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Posts Tagged ‘HH’

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Big Pimpin’

Our heartfelt congratulations to SA advertiser and supporter HH Catamarans for their very strong showing on the one-year anniversary of the launching of R-Six.  Here’s their own take on it.

As the relative newcomer in the performance cruising cat segment, all eyes have been on HH Catamarans. The four-year old venture, a partnership between esteemed Kiwi boatbuilder Paul Hakes and visionary Taiwanese industrialist Hudson Wang, set out to build the world’s finest cutting-edge, bespoke, performance cruising catamarans, and ensure a premier ownership experience by providing an unparalleled level of support and service.

HH Catamarans delivered their first launch, HH66-01 R-SIX, to her owner in Valencia last June. The Morrelli & Melvin designed HH Supercat set the pace in her first six months, sailing from Valencia to Cyprus and many points in-between. She wowed industry insiders and show goers when she made her debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September, then sailed directly to Mallorca to compete in the first-ever Multihull Cup Regatta. Sailing against a competitive class of her more seasoned peers, including Gunboat 66s Coco de Mer and Slim and Nigel Irens custom 78’ Allegra, R-SIX pounced on the challenge, stunning the fleet and finishing in 1st Place Overall.

In January, R-SIX crossed the Atlantic, arriving in Antigua just in time to immediately switch gears and compete in the prestigious Caribbean 600. The multi day regatta challenged competitors with extremely light conditions for much of the 600 mile course. With gourmet food, entertainment and plush accommodations, R-SIX raced in comfort and finished in 3rd place behind two MOD70s. In March R-SIX was joined in the Caribbean by her sister ship, the newly launched HH66-03 Nala. The two went on to tag team the Caribbean race circuit, one or the other participating in the five high profile events of the season.

R-SIX sailed strong in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, defeating all three Gunboat 60s in class and coming in 2nd Overall behind the zippy, 7-ton, custom Bieker 53 Fujin. Next it was Nala’s turn to shine; she made her racing debut at the St.Thomas International Regatta just days after arriving in the USVI from the Bahamas. STIR proved to be an exciting an event, with big breeze testing the fleet and providing Nala the chance to shine. Boat and crew held up strong and validated the HH reliability factor – sustaining zero breakages over three days of intense racing. Nala finished with 1st Place in three out of five races and 1st Overall, defeating the previously unbeaten Fujin.

The next event presented a new challenge; the BVI Spring Regatta was billed as the matchup of the season, with veteran Gunboats Elvis and H2O meeting for the first time and Nala, with only a few weeks on the water, and hoping to shake things up a bit. Shake things up she did, giving both boats a run for their money throughout the weekend. Nala endured a few missteps early on, but made adjustments and improved each day,  outperforming three of the five Gunboats in every race and chipping away at the elapsed time margins behind the two titans. Ultimately the tenacity paid off, with Nala taking 2nd Place Overall. A by-the-numbers analysis from Morrelli & Melvin (who designed all of the three fastest boats!) can be found on their Facebook page here.

R-SIX returned to do battle at Les Voiles de St.Barths. Light air prevailed throughout the regatta and R-SIX suffered a minor equipment failure making it impossible to use their asymmetrical headsail for much of the event. The team persevered and managed to sail well enough to secure a spot on the podium in 3rd Place Overall. Though not their best result, Les Voiles proved to be good practice for R-SIX for their next and final event of the season, Antigua Sailing Week. Mast lock issue resolved, the team attacked with full force, and after four days of competition only R-SIX remained unbeaten out of 150 yachts. Boat Captain Robert Janecki summed up the experience, “After many years of sailing racing catamarans, it is refreshing to see that there are things that can still surprise me. In Antigua we managed to maintain boat speed between 12-14 kts upwind, sailing against the waves! Quite amazing for a pleasure catamaran. What is more… the boat is built in such a way that it forgives us some of our mistakes during short and dynamic racing.” Taking line honors in six out of seven races and wrapping up 1st Place Overall, R-SIX closed out their Caribbean season on a high note and immediately set out across the Atlantic once more, arriving in the Azores a quick ten days later.

With R-SIX and Nala providing ample proof of concept in the Caribbean, HH Catamarans pressed ahead with production, launching the first of the new HH55s in February. After a month of testing and fine-tuning, HH55-01 Minnehaha departed Xiamen bound for the USA. The boat was delivered into the waiting arms of her owner in Ft. Lauderdale just last week, and is currently undergoing recommissioning and some promotional sailing before setting off to the Bahamas for the owners’ first cruise in June. She’ll make her way up the East coast this summer, arriving in Annapolis in time to make her world debut at the United States Sailboat Show in October.

Production in Xiamen continues with three HH66s and three HH55s currently in progress. The next HH66, Flash, is slated to launch this summer, and features a newly styled cabin top, forward helm station and aft tillers with complete finger touch sail controls. Further expanding their product line, HH recently announced a new 48’ model. The HH48 will maintain the pedigree of the larger HH models, while incorporating simpler, easier-managed systems and layout for short-handed sailing. The newest addition to the HH Catamarans line is likely to encourage new entrants to the market, further expanding the incredible features of fast and safe blue water cruising. Like the HH55 and 66, the 48 will be a big volume boat, capable of taking a large payload for extended cruising with family and toys without diminishing performance or safety. The HH48 as a base boat will be offered at less than $1M, and at such a great starting price the growth of this bold new venture and brand is set for substantive growth. For more information on the complete line of HH Catamarans, visit hhcatamarans.com.

