Fast & Furious
A new grand prix racing phenomenon is building momentum in the UK where the burgeoning Fast40+ Class looks set for an exciting summer of racing on and around the Solent. The new concept is the brainchild of Volvo Ocean Race veteran Rob Greenhalgh who has been trying to get it off the ground since 2013.
“The Fast40+ Racing Circuit is aimed at lightweight, high-performance raceboats, designed for close inshore boat-on-boat racing,” Greenhalgh says.
There are currently 13 registered teams for the 2016 season, which will see five official Fast40+ Racing Circuit Events and Fast40+ starts at another five events.”
According to Greenhalgh, he came up with the idea during Cowes Week in 2013, when he and other sailors were bemoaning the dearth of fast, exciting racing on offer.
“That year I was sailing in the TP52 fleet and the racing and the boats were great fun, but unfortunately there were only ever two or three boats turning out. We started to discuss what the ideal class would be to generate good racing and be able to attract a decent fleet.
“The IRC 1 Class at Cowes Week that year had about 40 boats of varying size and speed, but it seemed to us that a 40-foot TP would be the ideal sort of thing to try to come up with.”
When Greenhalgh touted the idea for a new class of closely rated sporty IRC racers around his personal network of boat owners, he got enough encouragement to seriously pursue the idea.
“Chatting with owners and sailors, it seemed there was an appetite for something fast and fun to sail with a much more manageable budget than the TP52s,” Greenhalgh says. “The initial aim was to... READ THE FULL ARTICLE