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Just in time for the Pac Cup: The Condor Is Ready To Soar

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  • Just in time for the Pac Cup: The Condor Is Ready To Soar

    The Antrim Class 40, California Condor

    ©Louis Benainous BMC

    Northern California's first Class 40 sailboat has been launched at Berkeley Marine Center. The newest collaboration between builder Cree Partridge and naval architect Jim Antrim, has been named California Condor by owner Buzz Blackett.
    Within weeks of the launch, Blackett and his crew, including Antrim, will be racing California Condor to Hawaii, in the Pacific Cup. The boat will return to the Bay Area shortly after, and be campaigned in bay and ocean races locally, as well as possibly on the East Coast.

    ©Louis Benainous BMC

    The Class 40 is a close relative of the Open 40, famous for long-distance ocean racing. The Class 40, however, is designed for greater comfort, and keeping costs somewhat in line. Water ballast is used instead of a canting keel, and the hull is primarily fiberglass instead of carbon fiber. Over 100 have been built in Europe in the past four years, and several can be found on the US East Coast. The boats can vary significantly within the "box rule" specifications, which define the overall dimensions.
    Blackett's decision to join the Class 40 fleet grew out of his crewing in the Pacific Cup on another Antrim design, the highly successful Antrim 27, ET. The requirements for greater speed as well as greater comfort came together in California Condor.

    ©Louis Benainous BMC

    His selection of Berkeley Marine Center as the builder was almost a given. The yard's credentials in the world of custom yacht building had been solidified with the launch of two previous Antrim designs, including the ultra-light custom Antrim 49, Rapid Transit, in 2009. The highly acclaimed, canting keel, carbon fiber racer has been consistently hitting downwind speeds in the high 20 knot range.

    ©Louis Benainous BMC

    Blackett also wanted to be an active participant in the design and building of his racing yacht. "The ability to get involved was one my motivations for building locally," he stated. "Working with Jim and Cree has been great, and the boat is every bit as well built as I'd hoped."

    ©Louis Benainous BMC

    Building yachts in Berkeley initially caught the local sailing world's attention in 2007 when Berkeley Marine Center undertook its first yacht construction project -- XL, a custom Antrim 40. It had been decades since boat construction of this magnitude had occurred in the Bay Area. Partridge fulfilled a dream with that project, relying on his extensive experience in boat building, to begin assembling a team of local experts in composite construction. The yard is now also building carbon fiber spars, as well as rudders and keels fins.

    California Condor's Specifications
    LOA 40 ft.
    LWL 39.17 ft.
    Beam 14.70 ft.
    Draft 9.84 ft.
    Displacement 9,920 pounds
    Ballast 4,960 pounds
    Sails by Pineapple Sails, Alameda, CA

    BMC Website ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  • #2
    Some Additional Condor Photos from Pac Cup Start

    In case you missed the coverage! ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~