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Mackay Boats developed the new FX rig for the 49er. After 9 months of testing by the Mackay team the boat was taken to Santander (ESP) and trialed againt 5 other boats by the ISAF evaluation committee.

The boat was finally selected at the ISAF mid-year conderence in early May and will be used for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Since the ISAF trials in Santander we have continued working on the FX with many hours of 2 boats testing.

We have fine tuned things like jib battens, sail corner reinforcement, jib sheeting angles and refined the different rig settings in a range of conditions. The results from this have been included in the final sails which are made by North Sails in Sri Lanka.

The final sails will be built from the same cloth as the 49er. Gennakers are being offered in Black, Dark Blue, Red, White, Pink and Light blue

In early May we had a great session in 20-25 knots. Alex and Molly who were in Santander on one boat, and two 49er guys on the other boat.

The girls are 125kg and the guys are 140kg.

The girls held onto the guys upwind which was a pleasure to watch. At times the guys had an edge, and at other times the girls were faster. Overall the guys probably had a slight edge upwind but not enough to matter- and of course the girls had an edge downwind. At the end of the day they were very even around the course.

The key is how much the rig depowers. It’s very cool to watch it in action in 20-25 knots! You can see this in action on our heavy airĀ YouTube clip.

Another big positive was the downwind performance.

In the 49er you get to the point where you bear away so much that the spinnaker begins to collapse from the back. This does not happen in the FX. The spinnaker is much flatter and flies further off the boat. The girls at 125kg can push it hard in 25 knots and were slightly faster than the guys. The dynamics of the rig are such that the bow lifts a lot more than the 49er and it’s much harder to nosedive. They can send it through the waves with much more confidence. The guys commented that the FX is much easier to bear away than the 49er.