Leg 5, Day 1
19 March 2012
Amory Ross, MCM, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG
LOCATION: 200 miles northwest of Auckland
WINDSPEED: 25 KTS
BOATSPEED: 18 KTS
DISTANCE TO CAPE HORN: 4,400 miles
It feels like I was just here on this laptop writing one of these reports, like Auckland was one more vivid dream, the result of another long day’s exhaustive efforts. The familiarity with the schedule, the boat, the struggles, they now seem so standard that it’s hard to believe we actually got off somewhere. But it’s true: New Zealand did happen, and after just a few days rest we were hardly more refreshed when we left then we were when we arrived.
But even in it’s briefness, it was a stopover well worth the trip. The massive welcome, the gigantic sendoff, and everything in between, it far exceeded expectations. I had heard so much about “En-Zed,” so many good things about the people, the islands, and their passion for sailing, and it was all correct. The only problem I have is that we didn’t get to stay longer! So thank you Auckland, I look forward to returning one day soon.
Nonetheless, we are excited for Leg 5 and what lies ahead. The fleet is suffering a pretty heavy beating here in the early going, but it was expected and we were mentally prepared for the pasting (physically, not so much…). Fortunately, it is easy to get motivated for the Southern Ocean, Cape Horn, and hopeful continued momentum.
From the onset it’s obvious this is a “different” leg. It is a step up for sure, and we spent a lot of time talking about the seriousness of our destination. The Southern Ocean is a place of awesome power and beautiful isolation, but potential dangers too. I felt nervous for the first time this race while standing on the dock before leaving. We will be pushing a fast boat 100% day and night through the world’s coldest ocean. But, it was being nervous in a good way – the kind that makes you appreciate what you’re doing, realize how lucky you are to do it, and respect the way it’s done.
The guys say the Southern Ocean is life-changing, and while I don’t yet know what that means, I’m anxious to find out for myself.
March 19th, 2012
With 7 bullets in 11 races, Pete Melvin took the New Zealand A-Cat National title ahead of Luc Du bois and Murray Philpot back in January. This nice shot from SA’er ‘dirty technique’ shows off how beautiful Mercury Bay is as well as how good the middle of the line can be when you’ve got balls…and the sail number 69. More shots here, and results here.
March 19th, 2012
oh it’s on
This weekend’s OYRA Light Bucket race was the first offshore race of the season in San Francisco, and as such, it was the first time i’ve had the Moore 24 offshore. I scrambled to get the boat ready before the weekend, picked up a couple last-minute crew and hit the starting line. In what was a weird, lumpy sea state with light variable breeze at the start, we worked offshore heading toward the mark, which was 13 miles offshore. A northerly breeze filled and we were off to the races, sailing overpowered with the 1 to fetch the mark. Rounding with bigger boats, we popped the kite and sailed a tight reach back to try to lay the Golden Gate Bridge. With breeze that was said to touch 30 knots, “US 101” was absolutely lit up. After tons of wipe-outs, we eventually peeled to a jib after an interesting take down, while barreling towards Ocean Beach at 15 knots. We sailed back under the gate on a jib reach, as did the rest of the fleet. A big Beneteau, “Ohana”, towed us in to Sausalito after the finish and provided the post-race rum.
We ended up correcting out to 3rd in the 12-boat PHRO2 fleet, consisting of Olson 30‘s and 34’s, First 10R’s, Express 37, Wyliecat 30, etc. Stoked on the result, grateful to my crew and motivated to get faster before SHTP! The tiny little Cal 20 “Can O’ Whoopass” corrected out to another victory in local SF offshore stuff. It was the first offshore race for “US 101”, and with a busy spring full of offshore racing and boat work, we’ll be ready for the Singlehanded Transpac this year. 2012 SHTP entrant and all around bad ass Jim Quanci dominated his class in his Cal 40 “Green Buffalo”. Not bad results for the two green boats on Saint Patty’s Day! With a slew of ultralights, the Buffalo, an Open 50 and several cruisey boats, it’s going to be a killer race with a potential 25-30 boat fleet! Follow the race at www.singlehandedtranspac.com.
