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First of New National 18 Dinghies Expected in Cork Next Month

22nd May 2015
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First of New National 18 Dinghies Expected in Cork Next Month

#national18 – Since being introduced to the public at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show in March of this year, the first of the new Phil Morrison designed National 18s has been undergoing sailing trials and completing the required EU stability tests. From the moment she hit the water for her inaugural sail at Brightlingsea it was clear that the boat was something special, say her promoters.

Afloat.ie covered recent developments in the class here when WM Nixon concluded the National 18s were taking dinghy racing onto a new plane.

British Olympian Rob White, whose company White Formula builds the boats, was among the first to helm her and couldn't keep the grin off his face. "She's seriously slippery," said Rob immediately after sailing "she feels really responsive and accelerates instantly in even the lightest puffs."

As well as impressing with her sailing performance the new National 18 also passed her EU RCD stability tests with flying colours. Named Hurricane after the very first ever National 18 launched in 1938, she is now on the South coast and has so far been seen in Lymington, Keyhaven and Poole Harbour. First impressions have been very favourable, and she has turned heads both in the dinghy park and on the water.

Production is in full swing on the dozen boats already on order. The next batch of four will go to Cork in June to start the Irish fleet with further boats following shortly thereafter.

A programme of test sails is currently being set up and further details of how members of the press and those interested in sailing the boat, including the more than 40 people who signed up at the Dinghy Show, can get involved will be published shortly.

Looking ahead, there will a National 18 English Championship at Bosham during the weekend of 4th and 5th July 2015. This will be followed by the British and Irish Championship, hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club from to 26th to 31st July, where 12 of the new boats will be competing alongside some 30 GRP Proctor 18s, and a fleet of wooden classics.

Current orders for new boats will keep builders White Formula busy through until late summer.

Published in National 18
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