Although the Baba 40 was never conceived as a racing machine, Airloom has been raced successfully ever since her launch in 1986. The boat does have some modifications, principally to the rig, which to begin with is 4.5' higher than the standard. This added height was designed by the same Bob Perry that designed the boat originally, and brings the total sail area up to approximately 1300 Sq. Ft. Additionally, Airloom carries a number of standard symmetrical spinnakers which further add to the off- wind total by up to 887 Sq. Ft. (Spinnaker -1762 sq. ft. minus Jib-875 sq. ft.)

Other modifications made specifically to provide incremental improvements in performance include:

Flush through hull fittings Adjustable backstay tensioner Full-length battened mainsail Sailing instruments (i.e.. Wind direction/speed, VMG, Kts, etc.) Larger Primary plus secondary winches Dolphin striker (to allow for tighter backstay/forestay) Strengthened mainsheet traveler Spinnaker pole and running rigging/gear Running backstays

PHRF Handicap Rating
Airloom is technically viewed as a "cutter rig", although she is typically sailed as a sloop, with the staysail reserved for "number 3" conditions, usually for winds exceeding 30 kts. Otherwise, the boat is equipped and rated with a 130% genoa, and feathering propeller. She is assigned a PHRF rating of 164. This rating, and the computations that were used to determine it, have changed little since her initial rating was applied in 1986, other than to make necessary adjustments for the addition of a spinnaker.

Editor's note: Since Airloom is the only Baba 40 to be rated in the Northwest, it's rig dimensions for a number of years appeared in the official PHRF record as " Baba 40-1 standard". This administrative error was corrected in 2005 by clarifying the designation for Airloom as a Baba 40-2, with no effect on the actual as-sailed dimensions or rating. This clarification will serve to keep things fair for other Baba 40-1 owners, should any decide to ever have their boat's rated.

Sailing Characteristics
Since Airloom is essentially a full keel design displacing 30.000 lbs, a competitive strategy is fairly straight forward; avoid all but the most necessary course changes. Up wind, this means as few tacks as possible, and down wind choose rumb line courses. Light air demands painstaking attention to keep the boat moving. Once she looses way, you're done. Since her weatherly performance infrequently matches her competitors, she is seldom the first boat to the whether mark. As a result, her down wind speed becomes essential, and often carries her to victory, provided the skipper adheres to the most fundamental rule of geometry; the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

Crew Protocol
As for the ship's company, we always strive to keep fun as our top priority, and although all aboard will agree that winning can be fun, it's even more important to stay friends at the end of the day. For this reason we try to keep things light and cheerful, with a minimum of fussing and fighting. Each person is expected to perform the duties commensurate with their assigned position. Aggressive intervention by others is frowned upon, and constructive coaching is encouraged all 'round. All this, and a healthy dose of humor and good cheer wins the day, and sometimes the race too.