Cowes  Race  School
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Zero II

For the past 10 years we have been using various yachts to offer our coaching but have always struggled to find a 40 ft high performance IRC race yacht that was regularly available. This lead us to search for a yacht of our own.

Cowes Race School wanted a custom built yacht that had a proven track record and was also going to be able to fully challenge the crews we put on her. The yacht needed to be right at the forefront of design and have a full range of sails to meet the job.

After much searching we settled on the highly successful Mills 39. First launched as MarinersCove she went on to win four National IRC Championship titles, Cowes Week and a Commodores cup to name but a few events. Next she was sold and renamed Dignity. She continued her winning ways with wins in various regattas including the Vice Admirals Cup and also added another Commodores Cup to her list of trophies.

Throughout her life she has been professionally maintained and regularly optimized to meet any rule changes. 

In November 2012 Cowes Race School bought her and renamed her Zero II.

She is a 39’ fully IRC optimised racer with an edge upwind in a breeze, and reaching and running in all conditions. On deck the open cockpit aft allows for twin wheels with good clearance between them. Although a single wheel may be more usual on designs of this size; the benefit to the helming position, the ability to move from the hatch to the transom without leaving the cockpit, and the ability to maintain the cockpit floor as an unbroken structural element gives the twin wheels the edge. The mainsheet position is ideally sited close to the helm, with the winch and pushbutton backstay controls to hand.
All supported by a mainly Harken deck package as well as B and G electronics.


Below she has a complete interior with an enclosed double cabin forwards, seatbacks which lift to form berths over the settees amidships, and Pullman berths aft. The layout is intended for practical use offshore, with a full galley and Nav station with stowage behind on either side of the main hatch.


The carbon 2 spreader rig from Formula Spars is a custom built version of the standard IRC rig with curved spreaders helping the rig envelope match the upwind sail plan. Including titanium spreader ends all in the interest of saving weight. 

She has a full wardrobe of extensively developed custom made sails from North. 45 in total. There are jib tops, code 0's, spinnaker staysails, reaching staysails, plenty of 3DL and 3Di mainsails and headsails and a huge selection of symmetrical and asymmetrical spinnakers. In short we have the full inventory to suit the event whether it be inshore or offshore, light or heavy winds.


Where she can be optimised she has been. Where any weight could be saved, it has been replaced with carbon or titanium. Even a carbon weed stick.  

Zero II is one of the most successful custom IRC designs ever built. Fully race ready for the season.