Follow our campaign at www.openbluehorizon.com and on Facebook as Ronnie Simpson Ocean Racing. To donate to support our mission of introducing wounded veterans to sailing, please visit http://hopeforthewarriors.org/ronnie.html. We are working hard to be able to pull off this first clinic, April 18-20 in San Francisco working with BAADS (the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors). We will be introducing ten wounded Iraq/ Afghanistan vets to the sport of sailing. Hotels, Adaptive transport, airfare; It gets expensive. The boat is already funded. 100% of your proceeds go to the cause, through Hope for the Warriors, a 4-star charity boasting 92-percent fiscal efficiency. These clinics are going to change lives in men and women that have made huge sacrifices for this country. Any donation, even 5 bucks makes a huge difference. Check us out at the Strictly Sail Pacific Show in Oakland in 3 weeks. I’ll be speaking about our campaign and our mission, as well as raffling off a haul-out from Bay Marine Boatworks in Point Richmond.
Stay tuned, there’s a lot more to come before SHTP! – Ronnie Simpson.
March 19th, 2012
I shot this video in Australia last December as part of groundbreaking rip current study by Ad Reniers, Jamie MacMahan, and Rob Brander. The goal of this video is to transmit a simple message from their research, if you get stuck in a rip current, the best thing for you to do is not to try and swim out of it. This is counter to the longstanding and well known advice of beach goers to "swim parallel" to shore.
The problem with this advice is that rip currents usually create circulation patterns, so in many circumstance swimming parallel to shore will mean swimming directly against the current. Having gotten "stuck" in these things myself and felt the panic creep up on me, I 100% realize that staying calm is the number one priority for staying safe. After reading a story from 2010 in NSW Austalia about a husband who drown with his wife while trying to save her from a rip….all while his 3 children watched from the beach, I realized people NEED to know about this stuff. Spread the word and be safe!
March 19th, 2012
Business travel takes me to the Adriatic Port of Rijeka, in Northwestern Croatia. An early spring day brings out the best competition from Croatia, Hungary, and Italy.
Note the absence of the ubiquitous mid-line sag – it’s easier to call the line when sighting from the quay-side instead of the back of the boat. They might be onto something – the starting sequence is counted out over a boom-box with Rock&Roll music as a backdrop! – Anarchist Jon.
March 19th, 2012
Great day sailing on Wellington Harbour. Sunshine, flat water, 15kn of breeze.
Four races to go in the Season Championship and Rocket Science (Thompson 750) is looking good for the podium in their first season.
Then they cut it too close behind Clear Vision (Young 11, and current PHRF leader). Clear Vision didn’t even know it happened. But we bet you can tell.
Oops. Anarchist Dr. Bob
March 19th, 2012
Super Yacht Sail Boats competed at the year old Costa Smeralda Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda, BVI’s in the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous. "Thirteen sailing yachts, 96’ – 179’ in length, competed for the Boat International Media Trophy in races held March 15 – 17. Wally 101, Indio, took the title from Hanuman after winning the final race on corrected time. Hanuman, a stunning J Class 138’ Royal Huisman, and winner of last year’s inaugural event, was second overall, and event newcomer, the Philippe Briand designed 125’ sloop, P2 was third".
March 19th, 2012
Here we go. Here we go again. Props to Skooly D.
March 17th, 2012
March 17th, 2012
As if the Nood regattas aren’t lame enough (way too much officious bullshit, $55 tickets per person for the right to buy drinks at their "tent party", rampant dorks in blue blazers, er, we mean polo shirts, mandatory US Sailing membership for the privilege of entering, etc.) now comes word that not only did they decide to move the outside courses inside because of "conditions", now they have abandoned the racing completely in the south bay and pulled the plug after a whopping 1 race in the north bay. San Diego is soft, and this happens almost every time it blows over 25 here. What, a little wind and rain are too much for bay racing??? Weak!
March 17th, 2012
UPDATE: Our forecaster clearly sucks, because it’s already blowing 15 knots in Auckland, with the possibility of even more for today’s In-Port Race!
