Beneteau America and the American Sailing Association (ASA) entered in a new strategic partnership, as disclosed last October 2013, at the Annapolis boat show.
Laurent Fabre, President of Beneteau America, and Lenny Shabes, ASA’s founder and chairman of the board, have announced their joint collaboration on the design of a new ASA-exclusive sail training vessel.
The new sailboat, ASA First 22, is being produced in Beneteau’s factory of Marion, South Carolina. Some of its features include an extended cockpit to give students and instructors more room, a rig designed specifically for sail training, and ergonomic and safety innovations to ensure that every sail is comfortable and safe.
The Finot Conq & Associates design resembles that of the popular First 20 but with a deck and rig specifically developed to enhance the learning experience of the students. In fact, the research and development team at Beneteau has used input from ASA instructors, students, and leading competitive sailors to perfect the design.
“Throughout the process, we have sought the feedback of a representative group of affiliated schools and instructors. Since they have influenced the initial design of the boat and continue to offer valuable input, we’re confident the new ASA First 22 will be a great success.” noted Shabes of ASA.
“This project is particularly relevant and exciting to Beneteau; building small sailing vessels to invite more people to experience the thrill of sailing is exactly what our company’s success is built upon,” explained Laurent Fabre. “We feel very fortunate to partner with ASA to rejuvenate their associated schools’ fleets geared towards new sailors. We’re confident this new vessel will enhance their students’ and instructors’ time on the water. And it’s just the beginning!”
The new ASA First 22 will be revealed at the 2014 Annapolis Sailboat Show, October 9th – 13th.