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Wow Factor Yacht Wins Design Keelboat Competition

Wow Factor Yacht Wins New Zealand One Design Keelboat Competition

Bakewell-White Yacht Design's 12m 'sporty cruiser' was declared the winner of the New Zealand One design keelboat competition at a function at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron this evening, where they were presented with the KORC Design Award.

The competition was launched by Yachting New Zealand in July last year, in conjunction with their Keelboat and Offshore Racing Committee. The aim of the competition being to provide direction and growth the the New Zealand keelboat scene which has seen very few competitive racing oriented keelboats built for New Zealand based owners. The concept of a design competition has been used in the past to develop classes such as the K class.

Bakewell White Yacht Design produced the winning boat from a list of 10 excellent entries. The panel of 7 judges - Brett Neill (Chairman of KORC), Kim McDell, Ray Haslar, John Lidgard, Harry Dodson, Peter Walker, Steve Marten deemed the ten entries all to be of excellent quality. However, they felt the Bakewell-White design best matched the design brief which called for a Monohull Keelboat which was suitable for a New Zealand National One Design class, between 11.5m - 12.5m LOA, suitable for offshore racing, with the ability to be owner driven while also fitting the bill for the family holiday. The retail sail away price was to be circa $NZ400,000, and the yacht would ideally be available to be built in New Zealand.

Bakewell-White Yacht design stated that their intent was to "produce a design that is attractive to look at and conveys an image of a state of the art racing yacht, whilst providing for the basic cruising requirements of family cruising at a realistic price". Their accompanying design brief outlines how it meets each condition of the rules, "Alot of thought has gone into how the boat can be presented as a grand prix yacht but at a price that is accessible to the club level owners in New Zealand".

Bakewell-White Yacht Design has previously worked with the West Australian Yachting Foundation and Peter Milner Yachts to produce a One Design fleet of 10.9m yachts for the inaugural World Match Racing Championships in 1996. This fleet was described at the time by Peter Gilmour as the "best match racing yacht in the world". Since then a class of club racers has developed from this design and there are now regular fleets of 15 boats on the Swan River in Perth, and there are boats in Asaia and the UK, as well as Australia's East coast.

In Auckland their 12.5m design, "Time to Burn" has consistently been one of the top performing keelboats of her size, both in fully crewed races and two-handed events such as the Round the North Island Race, and local Navico events.

Yachting New Zealand's Chief Executive, Simon Wickham hopes this design encourages a new fleet of racing yachts into New Zealand's ageing keelboat racing fleets, "the competition has been well received to date, lets hope that it gets the final stamp of approval from potential owners to complete the cycle and ensure the design is successful in the New Zealand market. One design racing yachts of this size have provided some quality fleets in Australia and abroad"

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