Oct 11, 2018
As we have reported, the reinvigorated Canada’s Cup program is approaching so we are keeping an eye on the progress of Melges IC37, the boat that will contest the next three events.
The boats hadn’t quite met target launch dates but the good news is that after a summer of commissioning work, sea trials and the occasional weeknight PHRF race, the New York Yacht Club’s first three IC37s lined up for two days of one-design racing on Narragansett Bay on the first weekend of autumn. While the fleet was small—especially compared to the pack of 20 or more boats that will likely charge the starting line at each IC37 regatta next summer—it was nonetheless a revelation to see this slick 37-footer in its natural environment, namely racing boat-for-boat with full amateur crews. The New York club has chosen the IC37for use in the Club’s Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup and the RCYC logically followed suit selecting the boat for the next three Canada’s Cup events.
Co-chair of the Canada’s Cup, Alan Megarry, indicates that at this point three of the quick boats are on the production list for Canadian customers and four for US challengers.
It has been approximately 16 months since Commodore Lotz NYYC members’ intention to build a fleet of 20 one-design yachts for use in the Club’s flagship event and Mark Mills was chosen to design the yacht with Westerly Marine in Santa Ana, Calif., selected as the primary builder. Melges Performance Sailboats is leading the worldwide marketing of the boat and the development of the class. Significant interest from the sailing world led to the addition of a second builder, FIBRE Mechanics, in Lymington, Great Britain, this summer. North Sails will build the class’s one-design sails. Class rules require that all crew be World Sailing Group 1 (amateur) sailors and that each team has at least one woman, two if the team has eight or more people.
The first boat arrived in Newport in April and has been sailed extensively in the time since as numerous industry professionals worked to optimize the deck layout, sail and rig tune and crew mechanics.
“After this weekend, we can safely say that the IC37 has met, and in many cases, exceeded our design specifications of two years ago,” says a NYYC spokesman “We asked for a modern race boat incorporating the latest hull and rig design with a deck layout planned for maximum efficiency for around-the-buoys racing and that’s exactly what we have. The boat is stable both upwind and down, maneuvers extremely well in tight spaces and accelerates quickly. The time we spent in defining what we wanted, and, as importantly, what we did not want, has clearly paid off.”