Developed to provide an engaging and rewarding time on the water, the MC38 Association has delivered exciting owner/driver racing since its foundation. As a One Design class, racing between the McConaghy Boats-designed MC38’s has been incredibly close with all to play for at every regatta.
The inaugural MC38 Championship five part series, which began in February 2015, has been no exception with hard fought racing culminating in Menace taking out the series ahead of Ginger and Dark Star in second and third place. Their win saw them take home both the MC38 Open Regatta Trophy and the overall Championship.
New Zealand based Menace, owned by Howard Spencer and raced by an all-Kiwi crew, has proved one of the Class’s most consistent performers. Doyle Sails NZ has been proud to work with the Menace team since before her launch, building a full wardrobe of Doyle Sails Stratis ICE sails developed and designed by Richard Bouzaid, Head of Design at Doyle Sails New Zealand. The only MC38 fully powered by Doyle (with Ghost Rider carrying a partial inventory) Menace has convincingly performed on the racecourse with several wins since her launch, culminating in her win of the 2015 Series.
The Menace crew is quick to credit the yacht’s owner and close-knit team for their success. “With the Menace program we are very lucky to have fantastic owners in Howard and Frances Spencer who have over the past few years put together a great bunch of people and have developed an excellent group of quality sailors and a great team culture both on and off the water, which is key to winning One Design class racing,” says James Dagg, pro crew member on board Menace.
Menace tactician Ray Davies is full of praise for the performance of Menace throughout 2015, and credits her sail package as a key part of this success. “We attribute a lot of our performance to our sail development program; we have worked closely with Doyle NZ for a couple of years and we have been really happy with the gains we have made, primarily on our upwind sails,” says Davies. “The MC38 performs more like a skiff than your traditional 40footer so it’s been important to develop a sail package that suits these efficient hulls.” In particular “the down wind package was pretty spot on right out of the blocks and has only had minor tweaks,” he continues. “Nick Nicholson, from Doyle Sails NZ Rigging has kept all running rigging and systems running smoothly throughout the series.”
Dagg agrees that in addition to a fantastic crew, Menace’s choice of sails has played a crucial role in the yacht’s performance over the past year. “The MC38 class is a strictly enforced One Design class with the only real point of difference being the sailing team and the sail programs on the boats competing,” he explains. “It has been a pleasure to work with Doyle Sails NZ over the last couple of years with the Menace program; Menace has a full set of Stratis ICE sails which have proved to be very fast and very durable which is important in a one design class with limited sail cards over season.”
The Doyle team interacts closely with every customer in order to best understand the use of the yacht and customise the sails accordingly. This approach has paid dividends in ensuring Menace carries sails that deliver when under pressure. “A big thanks to Richard Bouzaid, David Duff (Duffy) and the guys on the loft floor; Richard has done a fantastic job of continually improving the sail designs and makes it very easy to work with the trimmers on constant improvements with recutting of sails etc, and with small tweaks to designs as new sails come on line throughout the year. This is important when striving to stay ahead of the opposition, which is a constant battle in close class racing,” says Dagg. “Duffy has also been great in the detailing and programming of sails so they arrive on time and to Menace specifications; this is critical to maximise on water training days at events.”
With the Championship Series win a great result for the Kiwis in Australia, Menace will be back to race in February 2016 at the class nationals, followed by the 2016 Championship which will run from April to June 2016. Congratulations to Menace and all the MC38 yachts and crew.