Racing Cal 9.2
I believe that you have heard very wrong. Although the actual Fastnet Report does not list boat designers and manufacturers, ''Fastnet- Force 10'' and ''Seaworthiness the Forgotten Factor'' does. The then newer IPR designs were heavily criticized. They were criticized for their wide beam, pinched ends, high vertical center of gravities, deep canoe bodies and the classic IOR "three flats" design. Ron Holland''s designs of that era represented the most extreme versions of what not to do. The Ron Holland designed half tonner ''Grimalkin'' is typically held up as the poster child for "what not to do". Almost universally the half tonners and 3/4 tonners had the worst time out there, reporting knock downs, roll overs, long inversion periods and quick motions. I don''t believe that the Holland designed Nicholson''s were any exception.
The example generally cited and which was specifically studied in the Fastnet Report and comapred directly to the half tonner ''Grimalkin'' were the (Jeremy Rogers, I beleive, designed) Contessa 32 of which several were in the race and did exceptionally well.
Having raced on a Nicholson out in the Atlantic, I can assure you that these were prototypical IOR boats of that era with all of their warts and freckles.