Carkeek Design Partners achieved their third podium takeover in round 4 of the FAST40+ series at the Lendy Cowes Week (August 4-7).
Three generations of Carkeek boats now occupy the top four places in the overall leaderboard of this high-performance planing monohull class.
Niklas Zennstrom’s newly-launched Carkeek-designed Rán VII made it four regattas from four in their debut season, but they were pushed harder than ever in Cowes. The Swedish Rán VII had to come from behind on the last day of racing to beat Girls on Film. Hitchhiker got better and better over the regatta and followed their second place in the last round with a third in Cowes.
“We’re very pleased with our performance at Cowes Week,” Tim Powell, the experienced British sailor and long-time core part of Rán Racing, said. “It was a great four days of racing, different winds and a variety of courses well run by Stuart Childerley and his team.
“I don’t think we felt any more pressure in this regatta. We had a few crew changes and it always takes a little time to fully gel, but we always had confidence in the boat and the team that we would ramp up as the regatta progressed.
“I think the fleet is getting ever closer each regatta. As we all sail more through the season, there are fewer mistakes as we all become better drilled.
“Each time we sail the boat we are slowly learning more and more about it. With 58 tacks completed on one coastal along the shoreline we can now say that our tacking has vastly improved (laughs).”
But Peter Morton, the owner/skipper of Girls on Film, was unequivocal when asked about whether they thought they were going to win in Cowes. “No, they are significantly faster upwind and unless they make a mistake it’s no contest,” he said.
Under a blazing sun but stable north-easterlies, Rán VII could only manage two fourth places in the first two races, but followed that with three wins with Girls on Film second each time. In race 6, Girls on Film, a point ahead overall, could only manage sixth. They went into the final race level on points, but Rán won with Girls on Film fourth.
The FAST40+ Class limits the number of professional on board. Zennstrom had amateur navigator, Tom Needham, on board and for him it has been a dream. “It’s been amazing, it is a really lovely boat,” Needham said.
Full race and season results here
Round 5 of the 2018 FAST40+ Circuit is the One Ton Cup, hosted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in the Solent from September 13-16.
Thoughts from Shaun Carkeek:
“Cowes was another great Fast40+ regatta and a fantastic 1,2,3 for the Carkeek stable. Our boats are solid all-round performers in both the VMG windward-leeward and reaching courses and this is proof of concept, process and our tools. I’ve also enjoyed seeing the boats sail fast in both light and heavier conditions. We set out to design strong all-round Fast40s and its good too see this happening.
“All our teams put in the hours between the events and this showed with consistent form throughout the week. The fantastic battle between Morty and Niklas set the scene for the rest of the season. Very pleased Morty is back in the saddle after his injury and I know how happy the boys are. He posseses this unique ability to raise everyone’s game and GOF will leave nothing on the course in an attempt to hat-trick the One Ton Cup.
“Great seeing Bas finding some consistent form at last and I think it’s a matter of time before he wins an event. Building a team takes time but they’re making the right steps and are hungry for the wins.
“Niklas and his team aboard Rán VII are obviously very fast as seen in the round-the-cans races when straight lining but they sailed tactically well securing the key races to hold off Morty for the overall. We’re looking forward to more close battles in the second half of the series. Congratulations to all our teams for their tremendous performances.”
Photo Credits: Paul Wyeth LENDY COWES WEEK