Sure the forecast is pretty shite, but given the bare-knuckle brawl between Puma, Tele, and Camper on the last leg, how can we not watch some of the in-port racing action in Auckland? Anxious to see if Camper can finally get their dog barking in front of the home team? Or maybe you want to see if you can tell from the helo shots if the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing meltdown rumors are true? Might the Moose finally get loose with light air for his old steed?
For Westerners, Friday night is the time to tune into the drama. 0100 GMT (Saturday morning) means 8 PM Friday in New York and 5 PM in Cali. Be there. Or better yet, right here.
March 16th, 2012
Just a month after Veolia announced its departure from the yachting scene, one of ocean racing’s most visible and successful sponsors of the last decade called it quits today. Groupama CEO Thierry Martel announced that the big French insurance company would pull out of both sailing and football (Gpama sponsor both Lyon’s and Marseilles’ popular soccer teams) when their current contracts expire. The cutbacks are part of a 400 million dollar overhead reduction necessitated by the huge losses suffered in a brutal 2011 that saw Groupama post a nearly 2 billion Euro loss.
“We will continue until the end of the race in July,” said Comms Director Sylvain Burel, “but the future is uncertain.” Even in French, it sounds like the financially troubled insurer is already trying to back out of the commitment to a second VOR campaign so widely reported when Cammas joined entered the 2011-12 race.
We reached out to Groupama Racing’s comms team, who sent us the following statement:
“Groupama hasn’t yet made any decision about the next Volvo Ocean Race. They will wait for information on the rules and the costs before making any decisions. Franck’s partnership with Groupama lasts until 2015, and he certainly doesn’t want to see an end to the fruitful collaboration they have enjoyed since 1998.”
We don’t want to see it end either – from Cammas and Groupama’s Class-killing dominance of the ORMA 60 fleet, to his multiple victories in the TJV and Route Du Rhum, to the ultimate challenge and conquering of the Jules Verne Trophy, to their current scrap (and leg victory) in the Volvo Ocean Race, Groupama’s racing boats and crews have imprinted themselves on the maritime world’s consciousness like few others.
But with two major French multinationals walking away from sailing in just a few weeks, and a European economy that France may only now be starting to really feel, is the writing on the wall for the rest of the big French sponsors?
What do you think?
March 16th, 2012
Now that’s cool! Thread here.
March 16th, 2012
a cat in a lion’s den
A-Class Cat gun Bob Hodges checks in with a feel good story from the Heineken St. Maarten regatta, aboard the Gunboat 66 “Coco De Mer.” Who wouldn’t feel good after a week racing on that bad boy? Photos from Tim Wright.
The 2012 edition of the Heineken St. Maarten regatta was truly a regatta in paradise, with sunny skies, warm temperatures, and plenty of wind for the competitors who this year numbered over 200. The regatta and race management on and off the water was fantastic and the parties onshore (as usual) were a lot of fun with great entertainment. Combine that with an island population that welcomes the sailors with lots of hospitality and you have an event that any sailor should put on their “to do” list.
I had the wonderful opportunity to race on the Gunboat 66 Coco De Mer owned by UK-based Angus Ball. This was my second time racing with Angus on Coco, after sailing together at last year’s Antigua Race Week. Angus puts together a team of friends to race on Coco each year with the intent to have a lot of fun and if we happen to place well in the racing, that’s just extra “lagniappe” as we say at my home in Louisiana. We had nine sailors on board for this event that included Angus and myself, John and Catherine (Coco’s captain and first mate), Angus’s friends Bill and Betty, Chandler Collins (a former Gunboat employee who now works for On Deck sailing charters and sailed with us in Antigua last year), Greg (a Cape Town-based sailor John recruited to our team who is part of the crew on a large cruising yacht that was on the same dock as Coco in St. Maarten), and finally my fiancé Elise who shares a Corsair trimaran with me.
Many sailors are familiar with the Gunboat series of performance cruising multihulls. Peter Johnstone founded the company in 2003 and it has been very successful in creating the benchmark for performance cruising multihull designs. The company has been very successful in marketing and building the Morelli and Melvin designed Gunboat 48, 62, 66, 78, and 90 designs and is now looking to the future with its next generation based on the Gunboat 55 and Gunboat 60 both designed by Nigel Irens.
