Class40 ten years in

James Boyd Photography /
With 130 boats built, we took in the latest designs in this week's Normandy Channel Race
From the simple premise of it being a yacht capable of racing offshore at a price making it attainable for average mortals, the Class40 has become one of the most successful boats of its size of all time. While just over 150 Farr40s have been built since it was first launched in 1996, since the first Pogo and Jumbo 40s hit the water in France a decade ago, hull numbers this year are set to exceed 130. And it should be remembered that the Class40 is a box rule boat, not a one design. And it is still going strong. Traditionally the Route du Rhum is the big event for the class. At the height of the recession in 2010, the French singlehanded transatlantic race had forty four Class40s on the start line (of which an impressive 40 finished) and given the number of new boats in build at present, it appears that this number could be eclipsed for next year’s running of the race. Even in this week’s Normandy Channel Race there have been twenty Class40s racing. Often in box rule classes, single designers become prevalent, but in the Class40 a number of new faces have appeared over the last years. New to the Class40, this year are Botin & Partners. Marcellino Botin, the Emirates Team NZ designer has penning a boat for his 2010 and 2012 Class 40 World Championship winning brother, Gonzalo. The new boat has been built by Longitud Cero in Castellon (north of Valencia) and will compete in this autumn’s Transat Jacques Vabre, as well as the Route du Rhum. Her first major outing will be the Rolex Fastnet Race this August, with a crew including former TP52 boat captain and Barcelona World Race competitor Antonio Piris and MedCup founder and navigator, Nacho Postigo. As you can see from