Wally's little Nano, all in pink, has been turning heads in St Tropez. YW went for a quick blast..


Terrific little blast aboard the Wally Nano off St. Tropez today. The new 37ft retro one design is a kind of pocket Wally designed jointly by Luca Bassani’s now famously inventive team in Fano, Italy and Dutch naval architect Andre Hoek. The new boat has been a long time coming after production moved from Holland to Antalya in Turkey and even now there is a long snagging list for the little ‘pink one’ – she sports an unconventional pink livery – or Barbie Wally as some yachtsmen in St Tropez have rather unkindly dubbed her.

But one thing’s for sure, this little baby, pink or not, really does perform. It’s very early days but Paolo Massarini the Nano’s project manager and extremely experienced grand prix sailor together with Italian Olympic Star helmsman Diegro Negri wore broad smiles as we hit speeds just shy of 13 knots with a biggish A sail set and 20 knot gusts barrelling down the Baie de St Tropez. On a long wave this boat is surely going to reach the high teens?

Light as a feather on the helm the 2.6 ton Wally lifted her bow and hammered off downwind after a beat under full main and small jib. I’d noticed there was no means of reefing the main and the forecast was for a rising breeze. “What happens when we need to get rid of some main?” I asked. “Then it’s time to go home,” said Paolo?

See the October issue of Supersail World and an upcoming issue of Yachting World for a full report on this exciting little boat which, although not racing (an admin problem over insurance and a crippling IRC handicap didn’t help) has been a hot topic of conversation at Les Voiles de St Tropez which continues until Saturday. See also www.regattanews.com