Official race results can be found at the links below:

Multihull Cup

Caribbean 600

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

St. Thomas International Regatta

BVI Spring Regatta

Les Voiles de St. Barths

Antigua Sailing Week

HH Catamarans builds state-of-the-art, carbon fiber, high-performance cruising catamarans for a discerning clientele seeking a luxury yacht and an exceptional owner experience. HH Catamarans are designed in California and built in Xiamen, China to exact specifications using the most advanced technology in the industry. The semi-custom line of 48-115 foot models is the latest evolution of the performance cruising catamaran concept and the culmination of the skills, dedication, passion and expertise of the multi-faceted team behind the brand. A collaboration of America’s Cup-winning design team Morrelli and Melvin, master boatbuilders Hakes Marine, and manufacturing powerhouse Hudson Yacht & Marine. HH catamarans builds innovative luxury yachts with unmatched performance and pedigree.

 

May 27th, 2017 by admin

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HR_20170305_DSC6086_©LaurensMorel_w

While there will always be ratings complaints whenever two different boats race, it’s excellent to see the high-performance cruising cat fleet playing nice with one another for the always-enjoyable St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.  Here’s one Gunboat 60 sailor’s breakdown of the performance and variables between the Gunboats, HH, Outremer, and the blazing fast and nosey Bieker 53 Fujin, shot above by Lorens Morel with a decent gallery here.  Hit the thread to talk to crews from many of the boats, and thanks to SA’er ‘pyrat’ for the report. DISCLAIMER: SA has ties to every boat in this fleet, with Gunboat (and Outremer, a related company) and HH both advertising here, and Paul Bieker a long time SAer, which is why we’re not giving any opinions, and instead relying on a Gunboat sailors’ report.  Got your own report from a Caribbean regatta? Send it in and see your name on the world famous Front Page.

Fujin is an entirely different beast from the rest of the class. Primarily, she’s about 10 tons lighter than the lightest GB, and something like 18 tons lighter than the HH… Fujin to me is much closer to a true racing multi than ‘what the rest of the world’ considers an offshore/luxury/cruising multi. That said, they cruise and sail that thing offshore and big props to them – very cool boat, very well sailed, and they deserve the trophy and then some – so no hate here at all, just saying, when you get past by that thing upwind (from a GB60) at nearly double your own boat speed, you realize that it would be silly to try and gauge your performance against their mark. I think it is equally as silly to try to handicap that machine with a GB, HH, or Outremer. Its like trying to rate a Swan 60 against an IMOCA 60.

The Outremer is an impressive boat for roughly a third of the price of the larger cats. She stuck on our hip boat-for-boat every race, and corrected out on top of us each time. I will point out that it was a very heavy weather regatta, and she likely benefitted from a smaller rig & sail plan vs the GB’s who required a reef some days, but still, props to them for sailing well and keeping the pressure on us on the water.

The HH was a monster upwind – walking over the entire fleet every windward leg (except Fujin) – but a total dog downwind. Word is that the next one (hull#3) is a different beast from this first one, and that ‘dog’ will not be among the adjectives that describe her on any point of sail. Very curious to see how she goes.

The most interesting matchup of the regatta for me was the two GB60’s. Flow has gone a bit further than Arethusa in the way of turbo’ing the boat (larger & lighter mainsail, primarily), but is still very much a comfortable/luxury cruising cat, and absolutely walked away from Arethusa on every leg. Both boats were well sailed without any major fuckups, slow-downs, or penalties. While it could be argued that Arethusa has fewer miles on the course and is further back along the learning curve with performance multi racing, the gap between the boats was surprising and impressive. Props to Flow for pushing the boat hard and showing everyone what’s capable on a 60 (or any of the NID boats). Hoping to see them, and eventually Arethusa, give the HH’s and faster 62’s a good fight in the future.

As far as ratings go – I think the new attempt is neccessary, well-intended, and properly backed. The leaders of the OA are going about it in the right way and spending the neccessary time, money, and effort on the algorithm. The behind the scenes meeting of the minds was impressive and eye-opening. The idea is to end this old argument (see above!!) about cruising vs racing multis. It is a fair argument to say that it is silly to go ‘so far’ with turboing a boat but not actually go all the way to ‘fully stripped race boat’. Most of the owners know that and agree. BUT they bought a fast boat because fast is fun, and the racing scene is addictive and competitive, and they want to have a chance against the other boats in the class, so an arms race is inevitable. If the new system works as it is supposed to, the owners who wish to live comfortably aboard their cruising boats for regattas (no stripping weight) will be able to compete fairly against the owners who DO go all the way towards full race boat. In that way, you can make the fast/cruising cat class whatever the hell you want to suit your preferences! To the naysayers who grumble that it is absurd to race around with an interior – look the hell around!! How many boats would be on the line at ANY of the Caribbean regattas if only dedicated racers were allowed? And how many sailors would get to experience racing? And learn to sail their boat better/faster? Get real guys!

 

March 10th, 2017 by admin

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