Coco De Mer was the first of the Gunboat 66s built – that’s the same model as the Lloyd Thornburg’s famous Lamborghini Orange “Phaedo”. She is all carbon-fiber construction , including Marstrom carbon rig and standing rigging. Her total displacement is approximately 17,000 kg. Our sail plan for the event was based on our mainsail, a roller furling Solent jib, a roller furling screacher that we could use at apparent wind angles of 50-80 degrees, and a snuffer-launched asymmetrical spinnaker for apparent wind angles deeper than the screacher. All of the controls for trimming the sails are from a center cockpit just in front of the main cabin house. The boat has two steering stations. One is inside the cabin house, the other is just in front of the cabin house in the center cockpit. There are three winches in the center cockpit. The two primaries are electric powered with foot pedals and they are complimented by a smaller non-powered secondary two speed winch located just aft of the mast.
The Solent jib is self tacking with a curved track in front of the mast to set the lead angle for different points of sail. With this setup, the boat can be sailed easily by two people. Coco is primarily a cruising boat. For this event, we had a full freezer and refrigerator because eight of our team were staying on the boat in the four staterooms and a forward crew compartment with all of our gear stowed on board. The only items removed from the boat for racing were some snorkeling gear, kayaks, and we left the boat’s dinghy at the dock during the races.
For the racing, we were put in the Multihull 1 class which had eight boats competing. Our main competition included the Iren’s designed 63’ trimaran ORMA 60-derived Paradox, the Corsair 37 trimaran Blanc, the Formula 40 trimaran Dauphine Telecom, a du Toit 51 catamaran Eagletours, and Triple Jack, a BVI based 40’ trimaran. The ratings used for our class are assigned by the regatta organization and the only critical feedback I would offer about the event is that it appeared Paradox got a really “gift” rating. She was by far the fastest the boat in the fleet yet she was owed time by all of our main competition except for us and Eagletours. While we were the longest boat in the fleet, we were (by far) the heaviest boat in the fleet so it would be interesting to see how the different boats performances sorted out on the water. There would also some be some fun racing around the CSA 1 and CSA 2 monohull classes who started five and ten minutes each day respectively after our start. The CSA 1 fleet consisted of the racing maxi’s at the event that included a Volvo 70, a Volvo 60, an STP 65, and a Reichel-Pugh 78. The CSA 2 fleet were the cruiser/racer maxis and they did not disappoint, as that fleet had several 80-100 foot long yachts that were stunning to watch on the water.
The first race of the event was the Round the Island race which is a clockwise circumnavigation of St. Maarten. We sailed the longest 32 mile course option. The race started near Simpson’s Bay and after a short upwind leg and short offset leg to get boats out of the starting area traffic, we started the clockwise circuit around the island. The conditions were fantastic for this race with winds between 15-18 knots from the east-northeast for the entire race. We had a great start near the leeward end of the line with a clean lane. We rounded the weather mark behind Paradox and the Formula 40 trimaran (as expected) and then held that position until we turned downwind for the offwind leg along the southern side of the island. The day before, we had been out and seen big bands of backing pressure as you neared the SW shoreline and turning mark which we felt would make it very hard to carry the chute. Angus was relying on me to make the sail calls so I called for the screacher instead of the chute. While this leg was only 4 miles long, I felt like I had made a big mistake as it was a bit too broad initially and we got passed by both Blanc and Eagletours who had put up their chutes. As we approached the last mile leading to the turn to head up the west side of the island, the backing pressure we had seen started happening and Blanc and Eagletours could not make the turning mark with their chutes and were forced to sag off to get the chutes down. We made up half the lead they had gotten on us so I felt somewhat redeemed.
