Ker 11.3 - review

Such is the demand for this Jason Ker-design IRM racer that seven orders were placed on the strength of the drawings
Following the success of his designs such as Roaring Meg and Quokka V in last year's Commodore's Cup, much is expected of designer Jason Ker's new 11.3 IRM one design. The first two 11.3s, Cracker and Michael White's On A High had their inaugural outing at the IR2000 Championship last weekend and still very fresh out of the box gave occasional glimpses of their potential. Cracker was under charter and only sailed two days, while On A High damaged her boom during an accidental gybe when a 27 knot squall passed by as they were on the way to the start of Saturday's racing. White's boat did not fully show her form until the final race yesterday when she finished five minutes ahead of the larger Farr 40s and two minutes behind the IC45s. Race 1, Jonny Falkner and Phil Crebbin's race boat management company, commissioned the 11.3 from Ker last year on the strength of the performance of his boats during the Commodore's Cup. "We realised that Jason was the new young talent who was going to set the world on fire," says Crebbin. The concept of the 11.3 is for a full-on race boat that is designed to compete as a One Design class under IRM and still be on the pace under IRC should the occasion arise. Ker and Race 1 confirm that with the 11.3 they are gunning for the 40ft One Design classes such as the Farr 40. They rate much the same under IRM: the 11.3 is 1049 to the Farr 40's 1050/1. "They (Race 1) initially wanted a 35 footer," says Ker. "I suggested a little bit bigger was the right way to go, to be on the pace with the 40 footers. With Roaring Meg we found we could mix