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Small Stuff New England - May 2007

Beneteau announces the arrival of the new 40

Following the launch of the 49 and 46 last fall, Beneteau has introduced the all-new Beneteau 40, created by the collaboration of the naval architects Berret/Racoupeau with the design firm of Nauta Yachts.

The boat features a sweeping deck line and large twin-wheel cockpit, with a spacious and luminous interior accented with Moabi hardwoods.

The 40 debuted in the United States at Strictly Sail Philadelphia in January.

Two inducted into sailing Hall

Laurie Davidson of New Zealand and Bruno Troublé of Paris have been named as the 2007 inductees to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame.

The inductees, who exemplify the best in both the design and international promotion of racing for the Cup, will be honored at the America’s Cup Hall of Fame 15th Annual Induction Ceremony June 24 in Valencia, Spain.

As one of the best America’s Cup designers since the introduction of the new America’s Cup class in 1990, Davidson had also played a role in the design of the New Zealand fiberglass 12 Meters that were among the top performers during the 1987 competition in Fremantle, Australia.

In the 1995 challenge in San Diego, both Davidson and Doug Peterson were named designers for the Kiwis. Davidson was the designer of NZL 32 and Peterson the designer of NZL 38. Both designers and other technicians contributed to the rig and other details after the basic design was established. NZL 32 went on to win the Cup in five straight races over the American defender.

In 2000, when Davidson was chief designer for Team New Zealand, it was asserted that designers for the other teams had used NZL 32 as their point of departure. But that year Davidson took another jump ahead and came up with what is now known as the Davidson bow — a forward overhang geometry that provides slightly greater sailing length within the rating. Again the Davidson boat won in five straight races, this time against the challenger Luna Rossa from Italy.

During the 2003 challenge all the boats involved but one had the “Davidson bow.” The exception was the Italian Prada entry, which part way through the campaign had its bow modified to be similar to the other boats.

Troublé has been very special to the America’s Cup — as a sailor and skipper, then as the mastermind behind the Louis Vuitton Cup.

Troublé, a Flying Dutchman and Soling champion, was skipper of two challenges for the America’s Cup led by Baron Marcel Bich. Troublé had been drafted from the 1976 French Olympic sailing team and did such a good job at starting he was promoted to skipper of France I during the Challenger series in 1977. He then returned to skipper France III in 1980. In 1983 he participated in a challenge led by Yves Rousset-Rouard.

Troublé visited the New York Yacht Club when he was 17 while competing in a 505 World Championship in Larchmont, N.Y. Standing in the model room of the Yacht Club, the atmosphere and history of the America’s Cup had such an impact on him that the Cup eventually became a significant part of his life. Troublé went on to create a public relations agency in Paris, D’Day, and became the driving force behind the Louis Vuitton Cup for challengers, which continues through the 2007 races.

Ribcraft joins US Sailing sponsorship

US Sailing and Ribcraft, a manufacturer of professional grade rigid inflatable boats, announced a new partnership that names Ribcraft an Official Sponsor of US Sailing and the U.S. Sailing Team, and Official Coach Boat of US Sailing.

The three-year agreement runs through 2009 and includes the development of a 15-foot US Sailing Ribcraft RIB that comes equipped with a 40-hp engine, configured to meet the requirements of sailing organizations and their on-the-water activities. In addition, Ribcraft will provide the US Sailing Team with professional-grade RIBs for use in training and competition at home and abroad. Ribcraft will also provide financial support.