Geoff och hans personal har ju gjort Farr 40-klassen till den kanske hetaste storbåtsklassen av alla de senaste åren och det är kul att läsa att de nu när F40-klassen flyger och Stagg Yachts har muskler till det skall lägga samma krut på M30-klassen. Efter sin njuroperation har Stagg Yachts ägnat sig åt att bygga upp F40-cirkusen och nu låter det som om det är M30:ns tur:
While it is in the news this week, the Farr 40 is of course not Stagg’s only baby. The Mumm 30 last year quietly became the M30 when Champagne Mumm pulled the plug on their arrangement with the class. 39 boats competed in the Moby Mumm 30 World Championships last year in Porto Cervo and more are expected when the class heads for Newport, RI for this year’s Worlds at the beginning of October.
According to Stagg, despite being 12 years old the M30 is still going from strength to strength with new markets opening up: 20 boats now race in Australia, while they have six in Russia for example. “We had two Russian teams in Porto Cervo – we had 15 countries there,” says Stagg of last year’s Worlds. “It is astonishing to me that after this amount of time – we have thrown a lot of effort into the Farr 40 over the last two and a half years. Now we have horsepower we are going at the M30 class too.”
They are not looking to make any rule changes with the M30 class. As Stagg points out it would be hard to put much more sail area on to the boat. Currently they have built in excess of 225 of them – way more than all the other 30ft high performance boats such as the Mount Gay 30, the Henderson 30 or the Melges 30 (as was) combined, says Stagg.
Sedan var det också intressant och kändes lite välgörande att höra någon högprofilerad person i seglarvärlden våga ifrågasätta IRC:
[So what else…] No new IRC boat? “An IRC boat where you are in the lap of the Gods with Mike Irwin to take a pot shot at? That is too much quicksand for me to get into. The market is in a difficult position. I think there is entrenchment going on more than anything. There is nowhere to go.”
There is clearly no love lost between Stagg and the RORC Rating Office in Lymington. Despite IRC supposedly attempting to promote fastish boats, oddly the Farr 40 has always been a complete lemon under the rule. As Stagg puts it: “A 10 year old boat [Farr 40] can’t compete in IRC to save its life because it is light and it has a hull factor through the roof. I really despair. I watched the Farr 40 fleet disintegrate in England because you wouldn’t bother to leave the dock to go IRC racing in one – it was a waste of time. You had to fill them full of lead and take sail area off them they did all sorts of things to slow them down and give them a better handicap.”
While IRC is unquestionably growing roots in more and more countries around the world, in particular in the US where most of the top yacht clubs had adopted it, Stagg believes the rule has lost its way. “Maybe I am just old fashioned – I believed IRC was invented for the club cruiser racer guys. It has gone so far from its roots. Every now and then it works with Peter Kurts’s boat winning the Sydney Hobart [in 2006], but 9/10 time it is a full on grand prix race boat that takes all the hardware. It is not a scientific rule. It is a completely arbitrary rule.”
So at present Stagg feels he has no reason to move away from his core business of the Farr 40 and the M30. “I am banging away and I’m very happy with particularly the state of the Farr 40 and we’ll get the M30 to the same state within a year because the product is so good. That is the saving grace with these boats – it is hard to take an average peice of kit and make it something that it isn’t. The basics of both of these classes is that obviously they are both good designs and they also have a proven structure around them and a set of rules that work, a set of rule that are administrated. You can argue at times that we are very dictatorial but at the end of the day that’s why the boats go around the race course at the same speed and the crew know it is not the boat doing it – its them. They only have to look in the mirror. There are more people stepping up to the plate saying ‘I want to try this. I want to find out how good I am’.”