• Matt Allen's Jones 70 Ichi Ban relishing the big southerly. Credit ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi
    Matt Allen's Jones 70 Ichi Ban relishing the big southerly. Credit ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi
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Matt Allen, a previous Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, is having a new Shaun Carkeek 60-footer built in Dubai for this year's Rolex Sydney-Hobart race.

The all-carbon hull is being built by Premier Composites Technology, a company that has built successful smaller boats designed by South African Shaun Carkeek, who has parted company with his previous design partner Marcelino Botin of Spain.

The Carkeek 40 Decision placed fifth on corrected time and won its class under IRC corrected time in the 2012 Newport-Bermuda race; a class which included two TP52s.

Allen has chosen a 60-footer because he believes it has a better chance of winning against the maxis and strong TP52 pack on IRC in both the Hobart and short-course races.
 
In the Hobart, he believes it has a better chance of finishing ahead on handicap by getting more distance down course in the gap between the maxis and the TP52s, before the notorious early morning shut down in breeze on the Derwent River.

"A lot of the TP52s get in in the early hours of the morning, which is not a good time to arrive," he says.

With his current offshore racer Ichi Ban, a Jones 70 designed for the Volvo around-the-world race, Allen placed 11th on IRC in 2012, fifth in 2007 and fourth in 2006. He lost a real winning chance in 2007 when the port rudder snapped about 28n miles from Tasman Island.

He expects the new boat to be delivered in October. 

- Bob Ross

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