Hello, M32 World!
I’ve just returned from my first-ever M32 Series racing as a skipper aboard my new M32 Valhalla, and I’m walking on air right now. It’s not just because a week in Bermuda in January is a beautiful thing (though it certainly is); it’s because racing this boat as an owner/driver is even more exciting and fun than I dreamed when I bought the rights to the M32.
Of course we already knew that the boat was a perfect grand prix racer for the world’s best sailors; dozens of racing crew and hundreds of thousands of on-line and TV spectators of the M32 Series Scandinavia found that out last year. As for ‘mortal humans,’ the Newport, Scandinavian, and California M32 owners spent the last couple of years showing us that they could get the boats around a track or an offshore course just fine. But I had a tougher, more specific question: Could I and a crew of similarly out-of-shape monohull club racers handle this powered-up catamaran in 10 to 25 knots, against top professional sailors without maiming, killing, or embarrassing ourselves?
You’ll have to read further through this first-ever edition of the M32 World News for more about the first of our Bermuda M32 Series events, but…spoiler alert…we didn’t win! We did, however, prove something to ourselves and our competition; the M32 is the perfect racing boat, even if you’re on the wrong side of 40, the wrong side of 200 pounds, and have never even practiced a full race. Is it hard work? Absolutely, and my crew and I were more tired than we’ve been in years. But the rewards were instant, the exhilaration is just silly, and when the inevitable errors come, they’re no big deal! There’s no big crayon-colored sail to drop around your keel, no jib to wash over the side, no stack or canting keel to be shoved around; as long as you don’t flip it over (thanks, Sebastian), you’re good.
After just four short races, we were already just seconds behind the fleet, crossing gybes at 20 knots with the 3rd and 4th place boat on the downwind legs – all without a worry. I can’t imagine another fleet in which our crew would have been able to accomplish that kind of improvement in so short a time – it speaks to the simplicity of the boat and the purity of the concept, and it will certainly keep me coming back for more. Never mind all the fun you can have with an M32 off the racecourse, but that’s another story.
The simplicity of this boat is just astounding, and we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the brilliant minds of Göran Marström and Kåre Ljung for designing such a beautiful machine. I wasn’t sure I’d ever again have the kind of fun on a boat that I had when sailing quick little dinghies with Fredrik Lööf and the guys at our little club in Sweden. Thanks to Freddy’s advice nearly 4 years ago to ‘get an M32!”, here we are sailing these boats in the M32 Series, in the World Match Racing Tour, and in the M32 Racing Club
There are no secrets here, so put together your crew, get yourself an M32, and come and get some. We’ll be waiting, hoping to see you on the water, having the time of your life.
Håkan Svensson, CEO