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New Melges IC37 in Build for Spring Delivery on the Solent

18th February 2021
Melges IC37 sailing
Melges IC37 sailing

Solent yachtsman and Rear Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Bertie Bicket has announced that his latest Fargo is to be a new Melges IC37. Currently under construction at Fibre Mechanics in Lymington, she is due to be delivered in the spring.

Speaking from Auckland, Bertie comments: “After a lot of searching and evaluation of what’s out there, the IC37 simply ticked more boxes than anything else on the market. At the smaller end of the scale there are options, but I didn’t want a big dinghy and was looking for a proper race boat, that could handle tough Solent days out and maybe also go offshore, so ultimately these boats were head and shoulders above others.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the IC37 is from the design board of County Wicklow's Mark Mills and it is the boat in which Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary and crew took bronze at the 2019 New York Yacht Club Invitational Regatta.

“Having competed in the New York Yacht Club Invitational Regatta in 2019, I know just how much fun these boats are and to have a growing international one design class to compete in makes the IC37 a compelling proposition,” Bicket added.

With additional endorsement from the NYYC, who were the brains behind the IC37 concept, securing another UK boat will prove a great steppingstone for the development of this class over the coming years in the UK and we all know that one design boats, which have a second life in handicap racing, are here to stay.

“Having studied the on-board systems and ethos of the design, it is a substantially cheaper option in terms of running budgets and bang for buck, so we’re incredibly excited to get back out there and hope a few more boats might join for some close level rating sailing,” continues Bertie.

Fargo and her crew of ‘Solent legends’ are expected to put on a good show with their new and optimised steed.

Reflecting on feedback from existing and potential owners, the 2021 season will see some changes to the UK class.

The success of ICY, owned by veteran Solent one design campaigner Ian Atkins, in its first year while racing under IRC has ensured interest in the IC37 continues to be strong. To further encourage that interest, the IC37 will race with an IRC orientated sail wardrobe as well as a couple of other changes to increase its IRC competitiveness.

“Despite only racing in the one design format (main, one jib and one spinnaker) last season, ICY proved to be very competitive, winning three out of the four regattas she took part in,” says Sam Pearson, from Ancasta Race Boats. “It’s extremely exciting to see, at last, a mid-sized race boat which is not only exciting to sail but cost effective and very competitive under IRC.”

Another significant move will see class limitations on crew being removed for non-one design events. With these changes being easily unwound, owners can still participate in one design events, both locally as well as internationally as they wish - great for international competition as well as resale values and class sustainability.

Sam adds: “It has been a challenging time to start building a new class here in the UK. However, with these changes and the fundamentals that make the IC37 the ideal race boat for the UK, we see a bright future for the class. Having Atkins and Bicket, both long-term, highly regarded and very experienced owners buying boats demonstrates how strong the argument is for the IC37.”

Published in Boat Sales
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