We ask top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times. This time four-time Olympian Mitch Booth nominates Kuka Light.
“Kuka Light is the most extreme keelboat I have ever sailed,” explains Mitch Booth. “At 42ft and built in an autoclave she is VERY light and stiff. But when you look at the spec she’s special. Around 3,200kg with a beam of 4.6m and draught of 3.5m makes Comanche look very conservative by comparison!”
Booth was involved with the design from the outset, recalling that the brief from the owner was to build the fastest 40ft monohull in the world that could take part in the premier ocean and coastal races.
It was designed by Schickler/Tagliapietra Yacht Design and drew on Booth and the owner’s own performance multihull backgrounds. The full carbon custom build frequently raced against 50-60-footers in events like the Rolex Giraglia and Middle Sea Race. With a carbon-finned canting keel, twin retractable daggerboards and a rotating mast, it was sailed by a crew of just six.
Kuka Light Stats rating:
Top speed: 34 knots
Adrenaline Factor: 90%
Four-time Olympian Mitch Booth twice represented Australia and twice the Netherlands in the Tornado catamaran to win a Bronze and Silver. He has long been an innovator in the sport, and co-created the Extreme 40s. Booth is now skipper of the 100ft Comanche, winning the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race and 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race.
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