Fast Forward Composites was launched in 2015, with the single-minded purpose of creating high performance, state of the art, foiling catamarans. FFC’s production facility is located in the storied town of Bristol, R.I., in a 30,000 square foot repurposed building on Broadcommon Ave, also known within the boatbuilding community as “Boatbuilder’s Road.” The vision was to deliver the Eagle Class 53 to the open market. A safe, exhilarating, foiling catamaran. A direct descendant of the AC72 in every respect, with highly engineered structural components built to the highest specifications using advanced aerospace materials. The Eagle Class will have the ability to foil, or lift out of the water and ride only on the small lifting surfaces of the foils, at extremely low wind speeds. Currently, only the America’s Cup catamarans can achieve this level of performance, at a scale big enough to allow room for crew accommodations. There are two factors driving the total performance of a catamaran like the Eagle Class. First, the total weight of the boat. Achieving the capability to foil or “fly, requires the boat to be as light as possible, and this reality drives many decisions in the design and build process. Equally important are the shape, efficiency, and reliability of the foils. To say that the success or failure of the Eagle Class concept is riding on the Foils is no play on words, it is absolutely true. Formula One or Indy Car teams obsess on tires, the only things that actually touch the ground. When “flying,” the foils of the Eagle Class will be the only part of the boat that touches the water, creating the potential for amazing sailing speeds at wind strengths that keep conventional catamarans stuck to the water. Speed without control is dangerous. To increase the safety and reliability of the Eagle Class 53, the technical team at FFC are using America’s Cup technology to create a foil control system that will allow the boat to fly with limited input from the skipper and crew. The vision behind the Eagle Class 53 is simple; to deliver pure America’s Cup technology and performance to the open sailboat market, in a safe, reliable platform.
Bringing this vision to fruition are a mosaic of talented boatbuilders, yacht designers, naval architects and foiling specialists from around the world. Our workforce consists of seasoned composite specialists as well as young graduates recruited from regional boatbuilding schools such as the Landing School in Arundel, Maine and the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island. Amongst the team of many are Tomas Gonzalez Zenoz, Wolfgang Chamberlain, Manuel Armenanzas and Paul Bieker.
Tomas Gonzalez Zenoz, the owner and president of Fast Forward Composites is a passionate sailor with well over 150,000 miles of ocean sailing experience on high performance multihulls. In 2001, Mr. Gonzalez Zenoz placed third in the Jules Verne around the world sailing race on the the 115 foot catamaran TEAM ADVENTURE, captained by Cam Lewis. In addition to his sailing experience, Tomas is also an experience project manager, overseeing the design and construction of several large high-performance multihulls such as “Sunshine,” a 90 foot carbon catamaran built in 2010. Off the water, Mr. Gonzalez has also built and managed successful start-up companies like Caliente, a music label which won three Grammy awards, and the jewelry company Bijoux Vanity Inc.
Wolfgang Chamberlain, vice president and lead project manager, brings 20 years of boatbuilding experience to FFC. A veteran of five America’s Cup campaigns including two victories with Oracle Racing, Wolfgang was brought into the team to manage the build program.
Manu Armenanzas, Foil Construction Manager, came to FFC in November of 2015. Wolfgang and Manu worked together during the construction of Oracle Racing’s multihulls for the both the 2010 and 2013 America’s Cup races. Manu is well respected within the America’s Cup community of designers and builders for his meticulous and innovative approach to building foils and rudders.
Paul Bieker, Head Designer, is Seattle-based yacht designer with an extensive background in foils and America’s Cup designs. His experience and ability to seamlessly pull together all aspects of the design, from concept through to construction is unparalleled.