The mini Ericsson rocket ship

We look at the new Juan K designed K650 sportboat
Ericsson 4 has just won the Volvo Ocean Race, but for those looking for a piece of Juan K action in something a little more modest, Yum Boats in Honfleur may have just the ticket. Launched last summer, the K650 is rather confusingly nothing to do with K-Challenge, who some years back launched the K-One Design 33, also designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian. The K in K650 stands for either Kouyoumdjian or Karver, the French hardware manufacturer who conceived this exciting new sports boat. The 650 element of the name is also a little misleading as although it is the same length, the boat is not a Mini, but a closer relation to the sportsboats such as the Open 7.50 and Open 6.50, familiar to sailors in Brittany, but which have generally gone little further. The most popular of these French sportsboats is the Groupe Finot designed Open 7.50, made by JPS Production in La Trinite-sur-Mer that is now around 10 years old. In Brittany, many of the sailing elite there race these - most notably Marc Guillemot, skipper of the Open 60 Safran, who was competing aboard his last Saturday in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud with Dominique Wavre and Michelle Paret. JPS also produce the Mach 6.5, which is similar in concept to the K650, but designed by double Mini Transat winner/naval architect Seb Magnen and not Juan K. Some years ago a Finot-designed Open 650 was also produced, but in small numbers as it was an all-carbon boat and somewhat expensive for its length. “They are really nicely built boats, very efficient, very fast, but the problem is that they have never been outside of La Trinite,” states Karver’s own Mini turned Class 40 sailor, Tanguy de Lamotte. “They are not known in England or Spain, etc. We thought it