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Opposite: the M32 got going in anger last year but the whole project takes a giant leap ahead in 2016 as the class of choice for the World Match Racing Tour. The use of a rig that combines main and gennaker, but no jib, should boost manoeuvrability and ease the match racers’ path from heavy monohulls to fast-accelerating cats. This page: lots of skilled people, excellent resources and this large autoclave (left) will keep the M32s rolling out the factory


‘The less experienced multihull sailors might be operating at 20 per cent, but by the end of an intensive three days with us we’ll have them up to 80 per cent. To find the last 20 per cent of performance, learn- ing the details and subtleties, that’s the bit that will take the most time and practice. But at least they will have a good under- standing of the basics by the end of the three-day clinic.’


headsail will only slow the boat down. ‘Do you see a land yacht or an ice yacht with a jib? Do you see an A-Class cat with a jib, even though their class rules permit one? ‘No, and there’s a reason for that. When the M32 is sailing faster than windspeed, which is much of the time, the apparent angle becomes so small that a jib would just slow you down, plus it requires extra structure and fittings which all make the boat heavier and more expensive.’ But what about the added manoeuvra- bility of a jib, for faster tacking and easier bearing away in downspeed manoeuvres, particularly important for match racing on the World Match Racing Tour? ‘Where is the jib… That was the first question I asked myself when I first sailed a M32,’ says ex-professional sailor Martin Krite, who now oversees production at the M32 facility on the island of Hönö near Gothenburg.


Krite has a glowing CV from the Amer- ica’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, which he won as part of Franck Cammas’s Groupama crew on the 2011-12 circum- navigation. But he had never raced multi- hulls before. ‘I put my question to Kåre and he said the boat was too fast for a jib. I still wasn’t fully convinced, so I made a jib for the M32 and went sailing with it in Gothenburg.


‘Speed-wise we didn’t see any differ- ence, it wasn’t any faster. And in terms of manoeuvres, it’s 100% better to unfurl the first 1.5m of the gennaker. It’s much fur- ther forward than the jib would be, so its turning force is greater. Through a tack, you unfurl it, back the gennaker, then furl it again when you are on the new tack.’ Lars Linger, who has been running three-day licensing courses in Lanzarote, helping sailors get up to speed with how to rig, handle and race the M32 safely and effectively, says that most of the time you can tack the boat easily without unfurling the gennaker at all. ‘It’s in waves and strong wind that a brief moment of unfurl- ing helps, just to stop the boat stalling and getting you through the eye of the wind faster,’ he says.


With 20 teams set to be on the startline for the first World Match Racing Tour event of 2016 in Fremantle, Australia, it’s important that everyone is comfortable with handling the M32 at close quarters, explains Linger. ‘It goes without saying that everyone on the Tour is going to be a good sailor, but some of them won’t have done much multihull sailing.


‘They are about to enter a match racing environment where they are travelling at about five times the speed of what they have been used to in a typical keelboat.


So far the mainsails have been con- structed of North Sails 3DL, although the class is now switching to 3Di for greater longevity. The sails also carry two reef points, with the no1 reef reducing area by about 25% and the no2 reef cutting area to around just 50% of maximum. So far the highest speeds have been achieved on the no1 reef, but such is the light weight and efficiency of the M32 we could yet see the fastest speeds achieved with two reefs. Meanwhile, production is full steam ahead in Hönö, with plans to accelerate output further, says Krite. ‘We are now aiming to build at least two boats per week, so we need to look at how we can speed up the production. It’s important to have Kåre and Göran overseeing how we build the boat to ensure that all the boats come out exactly the same.’


It also helps that Killian Bushe, best known for building the winning hulls in successive editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, heads up the build team. Each hull comes out close to 127kg, with all the hulls within just 1 to 2kg of each other. It’s as one-design as one-design gets.


Ljung is also confident that every M32 will remain competitive for many, many years. ‘It’s one of the benefits of using composite materials and the autoclave process in construction. When we were building Tornado catamarans there were sailors winning Olympic medals in boats that were 10 years old or more. There was no drop-off in performance. The same will be true with the M32.’


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