JP Morgan Round the Island Race

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Innovative boat’s test run a success

A testing debut for the Out 95 ‘Eris’ in the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race

One of the most radical boats competing in the 2006 JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race was the bright blue Out 95 Sportsboat ‘Eris’, the smallest boat competing in Class 0.

After a week of burning the midnight oil, and their sponsor dropping two days before the race, last minute problems which left them without a support boat were the last thing the team behind the innovative sportsboat needed. However, despite the light breeze and very little sleep for the crew, the distinctive bright blue craft scraped across the startline of the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race just moments after the gun. Racing in Class 0 their eyes were on another innovative craft, the Jo Richards-designed ‘Full Pelt X’. ‘Eris’, an Out 95 from the drawing board of Neal Pawson, was designed to have all the sportsboat qualities of the Richards design, but with an IRC rating which would make her a viable competitor in IRC events.

Playing catch up after its struggle to reach the line in time for its 0610 start time, the Out 95 hoisted its Code 0 and headed for the Needles, rounding some 45 minutes behind ‘Full Pelt’ but ahead of the former America’s Cup boats, ‘France 2’ and ‘France 3’, which measure over 70ft in length as opposed to the Out 95’s 32ft. As they set off round the back of the island, the team continued its steady progress pulling back distance on the leaders, making huge gains under spinnaker from St Catherines. As they rounded Bembridge Ledge they were just 100m shy of the lead boats in their class, the TP52s ‘Red’ and ‘Panthera’. Then the parking started as the breeze died. ‘Full Pelt’ was the first to suffer inshore, and the Out 95 ‘Eris’ stayed further out in the breeze to slip past only to sail into a huge calm patch with the TP52s.

Neal Pawson comments, ‘At this point we were looking good. It had been a long race, we were knackered and suffering from a week of barely any sleep, but it was worth it. We were showing what the boat could do. Here we were with just the home stretch of the Solent to get to the finish and we were right next to the TP52s which are 20ft longer than us!’

‘But tired minds make stupid mistakes,’ continued the boat’s build manager and co-owner Alex Ashworth Briggs, ‘We opted to go up the north shore, something which rarely pays and took us out of contact with the rest of the fleet.’ In the fickle winds, their choice of the mainland shore meant not only did they struggle short tacking in the shallow water without a depth sounder, but they had to re-cross the tide to reach the finish line. Meanwhile, the TP52s pulled away to take monohull line honours after a long race which was not going to favour the Class 0 boats as the smaller classes brought more breeze round with them.

‘Eris’ eventually crossed the line at 1617hrs, some 40 minutes after ‘Full Pelt’, three hours faster on corrected time placing a slightly unlucky 13th in class. The first boat to finish, the TP52 ‘Red’ eventually beat the 32ft ‘Eris’ by an hour on the water, which translated to just 22 minutes on handicap.

‘It was a bit gutting,’ explained a disappointed Pawson, ‘We were with the TPs, and lost it really after the forts.’
‘But the boat has definitely shown its potential,’ continued Ashworth-Briggs,’We were flying along when we had breeze, it was just one of those days, we made a serious tactical error and we paid for it. Even so, it’s amazing that we finished just 60  minutes behind the TPs. The boat is definitely competitive.’

For Ollie Taylor, who had made the trip from Switzerland to compete in the race, it was an achievement to get to the finish line. Last year Taylor had hoped to do Skandia Cowes Week on the boat, instead he found himself helping to work on it as business partners Neal and Alex struggled to complete a labour of love, which had consumed four years of their lives. ‘It was great to get round, although it was a long race,’ commented Taylor ‘You could see the boat has the potential to do really well, it is a pretty amazing design.’

The team is now looking ahead to the next two events on the boat’s calendar, the Geneve Rolle Geneve and the Bol d’Or in Switzerland. Their next UK appearance should be for Skandia Cowes Week.

JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race Crew list: Alex Ashworth-Briggs, Dave Freemantle, Allan Higg, Neal Pawson, Jeremy Taylor, Ollie Taylor.

Notes to editors
Yacht designer Neal Pawson grew up sailing on the River Orwell in Suffolk, before competing a degree in Maritime Technology in which he specialised in Yacht Design. The Out 95 was built using innovative technology by Out and Out Solutions, a partnership between Neal Pawson and the boat’s build manager Alex Ashworth-Briggs who currently live in Hamble in Hampshire. A ‘monomaran’, a monohull with the performance characteristics of a multihull, the boat is truly groundbreaking in design and aims to prove competitive across a range of rating rules and events around the world. The Out 95’s racing tour started with the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race and moves to Switzerland’s famous lake racing circuit before returning to the UK in August.

For more information and high resolution images see,  or contact Neal Pawson on +44(0)7968 848340 Or Alex Ashworth-Briggs on +44(0)7770 608287.


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