Elan 310 and Southerly 49 launched at Southampton International Boat Show

— 14 Oct 2009

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Rob Humphreys

All eyes were turned to two new exciting Humphreys designed yachts being launched on press day at the Southampton International Boat Show. First to be unveiled was the Southerly 49 and helping with proceedings was round the world yachtswoman and record breaker, Dee Caffari. Dee, who is no stranger to the Humphreys Design house having sailed one of 12 identical HYD Global Challenge yachts not once but twice around the world the ‘wrong way’, said that she was ‘honoured to have been asked to launch the new Southerly 49’.

Among the other guests invited to the launch were Paul and Sheryl Shard owners of a Southerly 42 and among the first customers for the 49. Paul and Sheryl are well known amongst the cruising community through their satelite television programme ‘Distant Shores’. This documentary has followed the Shards cruising their Southerly 42 to all four corners of the planet. We certainly look forward to hearing more from them once they take delivery of their 49!

Later in the afternoon saw the launch of the new Elan 310. Designed as an entry level cruiser/racer, the 310 has already attracted a huge ammount of media attention and has certainly turned a few heads. The 310 offers sparkling performance, but one that can be realised in a short-handed crew context. This is in line with the growing interest in shorthanded events across Europe, but also in line with the reality that user-friendliness has no downside in whatever sense. With a spacious cockpit layout that is designed for sailing efficiency the boat just develops the feel of a larger boat, with still sufficient interior comfort to fly the cruising flag and protect that vital resale value.

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