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C60 Grand Prix Race - 'Ichi Ban' crosses first finish line

'Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban Leaves PCT'    Premier Composite Technologies

The first ‘race’ for prominent Sydney yachtsman Matt Allen’s new C60 grand prix race boat was completed absolutely on schedule this week when the new Ichi Ban left Dubai builders Premier Composite Technologies bound for Sydney, where she will be commissioned and prepared for the upcoming Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race.

Allen’s brief to Carkeek Design Partners and to the builders was for a potential Sydney-Hobart race winner to be built within an extremely tight time window in order that his sailing team would have the maximum possible training time with the new boat leading up to the race start. The contract was only signed in (mid) February with a view to having the boat leave the factory on the October 9th. So, it was with a mix of satisfaction and relief, that the new Ichi Ban left on a truck during the small hours of Thursday morning.

'We were delighted to take on this keynote project relishing the chance to showcase what PCT can achieve in terms of delivering in the grand prix arena to a very high build quality absolutely on schedule. So to see the boat roll out the factory this week completely ready for commissioning is very satisfying.' Smiled PCT’s technical director Max Waimer.

The new boat was built in carbon pre-preg and honeycomb sandwich in high precision female moulds tooled in house on PCT’s five axis milling machines.

'It is a great relief to see the boat go on schedule. All of the guys here have done a fabulous job to finish in the time frame we were given. It looks great and it should be a simple commissioning job in Sydney.' PCT’s project build manager Neil Cox comments.

'It has been such a big ask of everyone involved, from the guys in the shop floor to the office staff, everyone involved. At times we had to make pretty much instantaneous decisions and everyone helped to expedite certain areas to have these things immediately integrated into production.' Cox highlights.

'In this last week we were able to concentrate on details and aesthetics. There were weeks that were absolutely manic and weeks when you could really see the puzzle come together at the right time.'

The new Ichi Ban should reach Sydney, Australia around the 11th November, which will allow a two-week commissioning period to get the boat on its keel, the rig in place and all the hydraulics and electrical systems finessed and calibrated that should allow the boat to be sailed by the end of the month.

'Back when the boat was commissioned if you had said we could have three weeks of good, productive sailing before the Sydney Hobart, I think we would have thought that you were mad. So that will be fantastic. From just getting the lines plans in March to where we are now, and to have it all facilitated in-house at PCT is such an achievement.'

Owner Matt Allen enthused 'I’m thrilled to have the new Ichi Ban roll out of the Premier Composites factory on time and built to such a high standard in only just six months of build time. It’s a great credit to the whole team in Dubai and everyone who has seen her is very impressed. I can’t wait to hoist the sails and send her!'

Highlighting the capacity and flexibility of Premier Composite Technologies, the C60 build ran at the same time as that of the first of two Carkeek-designed C47 race boats, which were also built to an exceptional time frame.

Destined to race on the Chesapeake Bay and debut at Key West next January with a US owner, the first left the factory on October second, the date which was inked on to the original build schedule.

The second C47 is for PCT directors Hannes and Max Waimer, and it is due to be launched in Dubai on 10th November prior to being shipped to Europe. The projected schedule for their boat is being finalised but is set to include key Mediterranean regattas starting in Majorca with Palma Vela beginning on 30th April 2014.

Meanwhile the first of the new Carkeek C40 Mk2 race boats, the latest generation of HPR/IRC orientated, which is destined for a Japanese client, starts building immediately with further build slots allocated.

Additionally, the Farr 400 14 left PCT during the last week of September heading for Singapore ready for commissioning and handover to a Russian owner early November. She will be competing at the Raja Muda Selandor International Regatta in Malaysia and also at the Phuket King's Cup Regatta in Thailand.

The autumn has also marked a very productive and satisfying period for the exciting PCT-built Premier 45 performance cruiser, which was nominated for the European Yacht of Year awards. Launched at Dusseldorf and shown at Kiel Week, the Premier 45 attracted considerable interest at the Amsterdam and Southampton boat shows before being put through her paces by the judging panel comprised of testers from most of Europe’s leading sailing media. Boat number two will start building shortly, while Premier Composite Technologies is confident that a number of five or six very active potential owners from Germany and England will make their decisions imminently.

by Victoria Low


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12:03 PM Fri 11 Oct 2013GMT

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