The next leg of the race was a 15 mile beat to and across the top of the island before turning downwind for the run along the eastern-windward side of the island. The strategy here was to find pressure and smoother water. We had been advised to not dig too deep to the western leeward shoreline until we got past the bay at Marigot. That seemed to work OK as we passed both Blanc and Eagletours using this tactic. The wind started to lighten up as we sailed across the northern end of the island and some of the larger CSA 2 maxi’s started to catch us. We rounded the mark at the top of the island and found the leg was perfect for the screacher for the run down the east side. We were consistently keeping the boatspeed in the 14-19 knot range on this leg and we started to catch back up to the CSA 2 maxi’s that had passed us on the top of the long beat. We rounded the final mark at the SE end of the island for a short main-jib close reach fetch to the finish and shortly afterward were delighted to learn we had finished 2nd on corrected in our class. We celebrated that evening with a scrumptious curried chicken and shrimp dinner Catherine prepared for us sitting on the back deck of Coco and enjoying the sunset while anchored in Simpson Bay.
Day 2 was basically Day 1’s course in reverse (and about the same length) for our fleet except we would finish the day in Marigot and we would also sail further west after rounding the top of the island and use a landmark called Blowing Rock as the final turning mark to the finish in Marigot Bay. The wind forecast was calling for the breeze to increase into the low 20’s with 2.5 – 3 meter seas. We got out on the course an hour before our start and sailed upwind for 20 minutes and saw over 30 knots apparent across the deck so we decided to go with the first reef in the mainsail. We got another great start and after a short run on starboard towards the shore, we tacked to port and started the 9 mile beat towards Table Rock which was our first landmark to leave to port. We determined quickly that this was the long tack to the mark and we pressed the bows down on Coco for speed which seemed to work well. Our boatspeed was consistently staying in the 11-12 knot range. We seemed to be close to the VMG of Dauphin Telecom who was sailing for most of this leg about ¼ mile to directly to weather of us. Coco really handled the seas and wind extremely well especially as we saw some pressure bands where the apparent wind across the deck was approaching 40 knots. The breeze was fairly steady in direction but to our delight we got a nice 8 degree header shortly after we cleared the southeast tip of the island that allowed us to tack and lay the turning mark at Table Rock. We got to Table Rock in third overlapped with Signature Idea, the Reichel Pugh 78 from CSA 1 that started 5 minutes behind us. Coco seemed powered up perfectly on the next leg which was a beam reach to the top of the island. Under reefed main and Solent, we consistently stayed in the 14-18 knot boatspeed range and put some distance on Signature Idea and the other maxi’s that were right behind her. A very fun leg to sail for sure but we were caught off guard by the smaller tri’s in our fleet Blanc and Triple Jack cutting deeply into the lead we had on them at Table Rock, they must have been hitting close to 20 knots on this leg.
Reaching the top of the island, we set the chute but made an error trying to match the lower angle the maxi’s were sailing (about 120 degrees AWA). We lost ground to Triple Jack and Blanc and after we did our first jibe, Eagletours came blazing up to us. At this point, we heated Coco back up to 90 degrees apparent, the boatspeed went up 3-4 knots and we started matching speed and angle with our smaller competitors, lesson learned (keep her hot and ripping). The remainder of the leg we stayed in contact with our competition and after the turn at Blowing Rock, we reeled Blanc back in and almost passed Eagletours before the finish in Marigot Bay. We were pretty confident we had again corrected out to 2nd in class and after anchoring and having lunch were happy to learn we had done just that. It made the rest of the afternoon relaxing on Coco pretty sweet before we headed into Marigot for a fantastic dinner at Café Paris in the beautiful Marina Royale complex.
The final race of the series started off Marigot Bay and had us sail again to the top of the island followed by a downwind leg back to Blowing Rock and then a close reach to a turning mark at the SW tip of the island followed by a 4 mile beat to another turning mark, and a final 2 mile close reach to the finish line in Simpson’s Bay, total distance around 26 miles. There were a lot of rain squalls in the area as we sailed to the starting line and the forecast was pretty much the same as the previous day. We did a short upwind to check our settings and sure enough we were getting puffs and bands of wind that had us seeing over 30 knots apparent so we decided to go again with the first reef in the mainsail. Even though the first leg was a beat, the course included a short upwind hitch to a mark that you really did not round but had to keep to port. We favored the committee boat end of the line and after some exciting moments trying to get around some smaller boats from other classes that had entered our starting area we got an excellent start to weather of the fleet at full speed at the gun. The breeze stayed pretty strong for the 10 mile beat to the top of the island and we were happy we had chosen the reef. Once again, we got to the turning mark at the top of the island right with Signature Idea. After setting the chute, we stayed with our gameplan to sail at 90-100 degrees AWA and Coco loved it. We were keeping her consistently at 15-18 knots and on surfs down the swells, we rolled up to the low 20’s (our top speed on this leg was 24 knots). Coco felt almost like a big F-18 beach cat when her bows turned down a swell. On our first jibe back to the fleet, we converged back even with Signature Idea and we were holding our lead on Eagletours, Blanc, and Triple Jack who had passed us downwind the previous day.
