What is 42º South like to sail?
42º South is a modified GP42 built in 2007 to compete in the GP42 class originally run in conjunction with the TP52 class racing in the Mediterranean. She is a full composite high performance hull, modified to now fly fully asymmetric A sails. Despite being nearly 10 years old she has been brought right up to date to be competitive with newly built FAST40+ designs. As a result she is responsive, powerful, has fully modernised systems and electronics, and a sail plan optimised for racing in the FAST40+ class. She is an exhilarating boat to sail, accelerates quickly and is particularly quick downwind. New for 2017 is a ultra-high modulus mast from Hall Spars replacing the standard modulus rig that was mandatory for the original GP42 class. The new rig will mean she will benefit from the consequent increase in righting moment as well as the considerable improvement to tuning abilities in all conditions. Upwind her narrow profile is particularly strong in choppy conditions.
Why will 42º South be a good boat for the Rolex Fastnet Race?
42º South has a powerful sail plan giving enabling her to perform in a wide range of conditions. This will make her a strong competitor in the Fastnet Race. In the 2015 edition of the Fastnet race, Tokoloshe II showed the potential of GP42 boats and 42º South is certainly capable of doing the same.
42º South has a relatively high freeboard compared with the newer FAST40+ designs but it will still be a wet boat to race in the Fastnet! She will offer a good and hard test of crew for the race and will reward good sailing.
What do you most enjoy about racing in the FAST40+ fleet?
The FAST40+ fleet offers incredibly close racing throughout the fleet in the highest performance yachts. Starts are hard fought with the majority of the fleet starting strongly in every race. Windward – leeward races are rapid-fire and mark roundings are amazingly close. I personally most enjoy the tension and competitiveness in the fleet and the opportunity to race with and against some of the strongest race teams in the UK. As important as the upwind legs are, these boats truly come alive off the wind and it is so much fun to sail fast! The 2016 season was particularly marked by big improvements in performance across the fleet, and virtually every boat, including42º South, podiumed throughout the season. The camaraderie between the race teams is excellent, leading to a fabulous social side to world class racing.
What are you most looking forward to in the 2017 season?
Personally I am looking forward to racing 42º South as strongly as possible, having used our rookie year as a race team to learn the boat and this winter, to further optimise and invest in her for the 2017 season. We trialled a number of systems through the season including a new drop wheel, and I am looking forward to our work this off-season producing a bulletproof race boat for the 2017. In 2016 we had the opportunity to have a number of very strong sailors on board and to refine our young team to a talented and capable core of amateur and professional sailors. I am looking forward to capitalising on that season with 42º South’s crew in 2017.