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The quest for performance is absolutely integral to the Humphreys office. Its early years were all about racing, and, like other designers in the mainstream of contemporary sailing yacht design, Rob Humphreys first plied his trade in the intensive world of IOR racing. Early successes included a couple of second places in the Half Ton World Championship (Roller Coaster 1979 and Flash 1984), while the One Ton world championship of 1985 – arguably the zenith of IOR level-rating racing – was won by the Humphreys-designed Jade.

This dedication continued over the years, and the Humphreys team has produced designs for all the major yacht racing events such as the America’s Cup (Blue Arrow Challenge 88/90, GBR Challenge – 02/03), Vendee Globe (Open 60 Kingfisher – 00/01), Admiral’s Cup (numerous entries), Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Race (Rothmans IOR maxi – 89/90, Dolphin & Youth Whitbread 60 – 93/94, Team Russia Volvo Open 70 – 08/09) and the BT Global Challenge Fleet. The British Ultra 30 pro-racing circuit of the Nineties was a Humphreys design. bred out of the office’s highly successful Ultimate 30 Flyer.

HYD’s involvement in these high profile race boat projects, alongside the office’s hugely diverse design portfolio, enables the team to draw upon a vast knowledge base. Not only does it find the cutting edge invigorating, it also fully understands that racing experience is a huge benefit for its general business, with a constant trickle-down of knowledge from high profile raceboat campaigns to the wider world of its design activities, allowing issues like sail handling and general boat response characteristics to be adressed in an authoritative way. It is no coincidence, for example, that the Humphreys brand is synonymous with a significant number of highly successful production racer-cruisers.

Humphreys’ racing portfolio may stretch back over thirty years but but it is nevertheless very current and its effort is the subject of significant investment, with Tom Humphreys instilling a second-generation impetus directed towards continuing grand prix success. To maintain this momentum the studio is immersed in leading edge processes such as numerical analysis (CFD & FEA), wind tunnel and tank testing, full scale instrumentation and load measurement.

Please mouse over the image opposite to view our recent race boat projects or visit the design archive section for more.