Introducing Zephyrus V

First of new maxZ86 class of turbo sled launched
Zephyrus V, the first of a new class of 86-foot turbo-sled maxis, begins her sea trials on San Francisco Bay next month, marking the beginning of a bold initiative to bring a fast new, streamlined look to the top end of the owners' game in sailing. Zephyrus V owner Bob McNeil, from San Francisco, joined with sled veteran Roy Disney to initiate the new maxZ86 Class which will first race in competition in Australia at the end of 2003. McNeil's new boat will make its race debut in the West Marine Pacific Cup Race from San Francisco to Kaneohe, HI, in July this year. With water ballast, a sail plan bigger than an America's Cup Class boat, and the easily-driven, highly-efficient characteristics of a modern turbo-sled, the maxZ86s will be the new line honors class for the Transpac in 2005. The Transpacific Yacht Club has already approved the class, subject to three boats starting in the 2005 race. Designed by Reichel/Pugh of San Diego and built by McConaghy Boats in Sydney, Australia, Zephyrus V is the successor to McNeil's 75-foot Zephyrus IV, with which he shattered the Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro Race record in 2000 by almost two days, and in the same year broke the Middle Sea Race record in the Mediterranean. McNeil commissioned the new design after acknowledging that rating rule changes had left his four-year-old boat outclassed by newer arrivals. His brief called for all the performance that Reichel/Pugh could pack into an 86-footer. He wanted turbo monohull performance with "acres of sail" flying from the fastest possible hull shape. He asked for the variable displacement option provided by water ballast, enabling huge turbo off-the-wind performance in light trim, combined with the stability and sail-carrying power that comes when ballasted. High-tech construction of the composite hull was important, with