New Class 40
9 Jun 2015


We are excited to announce construction of a new Owen Clarke Design Class40 in Bristol, RI for Energy Freedom Ocean Racing. The design team includes Clay Oliver, engineering by PURE and weather modelling data from Chris Bedford.

“It is exciting to become part of a growing class in the US and we hope to stimulate and encourage others to do so.” commented Matt Baldwin, Project Manager for Energy Freedom Ocean Racing “Carbon Ocean Yachts have an excellent track record, delivering the highest quality on time and budget, and Rhode Island is the best place in the US for a high tech composite project.””The team is really stoked about the project.” confirmed COY’s MD, Britt Colombo. “We have been busy with other projects but getting a new build has always been our goal. The Class 40 scene in the USA is really on the up and working with Merf, Clay and PURE, it is just about as good a team as you could put together.”
UK designers OCD and US based America’s Cup designer, Clay Oliver have been working together on a hull development program spanning many months and have eventually arrived at a max. beam design with lines that are unique in the class. Sail wardrobe, ballast tank positions and appendages have all been reviewed on the back of the weather and course data developed during the hull design. The finished design is still work in progress for the client, project and design team.

COY is building the Class 40 in Bristol, Rhode Island and is close to completing the male plug, which will produce the carbon female mould. The hull shell construction drawings have been delivered by PURE, the engineers responsible for Team New Zealand’s last and future AC 72 America’s Cup challenger.

As part of the weather profiling for the yacht OCD used the same software utilised in their larger IMOCA Open 60’s to run computer simulations of design candidates on courses such as the Atlantic Cup and Bermuda Races. Using high resolution weather data provided by Massachusetts based weather forecaster Chris Bedford. Comparing their new designs against existing Class40s whose performance was used as a benchmark and simulating races as far back as 2000. The results of the simulations showed the new design was faster than the current generation of yachts, in the vast majority of conditions.

Lead designer, Merfyn Owen puts his expectations for the latest Class 40 in North America in perspective. “We expect some real innovation and quality in the build from Carbon Ocean Yachts and I’m sure it will be the quickest boat on ‘paper’. However, history tells us that those with current boats need not despair! Wise sailors know, and my experience of racing in the class in the US for the last five years, tells me that especially in short-handed sailing, once the hull gets wet; experience, local knowledge, preparation and good old time on the water are all great levellers.”

We’ve been designing racing boats for US owners for more than ten years but it’s really exciting for me and important for Owen Clarke Design to be working with Carbon Ocean Yachts to create this new racing yacht and for it to be built in the United States. It’s great news for Class40 in the US that an owner has the confidence in the future of the US Class to invest in a new boat and the tooling to produce it.”

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