An evening racer

Yachting World - - Front Page -

Laid­law’s cur­rent fleet in­cludes 31ft, 52ft, 82ft and 115ft rac­ing yachts. “I’ve got a lot of fast car­bon boats so I thought it would be fun to do some­thing dif­fer­ent,” he told me as we headed out of the Lyming­ton River on a par­tic­u­larly blus­tery So­lent af­ter­noon. “I wanted to do the evening races, so I was lim­ited by draught.” Laid­law added that he wanted some­thing pretty and had al­ways con­sid­ered Spir­its at­trac­tive.

The re­sult is this first flush-decked Spirit Yacht: a stripped-out wolf in sheep’s cloth­ing. The Ip­swich based yard has launched over 65 wood epoxy boats in 25 years (see fea­ture in Septem­ber is­sue), but Oui Fling is rather dif­fer­ent than most.

“I en­joy the boat­build­ing process,” said Laid­law, can­didly. “I en­joy the process of plan­ning it, see­ing it through – then how to make it go faster.”

The 52D was a fit­tingly be­spoke project. Laid­law spec­i­fied a cock­pit to suit his raceonly crew, some­thing much larger than the con­ven­tional key­hole shape used on most Spirit yachts. Oui Fling also has sep­a­rate cock­pits for both the helms­man and tac­ti­cian. Laid­law only races his yachts and never spends the night on them, hence he didn’t re­quire any home com­forts or fa­cil­i­ties be­low decks.

Oui Fling’s build was fast-tracked. She launched just seven months af­ter those ini­tial dis­cus­sions and, a week af­ter ar­riv­ing in her now home­port of Lyming­ton, con­vinc­ingly won her class in the Pan­erai Bri­tish Clas­sic Week.

“The drive was to make it the best racer within the spirit of tra­di­tion ethos,” said Spirit’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Nigel Stu­art. Laid­law’s

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.