Posts Tagged ‘coastal classic’
Doyle Sails continues to crush it down in the deep South, with Stratis-powered boats taking overall line honors, overall handicap, and taking the line in 4 of 6 classes in last month’s NZ Coastal Classic. We’ve got two reports for you; one from Simon Kidd aboard overall handicap winner Omega, and one from Moose on the Team Australia trimaran. Awards irony: The brand new North Sails trophy for top monohull on handicap went to Omega and her brand new set of upwind Doyle Stratis ICE sails. Full list of Doyle-powered results and photos are here, and Adam Sandler fans everywhere should get the title reference.
It was always going to be a great race for Omega upwind, with pressure and the breeze backing later in the day. We started well ahead of the starting gun with preparation on the boat, which is half the battle, dropping the rudder to service the bearing and undertaking several other small maintenance jobs. For the sail inventory we added a new Stratis ICE Code 2 headsail, which we carried from North Head up the coast, and also a new Stratis carbon technora mainsail.
With a large fleet off the line there was some urgency to set the Doyle A3 laminated gennaker and we made a nice jump on the other 40′s down to North Head. We had a good run up to Sail Rock with a long port tack and couple of short starboard tacks. Just after Sail Rock a squall came through and we ended up bareheaded for a couple of minutes before settling back into a slightly cracked jib top and then into the Code 0 which carried us through to the Cape Brett. The 40 fleet was locked together with Mojo, Power Play, Pretty Boy Floyd and Lawless all metres apart as we cleared the Brett.
Omega was in her element with an 150% overlapping headsail we laid pretty much through to the Black Rocks, having taken advantage of the incoming tide and then a long starboard tack through to Tapeka Point. A short tack and we laid up to the finish just as the breeze started to die, with the tide changing as we finished. Skipper and owner Scott McLaren was delighted with the result and very complementary of both the crew and also the Doyle sails that powered Omega to her win.
It’s a long time since someone brought a boat all the way from Australia for the Coastal Classic and so when owner Sean Langman and his team made noises about bringing their very cool ORMA Trimaran Team Australia over for the 2013 event it was pretty exciting news. Team Australia is, like local boat Team Vodafone, an ex-French ORMA Class box rule boat, maximum length, maximum beam, maximum mast length and that’s about it… they were developed for a combination of round the buoy Grand Prix events and single and double handed Trans-Atlantic racing. Until the creation of the AC 72 they were the most developed large multihull in the world.
Team Australia started their 2013/4 campaign by setting a new bench mark for the Trans-Tasman sailing record, crossing from Sydney to Auckland in 2 days 19 hours 2 mins 45 seconds. Their new record, now ratified by the World Speed Sailing Association, has set the bar very high for others to try and have a crack at. Once in Auckland, with the crew recovered from their Tasman ordeal, we set about getting her ready for the Coastal Classic. This entailed the guys removing all the offshore equipment and most excitingly the fitting of three new Doyle sails to compliment the new mainsail we fitted late last year prior to their successful Sydney-Hobart record run. Ahead of the Coastal Classic, Team Australia got a new Radial Stratis gennaker, and replaced both the primary headsails, the “solent” and “trinquette.” These new sails were utilising our very latest technology, with both the jibs being Stratis carbon ICE. All the sails went straight on and fitted like gloves and were “sweet as,” to use the words of one of the crew.
Race day came around and I think I was the most excited person in Auckland, with the prospect of an upwind beat to Russell, knowing we had two brand new jibs in our arsenal. The start went well, with Sean’s years of skiff sailing paying good dividends. We won the race to North Head but soon after Team Vodafone got through us by just carrying bigger sails. Team Australia is less powerful then Vodafone and so we decided to go with the smaller Trinquette jib. During the reach to Kawau Island we struggled to hang on to them as their added power let them slip away. Around Kawau we cut the corner on them and were right back into it… we then exchanged a couple of tacks and with the wind forecast to go left, we protected that side and were starting to pay good dividends. Just as we were about to tack and clear ahead the $10 lashing that held the Solent Jib up snapped and we had the jib fall on the deck. There is no halyard for this sail, it gets hoisted on a Gennaker halyard and then lashed, so we had to change down to the Trinquette and set about to catch them up. Whangarei Heads was always going to be an interesting landmark to get past in a Westerly breeze. We saw Vodafone go wide and so hit the beach. This paid off big time and while they were struggling offshore in light winds and headed breeze, we were smoking down the beach. From the time we got past them through to when we finally rounded Cape Brett I believe we were just quicker, as we reasonably quickly extended our lead out to nearly 40 minutes from there it was a blasting reach into the finish..
