SCUD MISSILE
Classic Boat|March 2021
Herreshoff’s newly-restored Bar Harbor 31 Scud lit up the classic racing scene in the Med in 2020 with a double win at Cannes and Saint-Tropez
STEFFAN MEYRIC HUGHES 
SCUD MISSILE

In the late summer and early autumn of 2020, the clouds briefly parted between lockdowns and the world stepped outside for a short spell of freedom. Throughout spring and summer, boatbuilding and restoration work had continued around the world behind closed doors at a steady, uninterrupted pace, but sailing had been put on hold.

Amid a series of ever more affirmative press releases (“We will go ahead!”) from the biggest beano of them all – Voiles de Saint-Tropez – a lean shape was taking form in a shed on the Tuscan coast.

In the end, the press releases came true, and that shape, a newly-rebuilt Bar Harbor 31 called Scud, was ready. With the huge rig, low freeboard and menacing, low-profile upperworks, she looked dangerous, and so she proved to be, winning first in class at Régates Royales in Cannes in September. Straight after that she reprised the feat at Saint-Tropez.

But is Scud, which had only emerged a few months earlier from her chrysalis, really the fastest classic yacht in the Med? Or even the world? The results suggest she was in 2020, but of course, it comes down as much as anything to the rating given by the Comité International de la Méditerranée (CIM); and the race crew on the day. Those factors played to Scud’s advantage, not only in racing, but, in the case of a good rating, her survival.

In 1902, when they were designed, the Seawanhaka Rule to which they were optimised (which penalised LWL length but didn’t take into account the LOD) was “in vogue” and the “scow-like hull of the Bar Harbor with its long overhanging bow and stern was a result,” writes US sailing authority Maynard Bray.

This story is from the March 2021 edition of Classic Boat.

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This story is from the March 2021 edition of Classic Boat.

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