Now into its second decade the Class40 is the strongest offshore fleet in the world. A brilliant concept that proved all the naysayers wrong (when many ‘experts’ still laughed at the idea of a box rule) – with strong management the fleet has never stopped growing. Tom Humphreys is one of the younger designers who have also found the class offers a rare platform to demonstrate their fundamental grasp of what makes a yacht sail fast
Designing to Class40
The origins of the Class40 date back to 2004, with a growing amount of interest around the 40ft size towards lighter and faster cruising and racing designs capable of crossing oceans and being sailed solo or by a shorthanded crew – very much inspired by the Open-style designs seen in the Imoca and Mini classes. At that time several Open 40 designs had been built along with cruiser-racer designs such as the Jumbo 40. At the request of many in the French marine industry Patrice Carpentier set about, quite brilliantly, drafting a set of rules to encapsulate this growing concept and the Class40 was born.
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