Top three teams at the World Championship
Reflections on 5.5 Metre World Championship in Hankø
Peter Morton's Jean Genie is a Dave Hollom designed 5.5 Metre that was built in Cowes, UK. Though Morton put in two and a half years of development into the project, which also included a second boat, Girls on Film, GBR 41, he was unfortunately unable to sail in Hankø, but sent the boat anyway with Elliot Hanson taking over as helm and Sam Haines moving from coach to the bow. Andrew 'Dog' Palfrey was the middleman and has been involved in the project since it started.
Peter Morton explained, "After the 2018 5.5 Metre Worlds in Cowes I was persuaded by Pete Vlasov to get into the class. The 5.5 Metre was conceived in Great Britain but there were no British boats currently on the circuit. I bought a 2003 Wilke boat and got some reasonable results with it. I'm very patriotic and wanted to do something in the UK, but was told by the then Class Chief Measurer that the current Swiss designed and built boats were the ultimate 5.5 and couldn't be improved.
"I've always been slightly irritated when told things like that and set out to prove him wrong. I'd seen the proposals that David Hollom had done and remember his 12 Metre Crusader (the Hippo) from my days sailing with Graham Walker. Eddie Warden Owen reminded me it was the best balanced 12 Metre he had ever steered so I took the decision to 'have a go'. I asked my friend Steve Quigley (who designs most of the hi-speed ferries we build and is a major part of the Wild Oats optimisation programme) to help with some CFD studies on the different designs and Tom Schnackenberg with whom I've been friends with since 1980 to run the VPPs. Steve also designed a boat that we could fit under the deck, using the keel, rudder and rig of the old SUI 222 which Hannes Waimer had in Dubai. With the boatbuilders in Cowes fairly quiet through Covid I decided to build both boats."
GBR 41 was built at David Heritage and GBR 42 at Composite Craft.
"All this was done under the fantastic direction of Andrew Palfrey (aka Dog) and the team also included a very talented team at North Sails with major input from Sam Haines.