The Advent Of Modern Racing


Bruce Farr has enjoyed dominance in the race and production boat market since the 1970s. Farr had considerable success with light displacement boats powered by fractional rigsā€”so called because the jib is normally only seven eighths of the mast's height. Meanwhile, New Zealand was producing other noted designers such as John Spencer, Laurie Davidson, and Paul Whiting.

Bruce Farr at work

of the first to use glass reinforced plastic (GRP) as a means of volume production. The 30-ft (9-m) Pionier class was a breakthrough in Europe.

French designers added to the mix of ideas, notablyJean Berret, JeanMarie Finot, and the Michel Joubert/Bernard Nivelt partnership, who all preferred beamy stern sections. These increased the space inside the hull, leading to cabins under the cockpit where there had been only locker space in the old style of boats. Light displacement meant lower hull weights, which cut material costs. Small jibs meant easier handling as the need to change headsails was much less. Broad sterns (from the French designers) gave more living space.

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