M-32 catamaran gets wings

Photos: Dan Ljungsvik
Former Berg Propulsion CEO Håkan Svensson tells us about the M-32 catamaran class he has acquired
The onward march of catamaran racing continues apace with the latest development being the arrival of a major backer for the M-32 class. Over the last decades Göran Marström has been a giant in the catamaran world, and could be described as Sweden’s answer to Reg White (in fact they used to race against one another – while Reg famously won Tornado gold in Toronto in 1976, Marström took the bronze in Moscow four years later). Marström Composites was the builder of choice for the Tornado during the later years of the 20ft catamaran’s tenure in the Olympic Games. Since then the Västervik-based yard has built the Extreme 40 fleet, the SeaCart 30 trimarans, the 90ft maxi cat for Polish round the world sailor Roman Paszke. but is best known for its A-Class catamarans, the high performance M-20 and over the last few years its big brother, the M-32. The M-32 got off to a modest start after the launch of the first boat in May 2011 followed by the sale of a few units, but at the end of last year the moulds and rights to the class were bought off Marstrom Composites by Aston Harald AB. The driving force behind this move has been Håkan Svensson (above), who until recently was the CEO and owner of Berg Propulsion, which readers will remember was a significant sponsor of the last Puma Volvo Ocean Race campaign. In September 2013, Johan Walter Berg AB (whose key brand is Berg Propulsion) was sold to the US giant Caterpillar. This has now left Svensson free to apply the same entrepreneurial verve to his latest project as he once did with his ship propulsion company. Around this same time Marstom Composites had a management shake-up that saw Göran Marström retiring. The company that bears his