That's quite a surprise, the little one from Italia yachts. They started with the 10.98 that was a pretty fast boat but the next boats, the 12.98, 13.98 and 15.98, even if fast cruising boats, were not proportionally as fast as the first one, pointed to clients that like more luxurious boats, competing directly with Solaris on that market.
Well this changed with the little one. The 9.98 is even more sportive than the 10.98, a true cruiser racer, designed to win on IRC or ORC besides cruising. As most boats today, it is a team design effort: Matteo Polli was the main NA, Matteo Ledri worked the CFD and VPP analysis and Kristian Macchiut has done the design (interior and exterior). Matteo Poli probably will not be known by many but he is not only the Chief Designer of Italia Yachts as he was the one that designed one of the best Italian cruiser racers ever, the M37 that won the last ORCI world championship.
The IY 9.98 is not only gorgeous but also very fast and effective :It has won the class on its first race and stayed at only one point from the overall victory (a J122). It is good to note that Polli, the NA, was part of the crew.
Dimensions: Loa 10.30m; Hull Lenght 9.98m; Beam 3.54m; Draft 1.90m; Displacement 4500kg; Sail Area: Main 38m2; Jib 32m2; Spi 90m2Italia yachts says about it:
"This new boat is designed specifically for fun sailing and she is particularly dedicated to handicap racing (ORC and IRC) but without the preclusion of being used for short cruises. Great attention has been paid in order to create a fast boat but at the same time easy to sail and to get to maximum performance. The main objective has been to find the correct balance between the different kind of use, from windward-leeward races to offshore racing or cruising, obtaining a true all-round with an optimal balance between upwind and downwind performance both in light and strong winds.
The hull is the outcome of numerous fluid dynamics (CFD) and statistical analysis crossed with each other using performance prediction programs (VPP) and compared with the various rating systems. These studies have lead to a new generation of hull lines which meets the main targets of the project. The particular geometry allows having very slender waterlines and straight buttocks when upright giving an advantage on downwind legs, whereas at increasing heeling angles, waterlines get much wider ensuring greater stability but still remaining symmetrical and balanced. A medium-light displacement allows an optimal ratio between pure performance and rating and also a front positioning in the usually crowded fleets.
Hull and deck are built in sandwich using PVC foam with different densities; skins consist of E glass biaxial and unidirectional reinforcements impregnated with vinylester resin. The structural carbon reinforced frame integrates the floors and some parts of the interiors, creating a single structure which supports the loads of the mast, keel and shrouds.
Hull and deck are finished in gelcoat and with antiskid on working areas.Computational fluid dynamics has been extensively used also for the appendages together with the experience gained directly during regattas, this combination has led to a perfect compromise between performances and ease of handling. The outstanding shape of the fin-torpedo assembly which is entirely made of lead has a very high hydrodynamic efficiency and accounts for over 40% of the displacement. The foil sections come out from a careful optimization process: the result is the minimum drag together with good flow stability in all conditions. The generous rudder area and the high aspect ratio grant superb maneuverability and exceptional sensitivity at the helm."
It seems a great design to me. The big B/D ratio and the considerable beam and hull form stability will give it a huge stability and even if the stern design is more adapted to racing and to maximize the hull stability at big angles of heel (upwind with the crew on the rail), probably it will be a relatively simple boat to sail solo and a very rewarding boat to have fun while cruising. Regarding racing he is already showing its potential and besides all that it is truly beautiful ;-)