Checking in with the Fast40+ Class

Published on February 13th, 2017


Rob Greenhalgh

In the fall of 2015, a group of owners gathered in the Solent area and agreed on the creation of the Fast 40+, an owner/driver IRC class for similar boats. With the 2017 season expecting up to fourteen boats for the race schedule in the Solent, Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck checks in with Class President Rob Greenhalgh for an update.

Handicap rules work best when boats are appropriately grouped. Is the Fast 40+ class about putting control in the owner’s hands?
Handicaps work best with similar boats that have the same type form, similar weight, length, etc. We have an upper limit on IRC TCC, which we have generally seen the fleet migrate towards. The Fast40+ class enables owners to be unique in their boat type whilst also having a control. We generally see first boat home winning.

Why go this route versus a one design option?
By using a handicap rule you allow more opportunities for boats usage. More regattas are on offer where you may not be able to field a fleet of 6-8 boats (for a one-design class). One design can’t evolve, and by its nature, will never stand the test of time. Yes, there are some cases where this is not the case but that is generally in smaller keelboats. It also allows personal flair and owner requirements to be catered to.

Is there an overriding characteristic of this class?
The boats offer fun, fast, and tight racing. The boats all weight about four ton which is pretty light for a 40 footer.

Why call it 40+?
The LOA limit is 12.8m which is just over 40 feet. In general boats are always referred to in feet so 40+ was a progression of that.

What have been some of the good early decisions?
We needed to keep the band wide enough to attract a fleet initially but as time evolves this will reduce slightly. Our mission is to keep the rule book as small as possible and to keep cost down.

What is vital for class growth?
Cost and nice boats which people want to race.

For more information on the class…click here.

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