Crichton announces new boat

Another canting keel Reichel Pugh design on the cards

Saturday September 11th 2004, Author: James Boyd, Location: Italy
It is constantly aiming at new successes the maxi yacht Alfa Romeo, which collected 70 line honours (first at the finishing line) in the most prestigious races in both northern and southern emispheres.

At the end of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, organised in Porto Cervo by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Neville Crichton, the boat's owner and skipper, announced he started the project to build a new, faster and more technological maxi yacht.

Neville Crichton, who in 2003 was awarded the 'New Zealand Sailor of the Year' trophy has already appointed the U.S Reichel Pugh team, the two top international designers who already projected and signed the present boat.

In 2003 Alfa Romeo has been named "serial winner at sea" by the international media after collecting line honours at the Rolex Sydney to Hobart, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Middle Sea Race , Giraglia Rolex Cup,etc.

The new boat (approximately 30m which means 2m longer than the present one) will adopt the new canting keel technology (the side moving keel) and two rudders (both at the stern and at the bow) to become surprisingly faster than the existing Alfa Romeo.

Commenting the new project, Neville Crichton says: "Canting keels are now regarded as the new frontier in sailing boats technology and is adequate to sailors who want to perform at the top and who invest to improve speed , performance and fun.

"Our new boat will be ready in July 2005 and I am sure we will be extremely competitive, first of all at the Rolex Sydney to Hobart which traditionally starts 26 December, and then in the most prestigious European races where we will compete against the top maxi yachts".

Alfa Romeo is now looking ahead to the next races in the Mediterranean, namely the Barcolana in Trieste, the spectacular sailing happening who will gather approximately 2000 boats, and the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the 603 mile blue water classic which sails from Malta, goes around Sicily and returns back to La Valletta.

Alfa Romeo collected line honours in both races last year. About this final race Crichton says:" I strongly wish that there is favourable wind; I would be very happy to end up the Alfa Romeo 2004 racing season breaking the speed record."

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