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UK Sailmakers Ireland’s Barry Hayes caught these great photos and video of the magical classic IOR racer IMP showing off her total refit and new X-Drive Carbon sails.
Those who restore classic yachts help maintain sailing history – from wooden schooners and meter boats to one-designs. Now, the classic IOR Racer IMP has been restored.
George Radley Jr. of Cobh, Ireland, has owned the Ron Holland-designed IMP since the ’90s and has just done a major restoration of this famous 1970s IOR winner. Over the decades, the boat has kept her distinctive look with her topsides painted in a rainbow horizontal green bands going from light green to dark green at the waterline. Originally built for San Francisco sailor David Allen in 1977, the boat was a radical design that turned out to be a breakthrough on the IOR scene.
IOR Racer video
Construction-wise she was revolutionary for her internal geodesic tubular frame that made her stiff and light. Holland also deviated from the IOR norm by designing wider stern sections that gave IMP superior downwind control over the standard IOR designs that had narrow “pintails.” Those narrow sterns led to the saying, “Downwind in heavy air, IOR boats dig a hole in the water that they then fall into.” The results were immediate – IMP won the 1977 SORC and led the US Admiral’s Cup team to victory both in 1977 and again in 1979.
Radley worked with UK Sailmakers Ireland’s Barry Hayes on this restoration and they agreed to dress the “new” IMP in UK Sailmakers X-Drive® Carbon upwind sails and UK Matrix spinnakers. In fact, the design brief was for a set of sails that can be used for both racing and cruising. That is why Radley selected X-Drive carbon on a polyester laminate with a light taffeta—performance, light weight, and durable! Notice that the genoa has reef points with extra rows of carbon strands parallel to the luff to take the luff loads when roller reefed. A furler will be used for cruising. Stand-by for updates on this modern classic taking on the European sailing community by storm.