Oui Fling fascinates on many levels: the Spirit aesthetic is melded with the latest technology and modern influences. The closer you look, the more innovative the details that come into focus. And whereas the deck design is a study in racing ergonomics, below decks is a visual feast. The joinery is compelling aboard any Spirit, but you can normally only see glimpses of the planking and frames – here the entire construction is left completely exposed.
Mcmillan drew the hull, using similar lines to his own 52, Flight, but with less buoyancy in the distinctly lighter new boat. The structure is still all in wood, using sapele ring frames and yellow cedar strip planking. Two layers of kaya double diagonals were laid over this, before the whole hull was glassed. But there is also carbon hidden in the structure and deck in localised patches to stiffen certain load-bearing areas.
“There was a lot of input from people we don’t work with normally,” said Nigel Stuart. Composite specialist Graham Eeles in Brightlingsea laminated the keel fin and rudder blade using one-off CNC built moulds. Hall Spars, which has worked with Laidlaw in the past, constructed the high modulus carbon mast, while Dutch company Smart Rigging did the composite standing rigging. “There’s no point in doing it in-house if it’s not our skill set,” is Spirit’s philosophy.
The foredeck is exceptionally clean. Note there are no stanchions or lifelines and no bow roller