DARK N STORMY started life in 2007 as a groundbreaking design in the GP42 Medcup fleet. Originally called PUERTO CALERO, she was a step away from the other GP42 class - with more volume aft, increased form stability, but with also a reduction in wetted surface area and associated drag reduction. She was designed alongside the all-conquering team Emirates New Zealand TP52 and shared many of her attributes.
She impressed, along with her stablemate MADRID CASER ENDESA, and brought a new way of thinking into the GP42 class. Sadly though, the financial meltdown hit the MedCup and the GP42 class was lost. Towards the end of the series, in 2009 the yacht returned to Longitud Cero for optimization and increased beam in the hull shape.
PUERTO CALERO was eventually bought and went to Germany where she was renamed HISPANIOLA and sailed reasonably, but without any optimization, in the ORC fleet for a few years. She was then hunted down and bought for the growing Fast 40+ fleet on the South Coast of the UK and after a large refit and IRC optimization, was launched into the fleet as ZEPHYR. She sailed with a largely Corinthian crew from Scotland. She showed occasions of blistering pace along with her stablemate MADRID, (again hunted and refitted, optimised and then called TOKOLOSHE).
Deck layouts in grand prix racing yachts have not changed substantially in the past 20 or 30 years, with a type form coffin shaped cockpit, giving some headroom below, with the trimmers typically placed in front of the helm and mainsheet trimmer. However with the aforementioned increase in volume in the aft end of the hull, crew placement has moved further and further aft, to balance form stability, and rudders have also moved further forward to allow higher angles of heel without ventilation. It makes a lot of sense then, to swap the position of the helm and trimmers to effectively sail the yacht and stay in position, keeping the crew weight in the right place and giving the helm the best view.
Known previously as Jean Genie she underwent a large refit in 2020, with a new deck design and build from the transom to the forward hatch. A lower volume cockpit with raised cushioned floor gives a comfortable and efficient working platform, along with a centrally located pit winch driven by the pedestal, which is mounted aft. Spinnakers are now ground up, and a drop line is used to grind them down, much like a dinghy. No requirement for any crew below for a drop, speeding up the process significantly and saving precious seconds on the racecourse.
As DARK ‘n’ STORMY she has under gone continual fine tune of systems.
DARK ‘n’ STORMY has a very comprehensive sail inventory, which covers both windward / leeward courses and reaching and coastal courses.
A simple inshore electronic setup works well on the yacht, with a deck screen linked to a laptop below, plenty of readouts around the deck for different positions, no hydraulics onboard, (apart from the integral mast jack) makes the yacht very simple to sail, manage and look after.
As project manager and main trimmer, I am in a unique position to advise on the boat so please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Yanmar 3YM30 engine with SD20 saildrive
Botin IRC/ORC 42
Hallspars high modulus carbon mast (new 2018)
NORTH SAILS - An extensive package of premium condition race sails plus loads of spares.