Girls on Film will be aiming for their hat-trick in Round 5 of the 2018 FAST40+ Circuit, the One Ton Cup hosted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in the Solent from September 13-16. But there is a new boat in town.
Niklas Zennstrom’s new generation Carkeek-designed, Rán VII has left everyone in its wake this season in winning the first four rounds and although the last round last month was the closest so far, Rán will start as the overwhelming favourite.
“It’s always been difficult to win the Trophy so winning the OTC for a second year in a row was extremely pleasing,” says Peter Morton, the owner/skipper of the previous generation Carkeek-designed Girls of Film. But Rán Racing has not been resting on its laurels. “In between Rounds 4 and 5 we have primarily been working on the maintenance schedule, servicing winches, hydraulics and running rigging,” says Tim Powell, the experienced British sailor and long-time core part of Rán Racing. “The boat has been performing well, so we have taken the approach of fine tuning rather than making any major changes.
“During Cowes we had a long upwind short tacking along the mainland shore. It gave us one of those opportunities to really focus on the small detail of how to improve our manoeuvres whilst being able to directly compare ourselves to our competition. Speed of turn, crew weight and sail trim are so critical in the Fast40’s as they are so light that any mistake really gets shown up.”
Girls on Film won a thrilling 2017 regatta to become the first team to retain the One Ton Cup since 1993. And Carkeek boats occupied all three places on the podium. But even in victory a year ago, Morton will have known that it would be even tougher to win in 2018 with the news that Rán Racing had commissioned a new Carkeek boat.
“It’s been a great year since we commissioned the new Rán,” Powell says. “We were excited to join the class and it has not disappointed. The only thing missing this year has been a distinct lack of wind so far but hopefully in the One Ton Cup we will get some solid sea breeze days.”
This year the three different generations of Carkeek boats in the fleet have been even more dominant in this high-performance planing monohull class. After a third 1-2-3 in Round 4 at the Lendy Cowes Week (August 4-7), they occupy the top four spots of the Fast40+ leaderboard. Rebellion are in third and Hitchhiker in fourth. This time last year, Powell and the team were competing on the 52 Super Series.
“Naturally we’re pleased when our designs do well, and especially for our clients who invest so much effort into their respective campaigns,” Shaun Carkeek says. “Our teams have entered the Fast40 arena via different platforms and it’s interesting to see how they’ve each adapted, developing unique styles on our platforms over the past two seasons. It’s illustrated how our boats suit a wide variety of sailing styles and skillsets.
“Early on we knew Rán VII would be special. The design is innovative and ground-breaking in so many ways. We share similar outlooks when it comes to design, so Rán VII embodies the Carkeek design spirit and ethos. Each new boat is about redefining the art of the possible and I’m proud of my talented team’s effort, passion and commitment in producing this work of art. I’m pleased it’s paid off for Niklas and Tim because of their trust, vision, direction and granting us the freedom to go big with this unique design opportunity.”
PHOTO CREDITS: VR Sport Media Ltd