Recently Sailing Anarchy ran a piece on the Classe 950 being designed by Nacria Design Group. Some may have asked just what is a Classe 950? The concept of the Classe 950 incorporates many of the same ideas from the successful Class 40 with emphasis on simplicity, all around performance and versatility while keeping a cost effective nature in mind. With a Length Overall of 31 Feet. the Classe 950 fills the gap between the smaller and more open development Mini 6.50 and the Class 40 which has proven to be an alternative to the much larger, more complex and ever more costly IMOCA Open 60. Taking a closer look at the Classe 950, there appears to be many aspects of this rule that could be appealing for a boat of this type for the U.S. market and although others have tried to generate interest in short handed designs here, little or no success has been achieved to date.
In mid year 2000 I was involved in what was the formation and development of what is known as the Open 30 Rule. At that time there were a number of persons both designers and sailors who were interested in developing a class of boat for short handed racing here in the U.S. The Open 30 Concept was born out of interest in the Mini – Transat 6.50 Rule which at that time was little known to America and was not seen as a practical choice due to the fact that many short – handed races here in the U.S. would not allow a 6.50m (21 Foot) boat to compete. Thus it was decided that a larger boat was needed and so 30 feet seemed like a logical choice. Although since that time the Min-Transat 6.50 Rule has gained a greater awareness here in America and there are several dedicated sailors working very hard to develop a strong foundation for these boats here in the U.S. There are those that still see the Mini 6.50m as not being versatile enough for races here in the U.S. Sailors are also still finding resistance from what could be seen as a conservative attitude towards this type of boat.