The more upwind, the better is a narrow and heavy boat. No doubt about that.
Looking at your conclusions, I have to admit I am quite surprised. I guess I'll have to race the Fox 10.20, and see by myself how this goes. It could be interesting..... I guess I'll need new sails by the time I reach Sydney. :-)
Yes I would be very interested in seeing how the Fox 10.20 would go on an offshore race. That boat is different from the Pogo, not only the hull but mostly the beam, with a significant difference. The Fox 10.20 has 3.60m the Pogo 10.50 has 3.90. Probably the B/D ratio (both boats with 1.95 drafts) is close and around 35%. Probably that will give the Pogo a bigger stability (more form stability) and will make it slightly better downwind but the Fox should be better upwind.
Maybe your time in Australia coincides with the Sydney-Hobart I am sure you would like to do that and it would give a lot of publicity to the boat
Regarding the Class 40 performance we tend to think that it is pretty much an open boat with some limitations concerning making it affordable and I think that was the intention but the Box rule as a snag in it that condition the shape of the boat and greatly limit the designer options: Regarding stability the boat at 90º of heel has to make a righting force of at least 235kgf and a maximum force of 320kg.
The minimum force has to do with safety measures, giving it the ability to recover easily from a knock out but the max force has to do with giving all the boats a similar stability and that has to do with a similar sail performance.
This way of measuring the max righting force for performance purposes limits the choice of the type of boat and don’t make any sense to me. Measuring the Max righting force at 90º will give only one option to the designer: To increase form stability (beam) and to limit the boat ballast to a minimum. Why? Because increasing sail power with form stability has no effect in the force the boat makes to right itself up at 90º while increasing sail power with ballast has a direct effect in that measure at 90º.
This does not make any sense because limits the choice of the type of boats regarding pure performance and because it is stupid to limit final stability. At 90º on an offshore boat you will want to have all the righting force you can at 90º. It will never be too much.
For limiting righting force for performance purposes the force should be measured at 25 or 30º not at 90º.
We tend to think that a 40class boat is the best shape for an offshore boat assuming wrongly that the designers can pretty much design what they want and that is just the better compromise because it is what they all design but it is not so and evidence on offshore races with varied winds show that those boats overall performance is inferior to other 40ft racing boats that are not limited by that senseless rule.
The 40 class boats have a similar overall performance with fast cruiser racers like the J122, Ker 39, King 40, First 40 (and are often beaten by them) and have a very significant inferior overall performance compared with the fastest racing 40ft, like the Farr 400 or the ker 40.
On the Round the Island Race, a race with varied winds, even a smaller racing boat, a single Ker 11.3 has beaten every year (I have saw in the last 3) very clearly and without any doubt four class 40 . The races had very different weather patterns, the last with stronger winds on 2010 with medium to light winds and on 2009 with light winds.
With light winds all the Class 40 were also beaten very clearly by a 37 cruiser racer, a Santa Cruz 37 (the fastest 40class by 17 minutes).
On 2011: Ker 11.3 – 6.20 The fastest 40class – 6.36. On this one raced also a racing Ker 40 – 5.53 (look at the difference).
On 2010 Ker 11.3 – 7.12 The fastest 40class – 7.41
On 2009 Ker 11.3 – 9.48 The fastest 40class – 10.10
And we are talking about the performance of a single boat against the best performance of four, which makes a big difference.
All these boats(that are faster than a class 40) have one thing in common, a moderate beam, are heavier and have a much bigger B/D ratio, in some cases almost half the weight of the boat is on the keel. They are heavier but they are faster
I know that downwind a beamy boat with the beam brought aft is more stable and easier to sail solo but I doubt that it will be easier to sail upwind, probably quite the contrary. It is really a shame that the Box rule for the 40 Class would not allow different kinds of hulls to be competitive. I would like to see what is really the fastest type of 40ft, for solo sailing or short crew sailing, a boat like the 40 class or a less beamy boat with a bigger B/D ratio.