Making something new again is not a project for the faint of heart, but for Lanfranco Cirillo it was worth the challenge. Cirillo approached Luca Devoti, of Devoti Sailing, to invest in a new Finn design. The product: the Finn Devoti Fantastica [D-Fantastica].
No stranger to intimidating projects, Cirillo is most famous for his work as the architect of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s palace, as well as his role on the Fantastica Sailing Team, which sails in the Melges 24, Class 40, and Finn.
“I told him I would like to make something different and make something new,” says Cirillo of his initial conversation with Devoti. “The last real project was in 2000, by Luca [Devoti], and the last change to the generation of the Finn was made around that time. That process was quite long, so I wanted to make an investment.”
The focus of the D-Fantastica project was to create a more efficient hull design. In search of what the company describes as a “near perfect shape,” Devoti Sailing recruited designer Juan Kouyoumdjian to head up the development.
“Rather than doing another re-design of existing hull shapes, the Devoti Fantastica Finn is an innovative, ground-up design,” says Rodney Cobb, Managing Director of Suntouched Sailboats and Devoti’s UK representative. “Therefore, it has no historic baggage to carry, in terms of potentially negative issues.”
The team analyzed the class rules to find all possible design options, and realized there was a larger margin for design than initially anticipated. Kouyoumdjian got to work, reducing the volume of the hull in the middle to create the straightest possible lines at the stern. “Refined 3D modeling was applied to achieve a low drag, minimum pitch Finn, resulting in less physical sailor input and, therefore, more reserve energy,” says Cobb.
Kouyoumdjian and Devoti took the 3D model and incorporated the necessary changes in the cockpit and deck to fit the new shape. The D-Fantastica was born.
“This is a step into the future, a step into new technology,” says Devoti. The history of Devoti is classic, hand-built boats, but the D-Fantastica is built using CNC tooling and molds for the most precise results.
“All D-Fantastica Finns are measured with optimum center of gravity, gyration and are to minimum weight as specified by the Finn Class rules,” says Cobb. “Every Devoti Fantastica Finn is different, in that they are built to the sailor’s preference and tailored to suit them as individuals.”
One sailor who was pleased to get his hands on the new model was Ed Wright, who is sailing one in the 2015 Gold Cup in New Zealand. “The new model is a definite upgrade and delivers supreme speed,” says Wright. “Basically, as a sailor uses one they perform better than they did before. Only time will tell how this new model will change the class.”
“The new model has its limitations in the light winds,” adds Wright. “Once you are hiking it seems faster. I am still in the early days, as production has been full and was hard to got one made in time for the worlds.”
Due to efforts to keep the cost as low as possible [$22,000 for the base boat], Cirillo will see no return on his invenstment. “It’s just for the class,” he says. “I would like all the masters and pros to have this beautiful boat and enjoy it, and the class gets something new.”
“Lanfranco has done so much for the class to develop the newest improvement to be available for everybody,” says Devoti. “The new design will keep the Finn at the forefront of sport and bring more enjoyment and more quality to the sailing.”