Sydney based John Bacon and one of his core MC38 and Melges crewmates, David Sampson, have linked up for their first Melbourne to Osaka double-handed race aboard John’s new Class 40.
The boat was designed by the French foiling guru Guillame Verdier and built in 2013 by FR Nautisme. It was lightly raced in America until John made the purchases late 2016 and had the boat shipped from Newport Rhode Island.
So why the Class 40? After weighing up converting an IRC boat John decided he was better off buying something purpose-built so David headed overseas to follow up leads. “During the process I became really interested in the Class 40, which has almost no recognition in Australia, John said. “They are a box rule; fast, safe and built for offshore sailing however for this race it’s also critical to have a boat capable of good light air performance and this one was available and had good potential.”
As well as his sailing experience John brings planning expertise and enthusiasm while David brings his success as a professional sailor (Loki, Wild Oats XI) and project manager overseeing a number of overseas builds for owners.
Having arrived in Australia in March, Nexba headed straight to a yard on Sydney’s northern beaches for re-branding and close examination.
After a launch at the team’s home club, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on the shores of Pittwater, training is under way offshore while ashore the project management will be in full swing until the pair leave for Melbourne and their March 25, 2018 start as part of the main fleet.
The project timeline has extensive training time at sea to fine-tune navigating and become skilled at the various challenges all Osaka teams will face, short-handed sail changes, safety procedures, medical emergencies, communication, sleeping and eating.
Through their debut Osaka challenge the duo plan to raise money for the Integrated Disabled Sailing (IDS) program at Nexba’s home club ,The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club – RPAYC and the DEBRA Australia charity, which supports families living with the disease Epidermolysis bullosa.
John reflected on the approaching adventure: “Dave and I realise it’s a big event, a long event and it requires a lot of skills just to get to the start line let alone finish and be competitive. We’ll have to learn when to send the boat and when to look after it. It’s a Nexba1marathon after all.”