Kiwi Class40 launched
At 08:00 on Tuesday morning New Zealand-time, the first KIWI 40FC Class40s was launched at Pier 21 in Auckland. The brainchild of Lapo Ancillotti and Francesco Piva of BT Boats, the latest Class40 design is the result of a collaboration between Farr Yacht Design and Cookson Boats and the forthcoming sea trials will be closely followed by Class40 sailors.
For Lapo Ancillotti of BT Boats, the project has been highly-demanding, but exciting and rewarding: “Our first objective has been reached with the launch of the first KIWI 40FC,” he confirmed on Tuesday. “Everything has gone according to plan so far and the boat will now begin an intense program of speed tests and sea trials in Auckland and Wellington.” Following the launch, the yacht was moved to the Viaduct basin as a temporary base. “The launch of the first boat is a landmark moment for us,” admits Ancillotti. “After ten long and intense months, we finally get to go to sea and test the boat that we have dedicated so much energy to. On behalf of myself and Francesco, I would like to thank Farr Yacht Design and Cookson Boats for the excellent job they have done, the professionalism shown, and the dedication that allowed us to realize an outstanding Class40 yacht.”
The KIWI 40FC is the first Class40 for Farr Yacht Design (FYD) and their offshore racing background was invaluable throughout the design process. Patrick Shaughnessy, President of FYD explains: “Farr Yacht Design's work on Volvo Open 70 and IMOCA 60 designs has had a big influence on the development of the KIWI 40FC,” says Shaughnessy. “Our experience in these classes has certainly improved our understanding of boat handling and ergonomics when sailing shorthanded in the open ocean.”
Part of the early design process utilized CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) programs in collaboration with the Stevens Institute of Technology. “Developing this design, we utilized many of the research techniques, including CFD, that have been refined for Volvo Ocean Race development,” he continues. “We have utilized our whole tool set to produce a powerful, low drag hull shape well-suited to offshore sailing.” Through the design evolution process, hull form; chines; transom immersion; longitudinal hull shape; bow-fullness and section style were refined and FYD estimate that they have reduced overall drag by three to five per cent in some conditions.
One of the most striking features of the KIWI 40FC is the near-full length chine with evenly radiused sections below to minimize wetted surface. The hull shape has been designed to respond consistently with speed and heel excursions resulting in a forgiving, low-drag shape that can sustain higher average speeds when reaching and running without a drag-penalty in light airs or when sailing upwind. Furthermore, the yacht’s bow-fineness and general bow-up trim results in less reliance on water ballast. Shaughnessy believes that some of the features on the KIWI 40FC will have particular appeal to Class40 sailors: “We have chosen a keel stepped mast to improve our rig and sail shape control,” he explains. “The rig also utilizes a deflector backstay system that allows more mast control, but with lower windage than would normally be associated with so much aft stay control.”
A further innovation is a halyard and running rigging tunnel installed along the cabin sole with the lines deflected back up to the pit area on deck between the twin companionways. “This allows for an open interior and a drier cockpit,” adds Shaughnessy. “Significant development also went into the articulating bowsprit design to achieve a simple, well integrated product,” he continues. “Integration of the bowsprit bearing, forestay attachment, and bow pulpit allows for a wide angle of bowsprit rotation and significantly better deep running performance.” FYD have focused on deck layout ergonomics and crew protection, including a removable dodger that can be quickly uninstalled for inshore races. “The deck and interior arrangements will allow shorthanded sailors to easily steer and adjust sail and rig trim while being protected from the environment,” Shaughnessy concludes.
With the first BT Boats KIWI 40FC already entered in the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR), the event’s Race Director, Josh Hall, is delighted with the successful launch in Auckland: “Just 20 months after first meeting Lapo during the Wellington stopover of the GOR 2008-09 and discussing the potentials for a high-end, New Zealand-built Class40 production boat, he has launched hull #1,” says Hall. “We are extremely proud to have been involved in the evolution of the KIWI 40FC and congratulate BTBoats, FYD and Cooksons on producing this quite amazing Class40,” he continues.
For Hall, the latest Class40 launch typefies the GOR philosophy: “Our target as an event is to bring positive impact to the cities and countries which host the GOR and build solid bridges into their communities,” he explains. “In this case, we have been able to help create jobs and incomes and as a case study of how an event coming to town can, and should, really have impact, it does not get much better than this. We are really looking forward to hearing the feedback from the sea trials and to seeing at least one KIWI 40FC on the GOR start line in Mallorca in September next year.”