The Carkeek 60 is the first of a new breed of race boat built by Premier Composites that successfully combines speed with strength in a relatively simple hull form.
The Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban has been sailing only for a few short weeks, however initial showings suggest that hull #1 will be successful for Sydney owner Matt Allen, with a third-place IRC 1 divisional finish in a torturous Rolex Sydney-Hobart, a line honours win in the competitive CYCA Trophy Passage Series and a second place on handicap in the glamour race, the Solas Big Boat Challenge.
“The boat has shown it can do well on all points of sail,” says Allen, an investment banker and past commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia who declared himself very satisfied with the results of a speedy five-month build that produced a replacement for his ageing Volvo 70.
In a bid to go one better than his best effort so far – second place – the veteran of more than 20 Rolex Sydney-Hobart races chose 60 feet as the optimum size because of his predominant passion, offshore racing, and the average wave patterns he would encounter on the 628nm race. “Off the wind I’d hope to be faster than the Volvo 70, but we have to make sure there’s enough righting moment to offset the fact that it’s not a canting keel boat,” Allen explains.
On Ichi Ban’s arrival in Sydney two weeks before the Hobart race, I was invited aboard to check her out. Allen’s latest boat to have his lucky moniker, Ichi Ban, gleamed in the midday Sydney sun as it lay against the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia dock a few days after its arrival by container ship from Premier Composites in Dubai.
Beside me on the pontoon is Shaun Carkeek, who hoped to replicate his success in the highly competitive Mediterranean TP52 circuit with this new carbon racer. “We’ve created a relatively simple yet very powerful boat with minimum appendages, a powerful hull-form and high ballast/displacement ratio,” explained the South African born designer. We’d corresponded during the build so there was mutual excitement as we looked over this sleek carbon 60 footer.
The new boat has a rounded hull shape derived from the TP52’s like Hooligan and Team New Zealand, so this C60 looks like it comes from the same family – but the extra length should allow it to sail away from the TP52s. With tall and very upright topsides – especially compared to the 63-foot Reichel-Pugh designed Loki that sails from the same club – the Carkeek 60 has plenty of volume inside her lightweight 10.9 ton carbon hull, right through to the full bows. Underwater, a slim and high aspect (nearly 15 foot deep) fixed bulb keel is used, along with an equally slim single spade rudder.
To read all of this article pick up a copy of the 2014 Mar/Apr issue of Asia-Pacific Boating magazine, or buy it online from www.magzter.com