A new 40ft boat for an owner who wants to mix it with the world's top ocean racers


When you buy a boat you’re paying money to get wet, wired, tired and bruised. But I can’t think of anyone for whom this is going to be more true that Peter Harding. He used to own the DK46 Fidessa Fastwave and has decided to swap crewed inshore racing for some short-handed ocean challenges.

And this is his lovely new boat, 40 Degrees, which he will be sailing in the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre (aka TJV) in November with Miranda Merron.

The boat was baptised on Friday by Miranda’s one-time racing partner Emma Sanderson (Emma Richards, as she was then). Emma’s now married to Volvo Ocean Race winner ‘Moose’ Sanderson and is six months’ pregnant.

Anyway, where was I?… 40 Degrees was designed by Owen Clarke Design Group and is a sistership to Ian Munslow’s Boland’s Mills, which finished 3rd in last year’s solo Route du Rhum. She was built in South Africa and looks utterly spit-spot.

The Class 40 fleet in the TJV is going to be more competitive than ever this year, with some top names taking part, but Miranda and Peter’s first outings are promising. They’ve sailed some 1,400 miles already are qualified, and they finished 2nd in the recent Class 40 Worlds in France.

Meanwhile, former Team Philips crewmember Alex Bennet is about to launch another new Owen Clarke-designed Class 40 in Totnes, and Simon Clarke, former team-mate of Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss, is also entered in the TJV in November.

The photo, top, shows Emma Sanderson plying a bottle of champagne, with (from r to l) owner Peter Harding, team-member Alex Sizer, who oversaw the build in Cape Town, and Miranda Merron