Howth Yacht Club's Conor Fogerty will be the first foiling keelboat in Ireland next season when he sets sail in his new Beneteau Figaro 3 on the Irish Sea next season. Confirmation of the news puts an end to rumours about Fogerty's next move in his build-up to his ambitions for the Vendee Globe 2020 race.
Afloat's Irish Sailor of the Year is just back from a test sail in what he called 'champagne conditions' on board the foiling 35ft-keelboat at the Beneteau factory in Western France.
An enthusiastic Fogerty says the yacht was 'impressive' and will be a great development for Irish Offshore racing. As a result, the former Ostar winner says, 'an order has been secured for Irish waters'. A name for the campaign boat has already been announced, the first foiling keelboat is to be named 'Raw'.
As Afloat.ie reported previously, the Beneteau boat builder is producing the first series-built production monohull with foils leaving no doubt that foiling is making it into mainstream sailing. The foils will make the new boat up to 15 per cent faster than its predecessor and are designed to replace the traditional weighty ballast tanks used on past Figaro models.
Fogerty launched his Vendee Globe 2020 campaign back in April, as Afloat.ie reported here, bringing to four the number of Irish sailors now working towards the non–stop solo round–the–world race in two year's time. He began his round the world bid this August with an entry in RORC's Round Britain and Ireland race that ended prematurely with a broken halyard.