There was a marked difference in the trim of the two Class 40 yachts as they left their berths for the start of the 2011 Transatlantic Race. Local man Michael Hennessy’s DRAGON sat nicely on her lines whereas the U.K.’s CONCISE 2 was notably down in the stern.
Dragon is sailing with just two crew. Concise 2 is manned to her Class 40 limit of six men.
Michael and his navigator Rob Windsor are relying on their NKE auto pilots to stear a true course. Concise is dependant on muscle power. According as Concise helmsman “Doc “ Smedly, “Which ever way you cut it six young guys burning 5000 calories a day need an awful lot of porridge. Body weight, porridge and required drinking water - it all adds up to a lot of weight for a 40 foot boat. I think we are down in the back by three inches. That’s a lot of weight for a sensitive boat ”.
Michael ideally wanted to race on a more directly comparable basis with his fellow Class 40, but that was never an option. Tony Lawson put Team Concise together to get as many young Brits as possible into offshore racing. Where ever the rules permit he insists on talking the maximum number of crew.
Two Class 40s. Two different strategies. Concise will have an advantage when it comes to sail handling and manoeuvres. However if the wind goes light that extra weight Concise is carrying could see her “ stick like porridge” and see the Dragon fly right past.
Currently Concise is leading Dragon buy 6 miles.