The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has unveiled the boat design brief for new venues joining the Tour, and is inviting designers and builders to submit their proposals.
WMRT, which already has nine events worldwide, recently opened the application and bidding process for new venues and has been overwhelmed by the response with 57 venues from six continents having registered their interest.
WMRT will create a shortlist of approved designs from which all new venues will have to choose their fleets. With each potential new venue having different characteristics, such as high or low winds, shallow waters and small racing areas, the design brief is intended to produce several different yacht design options which will allow the Event Promoters to choose the most appropriate design for their particular venue.
The primary aim of the brief is to ensure that the boat designs are conducive to closely fought, head-to-head match racing which takes place on a two lap windward leeward configuration with the first leg to windward and the finish downwind. The boats will need to be part of a fleet of identical boats, with ideally nine in each fleet (eight for racing and one spare).
Due to the combative nature of match racing, boat to boat contact often occurs and any damage has to be managed quickly and efficiently. As a result designers are being challenged to take into account the fact that the boats need to be easily repaired and ensure consideration is given to the need for suitable reinforcement in areas prone to contact. Further consideration should be given to some form of sacrificial or reinforced bow and stern elements as well as incorporating a sailplan that is easily reduced or increased between races or race days, and could include multiple rigs.
WMRT is challenging designers to be as innovative as possible to create a fleet of identical boats that generate exciting racing while being challenging to sail. The design must enable the boats to be set up and tuned quickly and allow replication of settings across the fleet. They will not have to conform to any other racing rule or class requirements.
Designers must take into account that manufacturing the boats in the Event host country may be required, but they should also identify a suitable builder that is able to offer a construction and commissioning service.
Terry Newby of Regatta International who is overseeing the submission of designs said, "WMRT is at the forefront of match racing and as the Tour looks to expand it's vital that Events have access to boats that deliver great racing in the conditions anticipated at their venue. Only through the latest technology and innovative design will this be achieved.
"However, when conceiving these designs it is important to ensure that the boats are conducive to the essence of match racing - close, fiercely fought, tactical head-to-head races. We're not looking for a one size fits all solution, excitement and drama can be fast paced on the edge of control but it can also evolve slowly as a battle of wills and tactics. The argument as to what boats will provide the best match racing will continue but what we want to develop are boats that will help us to capture the emotional highs and lows of the sport and showcase its excitement to the global audience. "
While the new boat design specifications will be mandatory for all new venues they will also be open to all nine existing venues. Since WMRT announced last month its aim to add a further six venues by 2013 no fewer than 57 venues have registered their interest. These include applications from the Far East, Middle East, Europe, Australasia, Europe, Africa and North and South America.
Designers and builders wishing to find out more information and submit their proposals should contact Terry Newby, Regatta International at firstname.lastname@example.org
or + 61 413644287. All designs will need to be submitted by Friday 28th January.
Potential host venues wishing to register their interest and find out more about the application process can do so by visiting http://application.wmrt.com
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