C&C 30: New Kids on the Block

The C&C 30 One-design class is quickly establishing a serious name for itself, with no signs of slowing down through the winter.

After a prolonged winter slumber in New England with a handful of new boats getting gussied with graphics at USWatercraft, the C&C 30 One-Design class launched its first season of one-design racing with at the New York YC Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in June. The nine-boat lineup was a long time coming, says its builder Randy Borges, and a welcome sight following a year of testing, tuning, modifying and convincing owners to believe in the C&C brand again.

For Walt Thirion, 59, a retired technology executive from Austin, Texas, and one of the class’s founding owners, getting in on the latest one-design keelboat movement didn’t require much convincing at all. “The design brief fit with what I wanted: something I could have fun with that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to go out and race, and still go out and do 20 knots downwind. The first time we popped a spinnaker, we hit 18 knots and I said, ‘OK, this is good.’”

With the help of professional sailor Geoff Ewenson, Thirion, like other owners in the class has been getting himself and the boat up to speed over the course of the summer through what he describes as one big collaborative effort. “No one is keeping secrets, and that’s what I like about this class. We’re all competitive and successful owners, and we’re all trying to get everyone up to the same level.”

To prevent another idle winter, the class has an ambitious plan that includes Quantum Key West Race Week in January. Then, the hope is to ship five boats — on their trailers — to St. Thomas for at least three events in the Caribbean. “We’re looking at the costs and which events to do,” says Thirion. “A combination of windward-leeward races and racing around islands would be perfect for this type of boat.”

There are currently 10 C&C 30s competing in Key West Race Week, but the fleet could be as strong as 12 in January.

The C&C 30 class has had an impressive attendance record, with 9 boats competing in the NYYC Annual Regatta.Daniel Forster/Rolex
The C&C 30 fleet lines up for the start at the NYYC Annual Regatta on Narragansett Bay.NYYC/Rolex