Ovington Boats have been at the forefront of modern Skiff building for over 20 years, it was only natural that the company look to utilise this wealth of experience and look towards developing designs in-house. With the injection of a fresh approach from new designer Peter Hobson, the Aura represents the beginning of what Ovington Boats hope will be a growing portfolio of projects to complement their successful production facility.
Starting from a blank sheet of paper the Aura represents a refreshing and modern attitude to skiff design; challenging the ideals created by a succession of box rule designs the Aura takes its inspiration from limitless offshore record breakers and the recent America’s Cup resurgence.
Peter’s hands on approach to the design and build process has seen a great level of careful consideration to the detailing, even at the prototype stage – culminating in a clean and simple boat with great aesthetic appeal but also paramount functionality.
The boat has been designed to offer great upwind performance by virtue of waterline length and a powerful sail plan, whist going downwind with a style and media appeal more reminiscent of an 18ft Skiff than that its direct counterparts.
A flat rocker encourages a more dynamic approach from the sailors – to improve spectator appeal and avoid the long static periods often seen once sailors are ‘hooked in’. The reduced working space builds upon this ideal, encouraging greater team work, agility and athleticism.
The small and lightweight platform makes for a flighty skiff that will require the most elite sailors to get the best out of it, whist a good club sailor will be able to jump in and enjoy the ride.
With mass high-end supply considered from the outset overly complex and busy components have been avoided, producing a stripped out skiff with only the bare essentials. This approach not only has positive connotations for production but also great long-term practical benefits for class regulation and measurement.
Ovington Boats have partnered with MacKay Boats in New Zealand to build the Aura. The two builders in opposite hemispheres have a proven ability to meet the supply demands of an Olympic Skiff and have a pre-existing global network already in place.
All being well the aim is to debut the prototype at the Ovington Inlands on the 30th of October; and start to get important feedback from the wider sailing fraternity.
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