Thanks for the feedback. Erik is so knowledgeable and was a real pleasure to interview even with my initial faltering approach. The interview as shown is WYSIWYG with no editing...
The 349 rig although backstayless is different to the Bergstrom set up as it does not have the pre-tension bars, I think maybe it is more along the lines of some of the minitransat boats, but does not require any flicker backstay or runners.
Interestingly the base boat also has completely done away with tracks, instead there is a "floating" ring that acts as a variable point for both the headsail and for the German mainsheet, this can be moved laterally like a barber hauler. The main attachment point for the mainsheet is on a bridle that also "floats" above the companionway, also apparently an idea taken from some modern keelboat classes.
The hydraulic lift keel does sound an advance and maybe the 379 could be retrofitted? being able to lift the keel at a press of a button from the helm sounds very attractive,
Without any bias I was amazed about how roomy the 349 felt compared with my 39i. The double open doors to the forecabin helps the sense of space. On deck the coachroof feels low, despite the good headroom below. It is not obvious from the drawing but there is a slight reverse sheer which means the midships hull is slightly higher than the bow or the stern which adds to internal volume without making the whole topside too high.
Certainly an impressive boat on the show stand, it will be really interesting to see how the 349 along with its numerous options, is like out on the water.