First outing for Ker 40
McConaghy KER 40 Keronimo Beats Tonnerre in the MYTH OF MALHAM Over the past few months, the focus has been on the new McConaghy Ker 40, with much anticipation from the sailing scene. Would this new breed of 40 footer exceed expectations on the circuit and raise the bench mark, or prove its critics right. The time came this weekend to really see if this boat was going to fly as so many had predicted. While only being launched just over a week ago, all eyes were on “Keronimo”, Ker 40 as she entered her first competitive race. The RORC Myth of Malham (Round Eddystone) is a 230miles test of endurance from Cowes to the Eddystone Lighthouse and back, it is one of the longest races on the RORC calendar. It marks the start of the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Series and Jonathan Goring owner of Keronimo was more than a little eager to see how his new boat would perform. “Keronimo” was up against The Ker 46 “Tonnerre de Breskens 3”, the in-form IRC boat on the RORC series. This boat also took out the Jazz Trophy for the overall winner of the season’s points series. Having won with a record margin, was without doubt the favourite coming into this race. “Keronimo”, regarded as the new “Machine” on the circuit, showed this “RORC boat of the Year” that she was here for business, pushing “Tonnerre” into second place to win her class. The very excited Jonathan (Keronimo) commented on their first race challenge: “We had a great start, fetching out of Solent in 25 knots of wind, we lead Tonnerre past the needles. The fetch turned into a starboard tack beat about 50 miles into the race, both Tonnerre and us banged the left corner probably far too hard, as the beat became a fetch as the breeze swung from WSW to WNW so we were both got caught out. We did well to recover from that, but probably lost around 40 minutes in the five-hour beat to windward. We rounded Eddystone Rock about an hour after first boat in 17 knots of wind… then we let all the dogs out for the downwing leg!!!! She’s is an absolute weapon downwind, seldom dropped below 14 knots of boat speed topping out at 22.5 and we had a great time stuffing her into some standing waves off Portland Bill! About 2 hours from the finish we once again experiencing between 20-29 knots of wind. With the Big square top main, staysail and then back to a big kite, the boat never broached, just beautiful to sail in those conditions, we had the pedal down the whole way! Her positive features are too many to mention. We were amazed by the upwind performance. I guess having all the fat on the rail helps with righting moment, but it is just so good to sail. In summary she has exceeded mine, and all the team’s expectations……… Still learning, but it’s a huge buzz!” Jason Ker and Simon Schofield of Ker Design, recognized as one of the top IRC Designers commented on the first race for the their latest creation. “We are delighted that Jonathon and the crew of the Keronimo are already enjoying sailing her and better still, winning! We have maintained that it is possible to be highly competitive under IRC at 40ft while also enjoying high performance, so this result goes a long way to vindicating that. We continually invest in ever more advanced CFD systems so it was also pleased to note during her sea trials the previous weekend that her balance and performance exactly matched our predictions”. Not only did the Ker 40 exceed expectations on the water but back at the dock her polished finish and attention to detail left onlookers amazed. Delivered to the UK earlier this month, hitting design target weight, she also rated one point below the trial certificate that was issued last year. Standing back from the boat it is clear to see that like every boat that comes out of McConaghy’s winning stable, she looks remarkable and it is hard to believe that this is a production boat. The bar has definitely been raised both on and off the water “Keronimo” was the first Ker 40 to leave the factory with the second hull having left the factory last week bound for Singapore. Later on this year it will be the third boat’s time to shine when it competes in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart. Boat four is in the mould presently and will be on her way to her Japanese owner soon. Boats five and six are following closely behind. ‘The orders keep coming in’, said a delighted Mark Evans, joint MD of McConaghy Boats. Mark has been based full time at the 10,000m² Australian owned factory in China since it was set up over 6 years ago, which employs over 220 people and 15 full time expatriates. This latest project highlights the close relationship between the McConaghy Facilities in Sydney and China.