French Boat Designer Wins World Match Racing Tour Design

A boat design submitted by leading French boat designer Adrien Jousset is amongst the seven winning proposals that will be made available to the World Match Racing Tour’s host venues. The design forms a key part of the series’ wider development plan which will see a further six new venues added to its current calendar of eight
regattas by 2013.
Jousset’s design, the AJ42 Match, is one of seven selected from 18 different entries submitted by pioneering boat design houses
around the globe. The new host venues being added to the Tour will select which boat design best fits their needs while existing venues will also be given the opportunity to update their fleet with one of the new designs.The designers were presented with a tough brief, namely to create a robust, cost-effective boat that is capable of delivering exciting, tactical and fiercely-fought racing across a range of conditions, from variable winds to differing depths and unpredictable currents. The designers were further challenged by the fact the boats need to test performance sailors yet be versatile enough for corporate and club sailors to give venues a diversified income from them.
Sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with ‘Special Event’ status, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the preeminent match racing circuit in the world. It attracts the leading sailors who fight not only for the title of World Champion but also for $1.75million, the biggest prize purse in sailing.

The brief gives designers the opportunity to make their mark in match racing and Jousset is excited to be part of the Tour and the new direction it’s heading in. “Sailing needs to be more exciting to have better media. This is a great opportunity to inject that  excitement.”

Terry Newby of Regatta International, who oversaw the submission of designs, said: “The World Match Racing Tour is delighted with the huge response it received to this brief and the fact it attracted some of the world’s best boat designers reflects the status of the Tour.”

One of the youngest designers to enter the competition, Jousset studied yacht and powerboat design at the Institute of Southampton and after graduating developed his expertise at top companies like Tony Castro and BMT Nigel Gee before being selected as a finalist in the Next Sly Contest for which he developed a 50-foot luxury sailing cruiser. Jousset then worked in the US at Ted Hood Yachts where, as head yacht designer, he was in charge of performances, systems, aesthetics, lines and 3D.

Jousset has worked with experienced designer Neal Pawson on his new design. “Working with Neal was really interesting because of his experience as a designer (OUT 95) and on the water (TP52, RC44). We also worked closely with a lot of other experts in the industry such as builders, sail-makers and riggers.”

Aware that an agreement with one of the WMRT’s event promoters will give him the best possible shop window in which to showcase his design, Jousset has designed an innovative boat that allows for easy and inexpensive transportation. A key priority was equipping the boat for the conditions in which it is likely to sail, namely lighter winds, close to shore.

In designing the boat, Jousset paid close attention to the visual appeal and its ability to deliver close, tense racing to the Tour’s global fanbase. “Media return through television is key to the sponsorship deals that fund the Tour. Therefore the AJ Match 42 includes two dedicated areas for the cameramen. This will enable unique footage to be shot in the thick of the action. Sailing needs to be more exciting to have better media. The World Match Racing Tour is now a great opportunity to inject that excitement.”

It is also a light displacement craft, which means it’s quick to accelerate and doesn’t lose too much power in the tack or gybe. With a weight of just 3100kg and a high ballast ratio, he expects action to be “fast and furious”.

Jousset said he also thought hard about the realities of match racing for sailors. “You want fast, exciting racing but you also have to keep in mind that teams don’t have much time to learn how to get the best out of the boat, perhaps only one session to know everything.”

To compensate Jousset wants his boats to be as identical as possible so any differences in performance are attributable to the crew. This has shaped his approach to construction, shape of hull, appendages, weight and weight distribution.

Regatta International’s Newby added: “We expect everyone to benefit. The designers will increase their profile while the Tour’s venues will be associated with world class sailors using the very latest match racing boats. For the Tour, it will continue to affirm its position to fans, broadcast partners and sponsors as the arena for exciting, innovative and compelling match racing.”


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