Prototype on the putty

RNLI to the rescue following MayDay

Monday August 6th 2001, Author: Lynsey Thomas, Location: United Kingdom
Revolution XXI an Evolution 32 racing in class 3 put out a MayDay this morning after they hit a sandbank near the entrance to the Beaulieu river.

The grounding at Lepe Spit caused the Evolution's starboard daggerboard to puncture its case leaving the crew ankle deep in water. The RNLI responded to the crew's MayDay and on their arrival promptly fitted a pump to the vessel before towing it to East Cowes Marina.

Owner of Revolution XXI is Brian Stillwell, formerly boss of Bavaria and Legend importers Opal Marine and the Evolution 32 is a new prototype he is working on. "The irony about the whole affair is that we specifically designed the boat with asymmetric daggerboards for it to be able to sail in shallow water," commented Stillwell.

"It was pretty rough conditions out there today, but at least we now know what happens when you do hit the bottom," he continued. "The boat is constructed out of epoxy foam so it's extremely light and strong. We could make the daggerboards less strong so in effect they would break before puncturing the casing or in fact strengthen the daggerboard casing. These are all things we will have to look into."

Fortunately the damage caused is minimal and with a fibre glass repair man all ready on his way the repair should be fixed to make the boat ready for sailing again tomorrow.

With the Evolution 32 Stillwell is hoping for the boat to find its niche in a combined cruiser-racer market, he explains:"We're not trying to compete with Beneteau or anyone like that. What we have tried to do is design a power sailer, capable of 18 knots, and able to compete with boats with a normal keel in a safe way."

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