History in the Making

Red Jacket

In 1965 Canadian yachtsman Perry Connolly commissioned Cuthbertson and Cassian to design a custom 40-foot (12m) racing sloop. Connolly requested "the meanest, hungriest 40-footer afloat". The boat, named Red Jacket, was built by Bruckmann Manufacturing in fiberglass with a balsa core; the resulting structure was (and is) strong, stiff and significantly lighter than the wood or solid fiberglass yachts then sailing. Red Jacket is considered to be the first sailboat engineered with a cored hull. She was launched in May 1966 and took 11 of 13 starts that summer. That winter, Red Jacket headed south and won the famed SORC (Southern Ocean Racing Circuit), competing against over 85 of the best racers of the day. Red Jacket was the first Canadian boat to win the SORC.