Super 11 Concept Downunder

Published on November 28th, 2016

Rating rules are at their best when comparing similar types of boats, but rating rules can’t control how boats are grouped at regattas. Depending on the number and types of entries, it is inevitable at regattas to find boats assigned to race against each other, but that can’t be fairly rated against each other.

The solution is for boat owners to take control of the situation, which is what has occurred in the UK with the Fast 40+ fleet, and now in Australia with the Super 11 concept.

Dennis Clark explains:
Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne has been the venue for a new concept in keelboat racing – Super 11s. These are sportboat type planing keelboats governed by a pretty simple Box Rule:

• LOA Maximum: 11.20m
• LOA Minimum: 8.50m
• STL Minimum: 4.50m
• Fixed, retracting or cantilevered centreline bowsprits
• Asymmetrical spinnakers flown from bowsprits
• Original Hull design, post 1996

These boats are generally stripped out racers with minimal comforts. The following have been already racing together under the Rule:

• Melges 32
• Thompson 980
• Thompson 920
• Thompson 870
• Reichell Pugh 36
• MC 31
• J/111
• Flying Tiger 10
• Fareast 28
• Shaw 11
• Sunfast 3600
• Archambault 32

A C&C 30 will join soon in Sydney Australia where the concept has also taken off.

Handicapping is based on a Victorian (Australia) rule called AMS which is similar to IRC but cheap and rates Super 11 boats less harshly. There is also a performance based handicap section that rates the sailors rather than the boat.

The concept was first trailed at the Festival of Sails at Geelong in Victoria Australia in January 2016 where the 12 Super 11s sailed in their own division. There was close racing with a variety of boats sharing the podium over the series of races, both windward/leeward and fixed marks.

Super 11 Association President Tony Cushieri says, “This is the future for sailing as the boats are easier to maintain and sail and are exciting when the wind comes up. We sail the angles downwind with assy kites and there are thrills and spills but colour and movement,”

Rohan Veale, Moth World Champion and 38 South boat broker, campaigns an MC31 and is a keen promoter of the Super 11s. “As we don’t have large fleets of one design boats here, this is a great idea to get similar type boats competing together away from the non-planing dead downwind keelboats.”

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