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Melges IC37 UK fleet growth accelerating

by Susannah Hart 5 Nov 2019 01:00 PST
Melges IC37 © Event Media

Since the first UK based Melges IC37 made a dramatic entrance onto the UK IRC yacht racing scene at Cowes Week, the order book for this highly competitive, one design, racing boat has burgeoned.

The resultant community will have a social focus that has never been seen before in the UK. Winning races in a wide range of conditions against tough and experienced competition, the widespread appeal of this new design from Mark Mills is like nothing seen before at this size, performance level and budget.

Conceived as a strict one-design, the new boat has also achieved a remarkably dominant display under IRC. Owners will now have a unique luxury of choice in competitive yacht racing: either in a proven high-performance, strict one-design series or entering IRC events knowing the boat is competitive in all conditions.

2019 results so far

  • Cowes Week - 1st overall IRC 1 - Eight boats
  • Royal Southern September Regatta - 1st overall IRC 1 - 19 boats
  • IRC Autumn Championships - 2nd overall (by half point) IRC 1 - 15 boats
  • Hamble Big Boat Championships - 1st overall - Seven boats
The IC37 currently leads IRC1 in the Hamble Winter Series.

With four teams already onboard for the 2020 season, momentum is clearly accelerating for the UK IC37 Class. The first batch of builds will commence shortly at the UK builder, Fibre Mechanics.

Five events are confirmed for the 2020 UK IC37 Class championships, with an additional six events highlighted as potential training regattas for teams to hone their boat handling and speed calibration and ensure they are quick off the mark for the One Design circuit.

The schedule of events can be found here

The second UK boat (which will be hull #33 globally) will go to Jerry Hill and Carlo Vroon. Jerry is a former SB20 World Champion and a seasoned One Design campaigner, while Carlo has been part of the highly successful "Tonnerre" offshore team, is a long term Melges 24 owner and is RORC Rear Commodore. Jerry comments:

"We have carefully watched the launch and development of this class, and now having sailed the boat a few times, everything about the boat and the class, just seems right for the UK scene. The boats are very manageable, but rapid downwind and very rewarding when you get it right. But for us one of the key factors is the class rules that restrict spending in a lot of sensible ways. It seems to us that the IC37 has struck the right balance between a high-performance boat, strict one design racing and careful cost control. We are looking forward to the growth of this class in 2020 and beyond."

UK builder Fibre Mechanics has confirmed it is able to deliver ten boats by the start of the 2020 season, with future boats being completed every two weeks after that. The ability to have a fleet of boats ready for the 2020 season is another pull for the UK buyer. Looking at current interest, numbers could grow into the mid 20s quite easily.

Several key brands are interested in supporting the UK IC37 Class. Announcements will be made shortly.

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