The FAST40+ Class is preparing itself for a full on battle for the 2017 season. There are three events prior to the first of five scoring rounds and many of the FAST40+ Fleet will be back in race action, 14-16th April for the RORC Easter Challenge. About half of the FAST40+ Fleet are based at Hamble Yacht Services and the teams have been hard at work over the winter modifying their boats and tweaking their systems looking for the X-Factor to increase boat speed.
Mike Bartholomew’s South African Carkeek designed Tokoloshe has been behind closed doors for much of the winter months and is about to emerge for the RORC Easter Challenge with a very different game face. Besides a new white livery, Tokoloshe has gone topless, removing the coach roof to reduce weight, without compromising righting moment. The new flush deck will assist the crew with sail changes and a new spinnaker drop system is shortly to be tested. Tokoloshe promise to reveal all soon!
Steve Cowie’s Scottish Botin & Carkeek designed Zephyr is set to be out training for the season in under two weeks. The major changes to the team’s boat have been above and below the water line. The rig has been modified to fit a backstay deflector system for the flat head main and a new fin to the keel will add precious righting moment to performance. Zephyr has also undergone work to the cockpit, including beefing up the runner winches and a new coat of paint to remove the scars of war from last season.
Both Tokoloshe and Zephyr use Southern Ropes for their sail systems and the company is the latest to join the FAST40+ Club of supporters. Southern Ropes’ Phillippa Hutton Squire commented:
“Southern Ropes is honoured to become a supporter of the class. Southern Ropes is based at the top of the Hamble River in Park Gate. This allows for the same day delivery to the FAST40+ Class, which is important during a busy season. Southern Ropes looks forward to being more involved with the FAST40+ Class during the 2017 season.”