Our good luck had a lapse when 2/3rd down the leg, the top splice on our spinnaker halyard failed and the chute went into the water. Our team jumped into action and kept the corners on the boat and quickly got the top of the chute back on the foredeck. We then got our screacher going for the remainder of the leg but our boatspeed dropped off 3-4 knots from what we had with the chute. This allowed Blanc, Eagletours, and Triple Jack to pass us but we were still in contact with them. At this point in the race as we rounded Blowing Rock, we were converging with the other classes who were sailing shorter course options so there was a lot of traffic. This leg was both very fun and kind of scary. We had rounded just to the inside of the gorgeous 90’ CSA 2 class Swan maxi Nefertiti and as we both set our bearing to the next course mark, we faced a line of probably 40-50 smaller boats ahead of us that we had to sail through. With the breeze gusting to over 20 knots on this leg, we were blasting along at 14-19 knots and the looks of some of the crews on the boats we passed as we “threaded the needles” through them was (excuse the cliché) priceless especially since we were sailing with Coco’s windward hull just flying with Nefertiti right on our heels.
The sailors who were our loudest cheerleaders were the crews on the Melges 24’s racing the event (thanks guys for the thumbs ups as we went pass you). We were making some time back up on Eagletours and on the final beat to the finish, we had a fun match race with them and just got by at the final mark for the reach to the finish. We saved our time again (after losing the chute) for another 2nd in the series and 2nd overall. We wrapped up our Heineken regatta with a great time at the awards party followed by a team dinner at Jimbo’s just down the street. It was very hard to catch the flight home the following morning – a problem I know many other sailors had too.
Thanks to Angus for his generosity in inviting Elise and I to sail with the Coco team, thanks to the 2012 Heineken Regatta organization and race management team for putting on a superb event, and a final thanks to Peter Johnstone and his Gunboat design and build teams for their commitment to producing the ultimate performance cruising multihulls.
March 16th, 2012
I snapped this shot last night from the balcony at Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne, Aus while a few owners were out taking a group of Scouts for a twilight sail on a warm autumn evening. Cheers,SPORTSCAR. Title from the Aussie cult classic – The Castle.
March 16th, 2012
Sydney Harbour Regatta Chairman Ian Box saw things a bit differently than Aussie contributor Nicole Scott in her “Closed Shop” story below. Here’s his response (with a nod to some Goodfellas fireworks for the title):
I want to comment on the negative coverage of the Sydney Harbour Regatta by Nicole Scott (NS) and her ‘closed shop’ claim. The facts are that there were never to be 3 media boats, this was assumed by Nicole. I was clear to her and Mr. Clean (when he later called), that we had one RIB for photographers (a donated protector), which can take 5 and a driver. Media registration was requested on-line and many weeks before NS contacted us. Her contact came just 10 days prior to the regatta by which time our media boat was already fully booked.
Despite open threats of ensuing negative media coverage (which we now see), I offered to put her on a wait list in case of a cancellation but also invited her get out on anything she could organise to shoot the event. At the time we spoke I commented that it would be great to have more boats for media as in the past but had a much smaller budget and on that day we were still trying to sort a driver for a mark boat.
The SHR was initiated by MHYC 6 years ago and we then attracted Audi as a sponsor for their first major sailing event. This produced the ‘car as a prize’ idea. After 5 successful years and warm letters of satisfaction with MHYC and the SHR, Audi are spending money in a wider range of activities.
