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New Class 40 officially launched at start of Normandy Channel Race

by Owen Clarke 19 May 11:01 BST
Class 40 number 157 completing the Class 40 measurement in Caen © Tiphaine Riechers

The latest Class 40, #157 Cape Racing Yachts, was officially launched on Friday in Caen, where on Sunday she will cross the start line in this year's Normandy Channel Race under the South African flag, the home nation of her owner and builder Andrew Thomson.

#157 will be crewed by the vastly experienced Mini, Class 40 and Open 60 sailor Jörg Riechers (Germany), who is teaming up with the Normandy based Figarist, Cedric Chateau. After the finish of this, the boat's first race, the pair will complete preparation of the yacht and take some time to train for the RORC Fastnet and ultimately the Transat Jacques Vabres at the end of the year.

#157 was delivered from the Cape Racing Yacht's yard at the end of March to Caen where she has been completing her fit out at the local yard and open class specialists V1D2. It's been an accelerated process to fit electrics/electronics, hardware, mast and make ready for the Class 40 measurement process that was completed on Thursday this week.

The second boat delivered by Cape Racing Yachts from the drawing board of Owen Clarke Design completed the 90-degree inclination successfully, requiring corrector weights to bring the boat up to the class minimum weight of 4500 kg, just three days ahead of the race start.

Andrew Thomson, who along with Owen Clarke designer Merf Owen are in Caen for the race start, commented: "Cape Racing Yachts is very proud to have our second Cape 40 at the start of the prestigious Normandy Channel Race. It has been a rush to get her here in time, but we were fortunate that the shipping to Le Havre and preparation by V1D2 went very smoothly. We know from #149 Hydra's performances that the design is quick and has potential to be optimised even more. Whatever happens, the NCR will be a platform for us the build and get faster through the summer season."

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