Apart from the obvious requirements of strength, stability and safety, the basic performance design brief for CERAMCO NEW ZEALAND was to produce a yacht within a reasonable budget that could take line honors in the Southern Ocean legs of the 1981-82 Whitbread Round the World Race. It also had to have a chance on handicap in those legs and in the race overall.
In the case of CERAMCO NEW ZEALAND we opted for a boat designed primarily for speed, but with removal of any obvious rating penalty features where the effect on performance would be virtually unmeasurable but the effect on rating considerable.
Theoretically, the longer a yacht is the faster it is. This would normally be true in Round the Buoys or short ocean races where nearly unlimited crew power is available. But in a race such as the Whitbread, where boats are racing for as long as 40 days in one stretch, both the skipper, Peter Blake, and ourselves felt there were limitations to this relationship of speed and length. We finally felt 68 feet was the optimum length to satisfy the design requirements.
CERAMCO's performance in the 6 month, 27,000 mile 1981-82 Whitbread Round the World Race was outstanding. A full account of CERAMCO and her crew during this epic race has been written by skipper Peter Blake in his book "Blake's Odyssey."