Racing on board new launch Tempus Fugit

10 October 2013 • Written by Risa Merl

The first Humphreys-designed Tempus 90 was launched by Arkin Pruva Yachts in August and christened Tempus Fugit, and she was soon put to the test racing in both the Regates Royales - Panerai Trophy in Cannes and the Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez before the end of the Mediterranean season, even if the Regates Royales was in some ways an extension of her sailing trials. Boat International had the opportunity to join her during Les Voiles and see this J Class-inspired beauty test her mettle against the carbon machines in her class.

Tempus Fugit performed 'beyond expectations' during her first two regattas. Proving she could hold her own in a class of predominantly carbon-crafted racers and racer cruisers during Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, she finished with a joint fifth place in the 23-boat IRC Class A.

Commissioned by yard owner Erbil Arkin, the 27.4m Tempus 90 is the first of a planned series by the British studio to be built at the Turkish yard. ‘We were commissioned to do a J, picking one of the old designs and revamping it,’ says Rob Humphreys, founder of Humphreys Yacht Design. ‘We were very keen, but at the end of the day it came down to the general usability of the boat and running costs. A J would be fine for regattas, albeit expensive, but the deep draught and rather narrow hull are problematic for contemporary cruising, so we concluded that we should design a range of boats that were spiritually linked to the Js but drawing benefit from everything we know about yacht design and modern cruising requirements.’

The low deckhouses of the Tempus 90 echo traditional J Class styling, but the freeboard is higher and the 5.6m-beam relatively wider, allowing larger accommodation and a more practical live-aboard interior.

Tempus Fugit is cold moulded with epoxy resin, and her mahogany wood hull is varnished. This makes her a head-turner on the race course, and passerby were seen literally stopping in their tracks as they walked the dock to get a better look at the gleaming wood hull. Her rig is a contemporary sloop with slab reefing, swept back spreaders, a short top mast, fixed backstay and self-tacking headsail option for cruising.

‘Underwater we weren’t constrained,’ says Humphreys. ‘We wanted to produce a well balanced, nice sailing boat that wasn’t at all clunky and wasn’t going to rely on having pro sailors. The Js originally were racing machines – the Tempus class has been developed to be fast but with good manners.’

Stay tuned for a full feature on Tempus Fugit in a future issue of Boat International and on this site.

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