Nicole is right, this is a marquee event and this year attracted 237 entries. This is down a little on the past year but equals the number of entries in 2010. Smaller fleets are a wide issue both in Australia and overseas. MHYC run the SHR with the support and co-operation of all Sydney clubs and we charge no entry fee to supporting Club block entry members. This year with tight management we aimed to run the event on a small loss making basis, no profit. An event of this size staged for the benefit of all sailors and attracting competitors from Queensland and Victoriea should be supported by the sailing media wouldn’t you think ?
I congratulate all the SA readers who see the truth, and we look forward to many more Sydney Harbour Regattas.
March 16th, 2012
burn one down
They haven’t been around for long, but top-down furlers may have the potential to do more for racing than regular furlers ever did, and Karver’s new small-boat top-down furler brings this grand prix technology down to even 4KSB level. Furling a jib is sweet, but furling a real downwind spinnaker in 3 seconds? Heaven!
You can check it out on a Class 40, but we think the more pertinent product video for most racers is this one of a J/105 with a new Karver KSF2 unit. Check it out, and hit up our pals at Euromarine Trading to get sorted. And tell ‘em we sent ya! There’s also a good furler thread here.
Title thanks, of course, to Ben Harper.
March 16th, 2012
March 15th, 2012
no r.i.p. for r/p
Been quite a while since we heard from the Reichel/Pugh boys, so we put together this short innerview with Jim Pugh. Enjoy.
JP: I don’t think it is true, the yacht/boat design arena spans a wide range of performance and cruising styles and we are covering more of that span and our designs are generating plenty of publicity. Demand for custom racing yachts decreased dramatically with the economic downturn. R/P developed and conducted a research study for the ground breaking 67m classic Hetairos (pictured above) launched in 2011, R/P was fully responsible for the naval architecture, hull, appendage lines and sail plan. In 2011 our 112’ performance cruiser Nilaya won her first two regattas the Super Yacht Cup and the Maxi Rolex regatta. (and they drew the nice looking Aquila 45 – ed)
SA: Can you assess how much damage the design problems with Shockwave and Bella Mente have hurt you guys?
JP: As soon as we were aware that of the design flaws we addressed the problems, in the case of Bella and Shockwave after construction and in other cases during construction. We fronted up and addressed these issues and it was obviously very public. Bella went on to have her share of success winning the Mini Maxi Championships in 2010 and with additional design modifications by R/P went on to win her class and set a new course record in the 2011 Transpac. (The Transpac was won overall by the Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion which features R/P keel and rudder designs.) Shockwave went on to win her own share of races.
Of our other modified designs Secret Men’s Business went on to an overall win in the 2010 Sydney-Hobart and Loki won the Sydney-Hobart overall in 2011. Our new 52+ Highland Fling fresh out of the box suffered some teething problems at Key West, we are confident she will fully live up to expectations. Our 2008 TP52 Powerplay took 2nd in her class at Key West following optimizations and has a good team with owner helmsman Peter Cunningham and project manager/tactician Tony Rey. We work continually with our owners and their teams in optimizing our designs worldwide for specific races and regattas.
SA: There is perhaps an overabundance of new 40′s – Soto, Farr, Ker, Carkeek – and we don’t see how the market can sustain them all. With the fade of the TP 52, GP 42, do you see a size or type of boat than can really can some traction?
JP: The 40 size will always have some traction, though possibly not through one class, they can all have good racing under IRC and ultimately HPR. The TP 52 class is transitioning through a bad economy and I believe will make a strong comeback, I would not write this class off, this is a well-managed class with good class rules that have undergone updating.
SA: What do you make of the new HRP rule? What is it and why?
JP: The High Performance Rule (HPR) is defined as a Continuum Rule, like a sliding box rule from 32’ to 72’ targeting the top of the spectrum in grand prix offshore capable performance with no concessions to dual purpose use (cruising). The rule is to be published and the guts of it made public to allow for unlimited trials and total transparency – there is no VPP and no “black box” that creates a rating. The fastest TP52 parameters will probably form the baseline for the HPR in the 52 size range and the fastest mini maxi parameters at the 72’ size. The general idea is that there are parameters that define a base boat at any given length; the base boat parameters are perceived to be the optimal configuration for high performance at that size range. Any deviation from this base boat alters the rating, so speed inducing factors such as deep draft will increase the rating and go-slow factors decrease the rating – however deviations from the base boat are penalized in a type forming bowl, becoming overly punitive as you move further away from the baseline. The key for HPR is to define the optimal high performance parameters through the size range. The end rating is calculated in linear meters which can be converted to time on time handicaps. While we have studied the 40’ size extensively the entire rule is still under development and the above is our understanding of it at this time. Hopefully HPR boats can be measured with just a scale and a tape measure.
