The Sport has the same slippery hull form as the Raw 30. Where they differ is in the interior space, the rig and the construction materials. The changes were affected in comparison to the Raw 30 model to create a sporty version at a market palatable price without making the platform to boring to sail.
The Sport Series is targeted at the sailor who enjoys spirited round the cans racing but needs the full cabin to fulfill more sociable obligations.
The Sport has class-leading interior volume and a large cockpit. The Sport will be equally at home taking friends and family on an island getaway adventure as it will be at racing around the cans.
The rig has been made more maleable in comparison to the Raw by reducing the rig height. Whereas the Raw is designed to fly the main hull for stretched performance, the Sports have their rigs optimised to produce sensational sailing without too much fear of main hull flying antics.
The water profile is the same as the RAW Rocket this will ensure that the performance is very near to RAW's. The cabin top is wider and almost goes to the gunwhale. This gives a nice airy interior space that is wide and thanks to the modern deep monocoque design, has generous headroom.
Adding an airy feel into the interior space is aided by the port lights, Lewmar deck hatches and LED lights. Modern fabrics and carefully chosen wood grains offer an interior space that is useful and pleasing.
A galley area, settee and dining space occupy the main salon area while an enclosed head is accessed through a companionway in the main bulkhead. The other opening in the main bulkhead leads to the comfortable forward vee-berth.
Up on deck, the cockpit is slightly shorter than the maximum cockpit design of RAW. The cockpit is ergonomically arranged to offer an efficient work area as well as a comfortable space for relaxing.
The wing-nets are huge, great for crew leverage when racing and capacious enough to pitch tents on when camping over!
While the rig is shorter than RAW monster mast, the Sport is no dull slouch. It's an efficient sailing machine that extracts maximum out of the sail plan. Part of the success in that area is a sail designer that worked on the sail and wing shapes for the Americas Cup program. In most cases, it is not overall size that will make the difference to performance but rather it is the cross section shape.
Our experience while race testing the RAW Rocket proved just how capable the platform is at carrying its sail power without developing any threatening behaviour. The Automated Reefing system ensures efficient stowing of the sail during periods of strong winds. The Automated Reefing System operates by 'pulling' one string to control the tack and clew of the sail at the same time. This makes sail handling much easier and requires fewer people to activate.
Lowered, the solid Carbon daggerboard offers scintillating helm balance and huge upwind ability. Raising the daggerboard when coming to shore is accomplished by pulling one of two control lines. In fact, all the control systems are simple and easily understood. The sail plan includes a main sail and jib as working sails. The jib is roller furled as are the 'flying sails' including the Screecher and Spinnaker.
The Airplays have an interesting hull forms. If you look at the floats they are firstly heavily canted and then flat bottomed. The canting of the floats puts them into the vertical plane when they are loaded. This reduces drag and increases the efficiency of the flat bottoms. The flat bottoms work by planing much as a waterski would. The faster you go the more lift they will try and develop. It's like reducing friction as you go faster, the boat accelerates more. In more wind, this gives the Airplay a very nice feel. Instead of bogging down it seems to just go faster and faster, it's a nice feeling.
The main hull has a lot of rocker (upward curvature in the profile) in the aft section of the hull. When running downwind, this curve sucks the rear end of the boat downwards which is then lifting the bow upwards. This allows the Airplay to have more sail carrying ability when running hard in stronger winds. This will translate into a nice 'unloaded' feel on the helm. At the same time that the stern sucks down, this will put more load onto the flats of the 'waterski's on the floats'... That means a shock absorbing effect with some load sharing as the 'ski's' control the amount of sucking down. In essence, more speed is a possibility!
One of the best comments we've had revolves around "now that we're sitting on the boat, its way bigger than we thought!" It's true, on the spec' sheets 30 feet doesn't sound so large but spec' sheets can't really relay the huge volume that is on tap. The volume in the ama's is the first most noticeable characteristic. It's definitely a big step up off the dock! The ama volume translates into speed as the boat loads up. The volume for speed in the mainhull is deep and that keeps the arms very clear of the water but what it really creates is useful headroom. In turn, the Airplay Sport interior has the most volume of boats in its class.
But the nicest comment we recieved so far has been "it carries the sail area so well. It's not ummanageable by any stretch of the imagination. It doesn't feel pressed and it doesn't do anything unpredictable." With that, we feel chuffed that things are where they should be.
Who's it for?
The Sport is for those who want a very well behaved trimaran that althouth it holds an emphasis on performance provides enough comforts to ensure that cruising weekends are indeed a reality. Perhaps the 'focal' point down below is the enclosed head. This makes such a difference to most people who go weekending.
But if class-leading volume is still not enough, then add the aft cabin of the Sport Plus model. The aft cabin by virtue of it's location creates a centre cockpit and for some, this enclosed environment creates a safe haven.
But there's still another group of sailors that want the space and even more pace. That means dropping the RAW rig onto the Sport platform, and now you have the Hybrid. This is what we believe will be the most popular platform from the Airplay range.
with the SPORT
The SPORT is a
The deep monocoque design is a little more evident in this photo! The 'deep' main hull allows the beams to be mounted higher to avoid wave strike. It's drier and offers better headroom without compromising design ethics.
This is the flat bottom of the Airplay Series. It's as flat as a water ski and works in a similar fashion. The faster you go the more it 'lifts'. It lifts you go faster! Flat on the main hull also means it stays upright when you park it on the beach! NOTE: the rocker profile on the main hull really kicks up in the back of the boat. This shape sucks the transom of the boat down a bit when you're running fast. As it 'sucks' it down, the front of the boat can lift so that it's easier to drive downwind!