All in all it was a very satisfying win for Team Australia, we certainly had had our share of obstacles along the way! A big thanks to Sean and the Team Australia team for putting their faith in Doyle Stratis sails to power their amazing boat, and thanks also to our team for delivering. Let’s hope Sean can bring the boat back next year to have a crack at defending our title!
November 4th, 2013 by admin
Sean Langman’s Team Australia (ex-Banque Populaire IV) just set the reference time for the Sydney to Auckland passage at 2:19:02:45 – that’s an average of just under 19 knots for the rough and unpredictable stretch of water. TA dried themselves off in Auckland, grabbed ‘pick-up crew’ Moose Sanderson and Dean Barker, then promptly sailed the wrong course to lose a practice race to the big South’s other ORMA – NZ’s Team Vodafone Sailing (click here for cameraphone video).
Both boats square off later today as the Coastal Classic begins, and NZ’s marquee fleet race is clearly doing something right; 139 monohulls and 25 multis entered for a 100+ mile race in a country no bigger than a shoebox ain’t bad!
Here’s the report on the record run from crew Ben Kelly, and be sure to check the thread for the trip ‘as it happened’:
“Funny, I expected the boat to make the speeds feel like less, but doing 22-25 knots a couple of hours out from the heads felt crazy fast because of the sea state and our high angle to the breeze. Then as we slowly cracked away into the night I got to experiance 25-30 knots, this is pretty full-on in 4mtr waves and quite a violent action on the body that took some time to get used to. By early morning we were seeing up to 40 knots of wind and the speed sitting around 32 knots, and every now and then with an insane burst of acceleration, we would get a run on that would take us to 36-38 knots and then work its way back to around 32 again.
I would say that whilst the high speeds are quite full-on and the adrenaline is definitely pumping, the action of the boat improves by the time you are doing 35-40 knots. With the boat simply obliterating whatever whatever it’s going through, it’s more of a vibration, and one of the best felings I have ever experienced. I’m sure the motion changes depending on the sea state and direction and especially the angle to the breeze.
“The best true wind angle seemed to be 115 degrees, at this angle in 30+ knots of wind the driving is easy, the boat behaves insanely well, she is bow up with 2/3 of the leward float out of the water and the centre hull in/out constantly. Unfortunately we had the wind at around 80-90 for a big part of the leg across which just held us back a little from consistantly higher averages, basically if the top end of NZ had have been 100 miles further south I think we may have done 600+ nm for the 24hrs. You have to trust the foil when driving, on non foil boats you tend to have to run away with the pressure. With a foil that works so effectively when the power comes on and you are staring down the back of the next big growler you head up (if you react early enough), put more power into the boat, the bows rise as the boat accelerates and the foil works even more, then you get to the back of the wave in front and launch over it from behind as if it is a ramp, basically the best feeling ever!
“The problem is at 80 degrees true you feel like coming up is a bad option and you feel like going down is bad so quite often you just hold your course and your nerve and let the boat do its thing! Give me the helm of that thing, 25-30knots of wind, 4-5 metres of swell 2 x reefs in the Main and the smallest HWJ jib and I would be in heaven! I miss it already. All the best to the crew of the Coastal, I think they have the legs….”
But here’s even bigger news: In just 60-odd days, if this interview with Sean Langman is accurate, Team Australia and Team Vodafone will race against each other in the Sydney-Hobart! But before you old Sydneysiders fall off your rockers – no, Bob Oatley’s America’s Cup challenge hasn’t suddenly spurred the CYCA to join the 21st Century, and no, the Hobart Race won’t stop being ridiculed as the race that allows diesel-driven keels and winches…but no multihulls. Apparently, dealing with these conditions doesn’t make a boat safe enough for the Hobart…
Instead, the two ORMAs will sail the S-H pirate style, starting two hours after the last boat is off and presumably tearing through the fleet handily on their way to a new S-H record that Wild Oats fans and motor-driven yacht lovers won’t claim is ‘unfair because of different conditions.’ This is going to be the most exciting Hobart in years, thanks largely to two boats that aren’t even allowed to race. Follow that thread here.
October 24th, 2013 by admin