Rio 2016 equipment trials: Women's skiffs part two

James Boyd Photography /
We continue our tour with the Hartley Rebel, the Mackay FX, the 29erXX and Arup Skiff
This article follows on from part 1 Having looked at the Aura and the RS900, today we examine the rest of the Women's Two Person skiff contenders: Hartley Rebel Designed by Phil Morrison and Derek Clark, and with additional gravitas in the form of former Laser boss Tim Coventry lurking in the background as an adviser, the Rebel has been some five years in gestation, making it by far the most developed of the Women’s Skiffs on trial in Santander. The boat represents something of a departure for Hartley Boats, the Derbyshire-based company best known as builder of the more pedestrian Supernova, Wayfarer, Kestral, Osprey, Gull, Wanderer and Optimist. Like the Aura and RS900, the Rebel has been purpose-built to be the Women’s Olympic Skiff brief. “It is designed to be the fastest thing we could make for the parameters we thought were appropriate,” explains Derek Clark. Even though the sail plan has been reduced and reduced over its development period, it remains the most grunty boat on trial here in Santander with the third biggest sail area upwind (to the FX and RS900), the second greatest upwind (to the FX), while weighing substantially less. “It has the same righting moment to sail area numbers as the 49er and it is a lot lighter...” says Clark. In comparison to the 49er which weighs in at 135-140kg (entertainingly finding out the exact displacement of the Olympic skiff is harder than you might think), the Rebel is a svelt 92kg. Part of the reason for this light weight is that the Rebel is shorter than the FX, the RS900 and the Aura and Clark points out that as soon as hull speed is exceeded, weight becomes a negative. Once again construction of the Rebel is in glass/foam with epoxy. For the sails, Clark says they