Off the shelf

Magnus Clarke describes a new ‘easy access’ initiative for wannabe C-Class syndicates

As I look out of my window here at the office I know the ice is breaking up just about a kilometre from where I sit. It’s usually the time of year I get restless to be on the water and begin testing the accumulated ideas of the winter. But this year is different in that both Fred [Eaton] and I are taking a sabbatical from racing and development to spend time with our respective families. After nearly 10 years of continuous C-Class activity, either development or racing, it’s time for a wellearned rest. So this year it looks to be a few big boat events, and some cruising with the family. This situation, however, has left us, our team, with an interesting problem and an equally interesting opportunity.

The problem is one that I spoke about in my last article in Seahorse, where I expressed concern about ‘smaller’ teams being able to successfully step into the C-Class with limited resources. Of course resources are a problem for all teams, often there is not enough of some critical element, be it time or money. Additionally, I recognise that stepping across from a comparably priced programme to the C-Class may seem exponentially harder in the logistics department. Commissioning designs, managing a high-tech custom build and all the steps to get a boat on the water could represent undue risk for the potential programme owner.

So I can certainly see how the risk of designing, then building and trying to sail a new boat could be prohibitive. So what if we try to mitigate that risk by offering a known quantity as the basis for a team to begin development? As class secretary I am motivated to see the class grow if it can, in a sustainable way. Similarly, Fred and I have always enjoyed the prospect of welcoming more teams to the startline who enjoy the unique challenge of the C-Class.


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