SA: R/P, thanks to the talent of John Reichel, and your firm’s keen sense of aesthetics, almost always turned out the best looking boats. Yet as evidenced by the new crop of 40′s for example, there seems to be an alarming sameness to their looks. Is there still room for drawing the standout boat given the rules and parameters that many boats are drawn to?
JP: As far as the drawing a 40, when maximizing waterline upright and heeled with overall length, the boats truly become box boats, it makes it hard to have a great aesthetic. Some do look a lot better than others and we hope to have one soon.
SA: Where do you see tomorrow’s business coming from for R/P?
JP: We have a great team of young passionate designers. Our business will come from a wide range of racing and cruising yachts with single and multi hulls, sized from dinghies through super yachts. We now do our own composite and metal engineering. One key advantage of working with R/P is the fully integrated and co-located design and engineering staff. Key decisions happen in real-time enabling a greater exploration of opportunities for optimizing. Having the naval architects closely involved in the engineering makes a big difference. We will of continue to work with outside consultants on some projects.
SA: We have always loved the concept of the "affordable" race boat. Flying Tiger had the right idea, but failed to execute it properly. Can it be done in today’s environment, and do you think it could be successful at say 30′, 35′ or 40′ size ranges?
JP: I believe it can be very successful. It would take an excellent business and strategic plan, funding, a team committed to creative collaboration, and thorough design and construction development.
SA: You guys have watched what has happened to the AC. How would you like to see the Cup sailed, in terms of boats, venue or format?
JP: We have not been keeping a close eye on the events and don’t really have any valid comments.
SA: Do you guys see the multihull market, in terms of design business, someplace you need to be?
JP: We would like to be involved in this market from both the racing and cruising side, and here is a115’ design John has been working on, not a high performance craft, but I believe a very compelling design
SA: What are you guys working on right now?
JP: Right now we are in the early stages of a 125’ super yacht design. John is completing the lines for a new One Design 16ft skiff for the Manley 16’ Skiff Sailing Club / Australian 16’ Skiff Association. And here is a photo in construction of the new lifting keel 100’ Magic Carpet, a Wallycento being built at Wally. We are providing all the engineering on this project, Mike and Ryon our chief engineer have just returned from visiting the yard in Ancona.
Here is a rendering of a 115’ classic sloop for which we are working hard on finding an owner. This is pretty much a day sailor or over nighter, designed to beat a J Class yacht with half the crew and 1/3rd the budget. Pretty simple to sail and fast. And the rendering of the Aloha a barn door 90’ is located above!
We have a few other designs on the burners as well.
SA: That is really great to hear! We look forward to getting together with you soon.
JP: Come by sometime and meet the team.
March 15th, 2012
We love this:
I know shit about racing but I dig sailing anarchy! The idea is to sail around the world. Not float on a blue lagoon, not sit in a yard day dreaming, not talk about how sailing is awesome and never raise a sail.
The idea is to get out there. sailing, as far as we can, as off the beaten track as we can.
The idea is to go explore these waters and these lands, meet inspiring people, capture this journey on the wild blue road
and share the stories with anyone who wants to listen so we can maybe all believe that the world we live in is an awesome one and quit the boring pessimist mood.
I am 27 years old and a little more than one year ago, I was working in the show industry.
I then met a guy in an hotel while traveling and he told me about his project of sailing the world.
I never left this guy… and I now have a sailboat with him and we are going for it.
Not waiting for the time to pass to grab the life I want. So the journey is starting right here, right now.
Letting the fucking status quo blow.- Anarchist Claudia.
March 15th, 2012