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36
DESIGN

Always Ahead of the Curve
 

For boat designer Rodger Martin, it's the key to his company's success.

In the sailing world, shorthanded races (those with just one or two crew members per boat) have a reputation for being especially grueling.

In May, seven two-person crews competed in the Atlantic Cup, a 16-day Class 40 race between Charleston, South Carolina, and Newport, Rhode Island, with a stopover in New York City. Pictured here in New York Harbor is Icarus Racing, a Class 40 boat designed by Rodger Martin Design of Newport and skippered by teammates Tim Fetsch (on the stern) and Ben Poucher (below deck).

The 40-foot monohull, which is on loan from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Sailing Foundation, has eight sails. Since South African native Rodger Martin founded the company in 1984, he and partner Ross Weene have designed about 60 boats for international clients, averaging about $200,000 in annual sales.

Despite being one of the oldest boats in the race--it was built in 2007--Icarus placed third. "Rodger was really ahead of his time when he designed her," Poucher says.

New York Harbor 05.14.13 7:51 P.M. / Photograph by Nathaniel Welch

 

IMAGE: Nathaniel Welch
From the July/August 2013 issue of Inc. magazine




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