the return of the dragon

The version where Tang Lung goes to Europe to school the competition.  Even Chuck Norris. 

Christmas 2003 I stumbled on a little corner of the web known as Sailing Anarchy.  Populated by a motley mix of (sometimes overly) enthusiastic amateurs and various professionals, it was a refreshing bastion, with nuggets of real information buried amidst heaps of salacious industry gossip, lots of misplaced boasting, a good amount of boat porn and a pinch of early internet soft porn.

Sailing Anarchy was fuel for my fire and gave me the blind optimism to go out there and learn more about the top end of the sport.  Subsequent included inviting myself onto Mari Cha IV during a NYC layover while waiting for a Transat record-breaking weather window, making the trip to Paris for the boat show, figuring out how to get into METs, and inviting a Sailing Anarchy stranger, soon friend (hi Roland) to do Fastnet just because he was kind enough to run baccy samiches, water and beer out to Dragon at the end of a Transat.

I was an example of that bright, shiny new thing of the aughts, a citizen journalist and by god, I was going to get all the facts wrong and share them with the world.  Or at least the rabid slice that is Sailing Anarchy.  Topics covered in the forums slowly introduced me to knowledge, some of it good, lots of it misguided.  Luckily it also helped hone my skills to wade through the dross and find the treasure.  The outcome has been a long trail of information, unlikely friendships, and strange adventures.

When it came time to trade in my C+C 35III for a Class40 to better chase my dreams, the journey was chronicled on the Sailing Anarchy, as were all the considerable ups and occasional downs since then.  So it’s only appropriate that SA is the place to introduce my next leap of faith, a brand new scow bow Class40.  Drawn by my good mates Merf Owen and Allen Clarke, augmented by all the good ideas that Peter Hobson learned from working on Hugo Boss, and being built by the talented team at Evolution Marine in Cape Town, the goal is simple.  Go beat the European fleet.  The boat will leave Cape Town in March of 2023 to go to France for a final fit-out and then race in the Normandie Channel Race, Fastnet and Transat Jacques Vabre.

 Thousands of hours of design, tested against CFD models and VPP-driven race results, have pointed Merf to what we think is a hull that beats the rest of the fleet over the vast majority of conditions and courses.  Endless miles of ocean experience have helped us design this Class40 with the best-protected crew conditions of any afloat.  The result is the most highly optimized Class40 in the fleet, a winner any day of the week.

Many miles to go before we achieve that goal, but we are definitely off to a good start, here on Sailing Anarchy.

Merf and I are going to be in St. Malo for the next few days, on the hunt for any additional good ideas.  Say hi if you see us on the docks.  – Michael Hennessy