Roaring Forty 2 reaches Europe
Just four days after arriving as deck cargo in Zeebrugge, Belgium, the new BT Boats Kiwi 40FC Roaring Forty 2 of Belgian offshore yachtsman and Global Ocean Race 2011-12 entry, Michel Kleinjans, successfully completed the Class40 measurement requirements last week, including the 90° test, and is now officially registered as Class40 #107.
In early April, Kleinjans’ Farr Yacht Design Class40 left the Cookson Boats yard in Auckland as deck cargo bound for Europe with a tight schedule for Class40 Association registration and test sailing prior to Roaring Forty 2 competing in the double-handed Normandy Channel Race starting in Caen, Normandy, next Sunday.
Lapo Ancillotti, Director of BT Boats Ltd – the company that identified the potential of New Zealand-based Class40 production – was in Belgium for the 90° test. “We’re really happy that the tests were passed and now sail testing and racing is the next step,” he commented shortly after Roaring Forty 2 was manoeuvred back to the dock. “The boat looks impressive, very aggressive, and definitely we took the Class40 concept to the next level with a more Open 60-style. However, we need to prove the boat in the water and against the competition first!”
Kleinjans – who raced in the single-handed division of the inaugural GOR in 2008-09 on his Open 40, Roaring Forty, will be double-handing in the Normandy Channel Race with the 42 year-old, Normandy-based yachtsman, Marc Lepesqueux, a highly experienced Mini Transat, Figaro and Class40 sailor who placed 12th out of 44 Class40s in the 2010 Route du Rhum aboard Marie Toit – Caen La Mer.
Among the Normandy Channel Race competitors, Kleinjans and Lepesqueux will be up against another Kiwi 40FC, Peráspera, skippered by Italy’s Francesco Piva who is the boat’s owner-driver and a director of BT Boats. It will be the first competition for both boats.