One man who thinks Class 40 is the most exciting racing option around


How would you like a buy recommendation from someone in the wealth management business?

You would? Well, here it is: get a Class 40.

That’s Peter Harding’s current position. He has plumped for a new build, taking on Miranda Merron to get him up to speed and oversee the project. Peter will be doing the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre next month in his boat 40 Degrees.

A Bénéteau 40.7 in 1990, a DK46 in 1997; then a TP52; his choices have all been very zeitgeisty. But when Peter raced the TP at St Tropez last year he says: “I was on the water for 12 hours in 8 days, and I thought, I could be having far more fun.”

It looks like the Class 40s are going to be populated by an incredibly exciting mix of sailors: aspiring young pros; stellar names like Giovanni Soldini, Florence Arthaud and Luc Poupon; and Corinthian boatowners who fancy upping their skills with a mighty transocean challenge.

If some of the big names here are interested in turbocharging short-handed ocean racing, they’ll give it a shot, too. Fingers crossed.

The boats are not bad value for 40ft racers, they can be cruised (bunks and plumbed-in heads compulsory) and chartered for hefty fees – and you get the sailing experience of your life. Much more here 

Lots more on the Class 40s, what they cost and how to get into them in our January issue.

The photo is of 40 Degrees rounding the Fastnet during this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race. Courtesy Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi