The New, New 100ft maxi

Skipper Ken Read talks us through Jim Clark's new 100ft line honours and record shattering maxi
After a few fallow years, some highly reassuring news for the sailing industry is that there are currently not one, but three new maxis in build – all for American owners. The keel loss and capsize of Rambler 100 followed by a near death experience during the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race, seem to have done nothing to dampen George David’s appetite for offshore racing. Currently leading the RORC Caribbean 600 on the water aboard his 90ft Rambler, the former United Technologies Chairman and CEO is having a new 80 something ft maxi built at New England Boatworks to another design from Juan K. The third WallyCento, another Reichel Pugh design like Magic Carpet 3, in build at Green Marine. But the most exciting of the three will be the new balls-to-the-wall 100 footer for former Silicon Graphics and Netscape boss Dr Jim Clark. Jim Clark is well known in superyachting circles. At 47.4m, his yacht Hyperion was the world’s largest sloop when she was launched by Royal Huisman in 1998 and she was also renowned for being entirely computer controlled – as described so perfectly in Michael Lewis' biography of Clark The New, New Thing. Hyperion was replaced by the more substantial clipper bowed 90m three masted schooner Athena, launched in 2004, again built by Huisman. Since then Clark has commissioned his third yacht from Huisman, this time a replica of the 1937 vintage Charles E Nicholson design Endeavour II: the magnificent Hanuman was launched in 2009. This Clark raced occasionally, with North Sails President and former Puma Volvo Ocean Race skipper Ken Read calling the shots. But she is now for sale to be replaced by a 100 footer at the polar opposite end of the maxi yacht spectrum. Above: Ken Read (gesticulating) with Jim Clark and a certain airline owner... Codenamed NewCubed, the new