Clipper Fleet need extra work

The first of a new super fleet of one-design race yachts being built in

China, to save on cash, have suffered a flaw in the build. To rectify the problem for the new Clipper 70 will mean there’s a weight

penalty, designer Tony Castro told YM.

The commissioning time for three of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s fleet of

12 Clipper 70s
has now been put back by seven weeks and boats five and six will

not be ready before the end of June.

Surveys carried out on the new hulls of the Chinese yachts revealed certain points where the

infusion of resin had not performed satisfactorily. ‘The resin was not drawn up

fully to the gunwhales in some places on some hulls. Where necessary these

areas are being ground back and hand laid up so there is no long-term

detrimental effect,’ a spokeswoman for Clipper said.

‘After stringent surveys last week we are in a position to agree the

solution, and this work is starting now,’ said Clipper Race founder and

Chairman Knox-Johnston. 

‘The first of the Chinese yachts is currently sailing and we are using her to assess the

tune and performance of the new class. She will also be used to establish the

stability data required for our coding. Indications so far are encouraging and

the boat appears to be at least 10% faster upwind than the Clipper 68s.’

 Mr Castro said: ‘If it’s not correct then it’s serious. Done properly

with the right composites it can be overcome technically but the overlaps will

mean extra weight.’