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Nick Cherry and Nigel Colley on the different ways the UK’s most successful double-hander, the Sun Fast 3600, can be set up for IRC


a bulb keel, but this year a straight fin keel option was introduced and has since found favour in the IRC community.


“The straight keel seems to be de rigueur at the moment,” explains Nigel Colley, MD of Jeanneau’s UK importer, Sea Ventures, and who this year has been campaigning the smaller Sun Fast 3200 R2. “The boat has got so much form stability through its beam and chines, you hardly notice the slight loss of stability with this keel. Plus the straight keel is generally lower drag, with less wetted surface, so they seem quicker out of the tacks and when accelerating.” He adds that any reduction of stability is more than made up for by fitting a carbon rig, which saves 45kg aloft.


Ed Fishwick took delivery of Redshift Reloaded in December 2016 having test- sailed a Sun Fast 3600 in the RORC Caribbean 600. Aside from the straight keel option, Redshift Reloaded has a non-standard rig, with a keel-stepped


mast built by Axxon Composites in Romania. The mast is slightly taller and made from a higher modulus carbon fibre than Jeanneau’s offering. It is fitted with a mast jack, enabling extra control over the rig set-up (although the boat is not rated to allow adjustment of the mast foot while racing).


As a result, Redshift Reloaded has the highest IRC TCC of the three 3600s, at 1.048, compared with 1.039 for the others.


Colley observes that, although there is a tendency among British crews to consider performance first and rating second, among the top French teams the opposite is mostly true: “They all seem to be going for as low a rating as they can get with small headsails and shaving bits off their kites,” he explains.


This was also evident among the JPK 10.80s, favourites in the Rolex Fastnet Race in which Arnaud Delamare and Eric Mordret’s Dream Pearls, winner of


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