushi, it is the boat’s first competition having only been launched the previous week. The positives taken from this event was that we managed to qualify for B-Fleet, its highest position through the weekend and that we learnt a lot about the design, in which we can start to tweak to increase the performance. There is still a lot of work to do on Sushi, but we have a way forward in the coming months.
Finally we can announce the availability of our new Vane A – Class design ‘Matrix’. After 3 years of development this yacht managed to compete for the first time at Fleetwood, finishing a respectful 2nd place on both days during the traditional class ‘shakedown’ weekend, prior to the UK Championships to be held at Gosport in August.
Matrix’s hull shape is purely designed for straight line speed. The reverse low profile bow section, tumblehome and the chine running along the full length of the hull, allows the waterline to increase so the yacht reaches maximum hull speed quickly. The main purpose of Matrix is for ‘Vane Sailing’ and should not be considered for radio control.
For further information on Matrix, refer to the link: https://taylormadeyachts.com/a-class-matrix/
This month was spent on the water preparing boats for racing. My marblehead design ‘Astrix’ has recently been fitted with a new fin supplied by Robot Yachts. So time on the water has been beneficial to prove watertight integrity and a check on sailing performance. An important factor after completing such intrusive work to the fin box and surrounding area of the hull. Future ‘Astrix’ yachts will include fins supplied by Robot Yachts. In the meantime, my ‘Astrix’ will feature in the UK Championships at Manor Park in August.
In addition, construction of the Sushi (IOM) prototype continues. Great progress has been made in June leaving the foredeck to be completed in the next couple of weeks. The plan is to collect and tank test the hull for trim during the weekend of the 24th July. After this we will launch and test ‘Sushi’ for sailing performance, prior to the final measurement in early August. The Sushi (IOM) prototype will then be ready to compete in the UK Championship at Fleetwood later in the month.
The last few weeks have been very productive within the workshop, building the yachts which represent many of the classes we support. The construction of 2 x IOMs and an A – Class has helped to reduce the order book. The radio sailing program has begun within the UK, which means a shift from development work to delivery of the boats, which are required for future regattas scheduled this year.
That said, with government uncertainty still looming over International Travel, the decision to suspend the construction of the carbon US1m ‘Pringle’ again and to not participate in the French (IOM) Championship in July, is a direct result from the continuing fluidity of the Covid situation within the UK. On a more positive note, the coming weeks will be busy preparing boats for racing, whilst also enjoying meeting up with friends again at the lakeside.
The first carbon moulded ‘Aero’ (RG65) was launched a few weeks ago, which signifies our continuous representation within this development class. This is a result of many months of research which has included testing, by using a 3D printed version of the design. ‘Aero’ has the capability of being configured to suit the skipper’s best requirements. The boat has a generous displacement bracket of 1500 grams, between the minimum and maximum overall weight. ‘Aero’ also has the capability of using both Swing and Conventional Rigs. Therefore, we are confident that ‘Aero’ will remain competitive across the wind speed bracket, providing the skipper chooses their preferred race setup wisely. More information can viewed at the link: https://taylormadeyachts.com/rg65/
This month provided the opportunity to finalise the ‘Pringle’ (US1m) project. The construction of the storm rig was necessary for sailing in the UK, although I am not expecting to use the complete set of 4 rigs in the US, to have the other options available when I do come to race would be sensible. Sailing the prototype in wind speeds above 20mph was actually encouraging in terms of performance and reliability. The sailing conditions provided a good test for the shroudless rigs, as the high modulus carbon mast was more than capable in the strong gusts. In addition, I was able to measure the sailing performance of the boat and confirm the rig, keel and ballast are all positioned correctly.
In the last 6 months we have built up an overall US1m package and been lucky enough to test the concept in all weather conditions. The class rules promote development with few limitations, so I explored what was possible during my previous visits to Florida. Inspired by using the best ideas from different classes, I gradually came up with a hull of the same theme as for an IOM. However, my rigs are constructed using configurations from the Marblehead Class. The opportunity to use the best ideas from 2 other classes and incorporating them into this project, might be considered a step up as we push the innovation boundary. The final proof will always be racing on the water. As we continually wait for international travel to resume, construction for a carbon ‘Pringle’ hull will begin, in anticipation for the boarders to reopen before September.
Short Film Link: https://youtu.be/c7Ijl5K6JUk
Short Film 2 Link: https://youtu.be/mXHP5OuXJIw
This month, work has continued in the background with 1 x RG and 2 x IOMs being constructed. This has contributed to slow progress on the Sushi (IOM) Building Kit development. We hope to recover time once the new ‘Sushi’ centre deck moulding has been finalised and produced. The scheduled launch of ‘Sushi’ for test in April is still a realistic target.
Meanwhile, I have been busy refurbishing rigs on my personal ‘Rubix’ (IOM). It was once said, that putting fresh sails on your boat can be better than purchasing a new IOM. So putting this into practise, I decided to replace my existing sails, which are between 3 and 6 years old, for fresh sails (not new ones) in much better condition. Plus, after some maintenance carried out on my goosenecks, where previously I had been experiencing a loss of tension to the leech side of the mainsail, I am hopeful these changes will provide more performance gains to my IOM when racing starts again. In addition, I have managed to put together my own little racing kit package, which will help me look after my equipment better when I am travelling. For many years, I have used sail bags to cover my rigs, which are not a problem when sailing locally, but for longer distance travel especially when racing abroad, a sail box will protect your rigs much better from damage. It is likely a similar package such as this could be made into an option for skippers, when constructing the new ‘Sushi’ (IOM) in the future.
Sail and Keel boxes are produced by Ian Davidson, with more information at the link: https://taylormadeyachts.com/rig-boxes-keel/
Now we are into the new year there are many projects to continue with or revisit. Therefore, what can you expect from us in 2021.
We are working on our first IOM ‘Home Build’ kit, which in the future will challenge the likes of the ‘Alternative’ and the ‘Corbie’ designs. Presently, we are still at the embryonic stages of developing the kit. Additionally, it has been 6 years since I last delivered a design into the IOM class. Therefore, much work is still to be done to prove the use of our kit process, as well as also proving my new ‘Sushi‘ (IOM) design. Good progress is being made so far and we hope to see the launch of ‘Sushi‘ in the spring. Once we have a settled construction process for the building kit, we will publish further details in the summer.
Work will continue on Pringle (US1m), despite not being able to test the boat against other designs due to international travel restrictions. Progress is being made to create the first carbon version of this yacht. All this will be in an effort to hopefully compete for the first time, in the US1m Championships in September.
Last year a lot of development work was carried out revising the Sonix (10R). At the time the class World Championships had been suspended for 12 months, so using the time wisely we set about making some significant changes, such as reducing the freeboard and slightly shortening the overall length of the hull. Unfortunately, as news broke on the cancelation of the 2020 World Championships, we took the decision to shelve further development. In the coming months, we will return to produce and make available the revised Sonix (10R).
Finally after a significant wait, I wish to announce our webpage for ‘Seabird’ (6mtr), design by Dave Hollom is now live. Building slots are available from April. For details please go to the link: ‘Click Here‘