Published: Wednesday, 09 December 2015

The first two McConaghy Boats MC31 hulls are about to be loaded onto a ship in China bound for Melbourne, Australia for two Sandringham Yacht Club owners. The MC31 and a range of other asymmetric super-charged boats between 8.5-metres and 11.2m are planning to come together for the inaugural Super 11 Series division with the Festival of Sails (Jan 22-26).

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Rohan Veal is an MC31 importer and one of the first owners, as well as a keen supporter of the Super 11 concept that will run over summer and take in a number of established Victorian regattas, including the Club Marine Series and a likely Victorian Super 11 championship.

On the MC31s arrival and world premiere at the 2016 Festival of Sails presented by Rex Gorell Land Rover, Veal predicts it’s the starting point for phenomenal international growth, similar to the foiling Moth trajectory he developed from 2003 to 2009.

Described as a “scaled down TP52 with all the Gucci fittings” and “the natural sibling of the MC38”, Veal promises the end product is even better than first projected.

“McConaghy spent a lot of time thinking how to make the perfect one design boat, a high performance grand prix racer with a superior finish,” says Veal.

MC31 agents will import two hulls at a time, double stacked in a specially built and re-usable cradle to reduce shipping costs and most importantly to ensure no orphan boats are sold.

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“This also means owners will immediately have another MC31 to race against, and then two boats will turn into four very quickly,” Veal explains.

The Festival of Sails will be more showcase than show-stopper when it comes to likely results for the MC31s as the new boats are unveiled and eased into racing mode as part of the Super 11 division. Organisers at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club are ready to support the concept as long as the numbers warrant the extension to the racing schedule.

Planning began a year ago to offer lightweight high performance boats with big kites that “are a bit flash” a separate series and scoring at existing regattas under a box rule says one of the masterminds, Tony Cuschieri from Royal Brighton Yacht Club.

“It’s an AMS system designed for hybrid keelboats that are too big to be classified a sports boat and typically don’t do well under IRC and PHS handicap,” says Cuschieri. “AMS is the simplest and fairest box rule for our boats and it means we’ll bunch up on the results sheet. It’s about getting the half dozen owners with similar light boats at every yacht club together and trying to get more young people involved in the sport, as well as encouraging local boat building.”

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Veal and Cuschieri are taking up to 10-15 entries for the maiden Super 11 event and from the Festival onwards Victorian owners will refine the prototype.

“Once we’ve proven ourselves on Port Phillip we’ll reach out to the other states,” Cuschieri adds.