Winning IRC Racer combining good looks and high performance.
Caol Ila R, originally built as Alegre by builder NEB in May 2008, was the culmination of a ten month design and build effort involving some of the best names in the field. This racing design was commissioned with a specific bias towards light and medium airs competition, such as the Mediterranean circuit. In addition to winning the 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race Overall and the Britannia Cup in the UK, Alegre has proven to be very successful in the Grand Prix Mini-Maxi circuit, taking first-to-finish and class titles in both of the most important Med offshores, the Rolex sponsored Giraglia and the Middle Sea races, as well as the inshore Rolex Giraglia Trophy.We started by developing a clear event profile for the boat with the client, on which we built an extensive CFD research program with Dr. Charles Crosby of America’s Cup supplier Cape CFD. The hundreds of runs of the 24 test hulls fed raw data to support in-house VPP trialling of hull, foils, and bulb combinations aiming towards a design which would be strong in light/medium inshore conditions, but was capable of longer and more testing offshore passages. The deck plan is centered around a large inshore cockpit layout which introduces an optimised pit and primary winch layout for sprit-only sailing . The Harken winch package is centred on three linked pedastals driving the primaries and mainsheet winch. The Cariboni AC-derived high pressure hydraulic controls can use a rotary or powered pump to offer the lightest weight fingertip control or by conventional manual pumps.
The rig has been upgraded with a new Future Spars non-overlapping 3 spreader mast with Future Fibres composite standing rigging and running topmast backstays, with a North Sails inventory extensively tested in the twisted flow tunnel in Auckland by designer Kevin George and the the North Design Group with particular attention given to the spinnaker inventory flown from the fixed sprit. Engineering for the carbon/nomex structure is by Steve Koopman at SDK (Artemis, Alinghi, Numbers), who has ensured the most optimised structure, materials, and process selection in this build.
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