Matt Sheahan the technical Editor of Yachting World has been doing quite a few Sport boat tests this spring. In this Boat Test he took out the Checkmate Sailing Sailing C&C30 on a beautiful Solent day – and his verdict? “I really like this boat.”
Andy Soriano and his Alegre team were crowned World Champions at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Worlds yesterday in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. In perhaps the best Mini-Maxi fleet yet assembled including previous champions Ran in their latest boat and past winners Bella Mente, Alegre remained on top of the 7 boat class from the first race to the last. “It’s a great achievement for the team to be World Champion,” said Soriano. “I’m relieved, it’s something we strove for, we’ve been (in this position) twice already and we finally were able to get over the last hurdle. We sailed our own race; loose, relaxed, confident like we have all week. This year the level of the competition has been raised, more than any of us could have imagined.”
Alegre, the second Mini-Maxi from Mills Design for this owner, was aimed at winning this event and showed her boatspeed and crew handling advantages by comfortably winning both coastal races. Having been forced into the runners-up spot on the last day twice in previous years, and with only three points between first and second going into the final day, the pressure was on the team in the worlds highest quality Owner-Driver event. Supported by tactician John Kostecki and a tight-knit crew they played the odds on the final day to ensure the series was wrapped up with a race to spare. “I am very happy for Andy and the whole Alegre team” said designer Mark Mills “It’s just reward for the dedicated and focused campaign that they have run. I can’t thank Andy enough for the opportunity to be playing and winning at this level. the success of the design would not have been possible without the involvement in the design team of R&D specialists KND and engineer Steve Koopman of SDK, and the passion of builders Longitud Cero ”
Our latest IRC 41 design is currently under construction at McConaghy’s, the result of a long and detailed R&D program aimed at optimising the performance for Asian conditions both inshore and offshore. The first boat is for repeat clients in Hong Kong, and reflects their experience racing locally in their previous custom Mills 41, as well as their views about the best way to approach the fleet with a new design.
The design process involved a comprehensive CFD driven VPP study with our research partners KND / Sailing Performance, looking at multiple hull shape options, foil configurations, and sail plan sizes. This work built on our previous studies for new designs based on increasing form stability when heeled, resulting in significant gain upwind in a breeze. The focus for this design was to ensure these gains could be combined with strength in light/medium airs, as well as breezier conditions offshore in events like the Vietnam Race. Since these ambitions are not always mutually compatible, it became clear that including as much modabilitiy as possible into the basic boat would offer a range of benefits: firstly it provides the client a far wider range of competitive configurations by adjusting the key components of Draft, Displacement, Trim, and Sail Area. Secondly in the light of the IRC rule’s transition in recent years towards accommodating lighter faster designs including wide modable ranges in as many parameters as possible opens up the ability to respond to future rule adjustments flexibly, extending the competitive life of the boat. Thirdly it allowed the basic hull shape to deliver a wider range of possibilities for other clients looking to optimise future builds of the design more significantly for different conditions.