Several new designs in the offing, reports Tim Kent

 

I was thrilled yesterday to get an email from American sailor Tim Kent about the stirrings of a Class 40 movement in the US.

Thrilled not only because that would be great news, but just delighted to hear from Tim, who I followed with huge admiration when he raced his Open 50 Everest Horizontal in the Around Alone in 2002 (sadly the boat later sank in the Bermuda One/Two when the keel bulb fell off). Tim, who now works for Harken, is one of my sailing heroes.

He says: ‘As you may know, Class 40 is beginning to percolate here in the US. While there are a paltry three boats here at the moment – a Pogo, an Akilaria and a lovely custom Rodger Martin – there are at least three more on the way including a couple of custom Owen-Clarke boats.

‘A recent development is that Novis Marine, the builder of Tartan and C&C production boats in Ohio, has announced that they are going to begin building Class 40s to a Jim Antrim design .

I will admit to having a soft spot for Jim’s designs; my Open 50 came from his pen (though it was not drawn for me) and I always felt that if I had had the time, money (and skill) I could have gotten much more from that wonderful, if ill-fated, boat.

‘More important is that Novis is building molds and feels that there is a strong market for the boat here in the US, as well as abroad, given the current exchange rates. There are some really committed guys up in the Northeast who are working to build the class here in the US for all the reasons that it has become popular in Europe.

I cannot wait to sail one of these boats – or to see a fleet of them on a starting line here in the States.’

I’ll second that motion.