Rival platform?

We take a look at the new Graham Eeles Tornado
Since the Tornado Sport was officially adopted as the Olympic catamaran in 2000 Marstrom boats have enjoyed a monopoly on the hulls being produced. The Swedish manufacturer has a solid reputation with the majority of the Tornado fleet and it is generally perceived that another manufacturer would struggle to make a faster boat. However this is now being challenged by Graham Eeles who has just finished his first Tornado to a new design by himself and Ian Howlett. The new boat is to be sailed this year by Skandia Team GBR World Class Performance squad members, Andrew Walsh and Ed Barney. Eeles has a long association with the marine industry and specifically Tornados. He has spent many years working with White Formula, alongside Tornado legends the White family, headed by 1976 Gold medallist in the class, Reg White. In recent years Eeles has been manufacturing spinnaker chute assemblies the majority of the fleet are using as well as centreboards, rudders and some of the other Gucci carbon bits and pieces required for Tornado sailing. Eeles believes about 90% of his business now comes from the Tornado class. This, he admits, is part of the reason for his building the new Tornado: If he can build a platform at least as fast as the Marstrom one, it will enable sailors to buy the complete Graham Eeles package in one go. For Eeles the time feels right for another Tornado manufacturer to come onto the scene, but he does not believe he will take a significant amount of business away from Marstrom. “We are not looking to build lots and lots of Tornados, we are looking to build a small number of very high quality Tornados,” he says. It has certainly been the case over the years in sailing that competition only serves to