The wallycento class of maxi-style 100ft racer-cruisers continues to gain momentum with the launch of its third boat, Galateia – and there are more on the drawing boards to follow.
It seems there is still an appetite for maxi-style racing, albeit in slightly more comfort than traditional maxi yachts. These first sailing pictures of the latest wallycento, Galateia, will help re-ignite interest in this 100ft, dual-role class.
Wallycentos provide elite owner-driven racing within a narrow rating range of the Wally Class competitive programme – tight racing on a super slippery yacht that can also be cruised.
This white-hulled rocketship recently splashed at Green Marine in Southampton, the same Southampton yard that launched the first wallycento Hamilton for Sir Charles Dunstone three years ago. (Now called Open Season, Hamilton was purchased and significantly modified by current owner and former CEO of Bugatti Thomas Bscher.)
Hamilton (Judel Vrolijk) and Magic Carpet3 (Reichel Pugh / Wally), the second wallycento built, were drawn by different designers and built by different yards to the wallycento box rule. Galateia is a blend of these first two – designed by Reichel Pugh but built at Green Marine.
Galateia not only resembles Magic Carpet3 with her flush decks and large social cockpit amidships, but she shares similar lines. “We developed the next generation wallycento hull shape incorporating into the design the on-the-water experience of Magic Carpet3 and the results of our latest hull study in computational fluid dynamics,” says designer Jim Pugh of Reichel Pugh.
“All areas of the design were open for development with focus on improving the underwater foil package, reducing windage and improving the yacht’s systems, weight, and function.”
Wallycentos may look every bit the maxi racing yacht at first glance. Peer closer though and you may notice the teak decks, guest cockpit, self-tacking jib track, and lack of imposing deck hardware. These are still Wallys: modern, dual-role superyachts.
Down below, Galateia has a luxurious interior with owners’ suite forward and two ensuite guest double cabins. It is planned that Galateia will head to the Caribbean for the winter season, where she is scheduled to cruise with the owners’ family and race in some super yacht regattas.
In spring 2016 Galateia will join the Wally Class in the Mediterranean. The goal of the wallycento was to create a class that offers the fastest maxi-style racing using yachts that can still be cruised.
Class of wallycento
“The wallycento formula is indisputably successful because these super yachts proved to be highly competitive, very technical, extremely fast in all conditions, and exceptionally cruiser friendly” says Wally founder Luca Bassani. Bassani confirms that they are also finalising the sales of the fourth wallycento.
Key points for the class are lightweight, planing-speed displacement, powerful sailplans and high stability. Centos have a displacement just shy of 50 tonnes, and the large percentage of that is keel ballast. As well as basic parameters like weight and dimensions, the rule specifies cruising interiors. This includes the likes of water makers, aircon and a minimum number of cabins.
Magic Carpet3 is owned and helmed by Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, the man credited with building up the French cosmetics company L’Oreal over four decades. She is his third Wally called Magic Carpet. Sir Lindsay initiated the wallycento project a few years ago with a desire for more competitive fun – the box rule was his idea.
In today’s economic climate the Wally concept makes sense. It offers a second (cruising) life or afterlife for a racing boat. “I owned a ULDB (Ultra-Light Displacement Boat) but wanted a fast boat that I could cruise on,” Sir Lindsay told me during our sail trials in autumn 2013. “I always thought it was crazy to buy a big race boat and throw it away after three years. So it had to have a second life.”
The future? The P100 evolution
Philippe Briand has created this striking new concept as an evolution of the wallycento class. Briand used CFD analysis to create a hull form with lower freeboard and slightly narrower beam than the first two Centos. The deck design looks innovative and features a ‘roller coaster wave’ form on deck helps save weight says Briand. There are three different through-deck drop hatches for flying sails plus an aft sail locker.