Building Fleets: West Coast IMS40 Fleet

It’s not easy owning a boat designed for a rule that isn’t used much on your pond. Just ask Antony Barran, who owns the ILC 40 Jeantex and sails it out of Marina Del Rey, Calif. "We’ve got a dedicated group of similar [purpose-built, 40-foot IMS] boats out here on the West Coast; Bull, High-5, Black Knight, and Impact, to name a few. In regattas, they’d start us with the sprit boats," says Barran. "In heavy air, they won. In light air, we won. Nobody liked it, but nobody hated it enough to do anything about it."

While visiting the East Coast, Barran contacted the IMS40 fleet based in western Long Island Sound and found a potential solution to his problem. Just three years old, the 18-boat IMS40 pack has flourished in the Northeast. Barran thought of forming his own class but decided that hooking up with the IMS40 fleet would be better.

In 2001 Barran contacted Dan Nowlan at US SAILING and asked for a list of West Coast boats that fit within the parameters used by the IMS40 Class--39- to 43-foot boats with a GPH of 551 to 570 and an ILC rating of 615 to 637. He got 19 names.

"I contacted all the owners," says Barran. "Some signed on immediately, others were on the fence. Once we start getting recognition, they’ll join. The more people that join, the better the racing will be."

For 2002, Barran wants more members. "It helps to have numbers when you ask clubs for starts," says Barran. "If we don’t have enough boats, we’ll ask to be put into a start with similar boats. We’ll score our class separately towards a class championship. Everyone wants to know who had a better year."

Barran expects to have the critical mass he needs to get his fledgling fleet their own start at the the St. Francis YC Big Boat Series in September.

www.ims40.org, or jeantexilc40@aol.com