Festival Of Sails

World Premiere of MC31 One Design at FOS

McConaghy Boats’ latest one design class will be launched at the 2016 Festival of Sails.

The first two MC31 hulls are headed for Melbourne and into the hands of two eager Sandringham Yacht Club owners.

The MC31 and a range of other asymmetric super-charged boats sized between 8.5m and 11.2m, or 28 – 36 feet, are hoping to combine for the inaugural Super 11 Series at FOS, the first event on their 2016 calendar.

MC31 importer and first owner, Rohan Veal, predicts the world premiere of the MC31 at FOS will be the starting point for phenomenal international growth, similar to the foiling Moth trajectory he developed from 2003 to 2009.

Described as a “scaled down TP52 with all the Gucci fittings” and “the natural sibling of the MC38”, Rohan promises the end product is even better than first projected. “McConaghy spent a lot of time thinking how to make the perfect one design boat, a high performance grand prix racer with a superior finish.”

MC31 agents will import two hulls at a time, double stacked in a specially built and re-usable cradle to reduce shipping costs and ensure no orphan boats are sold. “This means owners will immediately have another MC31 to race against and two boats will turn into four very quickly,” Rohan explains. He’s already talking about a national class title in 2016 and the potential for a world title in Australia in 2017 or the year after.

The Festival of Sails will be more showcase than show-stopper when it comes to likely results for the MC31s as the new boats are unveiled and eased into racing mode as part of the new Super 11 division. Organisers at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club are ready to support the concept as long as the numbers warrant the extension to the racing schedule.

Planning began a year ago to offer lightweight high performance boats with big kites that “are a bit flash” a separate series and scoring at existing regattas under a box rule says one of the masterminds, Tony Cuschieri from Royal Brighton Yacht Club.

“It’s an AMS system designed for hybrid keelboats that are too big to be classified a sports boat and typically don’t do well under IRC and PHS handicap. AMS is the simplest and fairest box rule for our boats and it means we’ll bunch up on the results sheet. It’s about getting the half dozen owners with similar light boats at every yacht club together and trying to get more young people involved in the sport, as well as encouraging local boat building.”

Early interest for the introduction of a Super 11 series suggests Gerrit Veenemans’ brand new Fareast 28R out of Queensland, Adrian Walter’s Shaw 11m Little Nico from Sydney and the Melges 32 Envyus skippered by Dennis Clark from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria will sign up for the division at Geelong’s historic Australia Day long weekend. A daily mixture of windward/leeward and passage racing is proposed.

Veal and Cuschieri are talking up 10-15 entries for the maiden Super 11 event and from the Festival onwards Victorian owners will refine the prototype. “Once we’ve proven ourselves on Port Phillip we’ll reach out to the other states,” Cuschieri adds.