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sweet as

barn door

Boat Captain Keith Kilpatrick reflects on the Barn Door Trophy win for Rio 100…

Things have settled down a bit from the frantic pace of the last few months, so I find myself with a little time and some very nice weather, so I thought I would sit down and try to write a a little story about our successful run at the Barn Door.

The story really starts 20 months ago, when Manouch Moshayedi, Gavin Brady and Brett Bakewell-White started brainstorming about turning the late 90’s designed Lahana,(ex Zana, Konica Minolta)into a serious barn door contender. The extensive refit was performed at Cookson Yachts. The refit took about nine months, and for anyone who has had a chance to see her, I’m sure they’ll tell you, she came out beautiful.

Looking back on the race, it was anything but normal, but in hindsight, it was just the race that I, as boat captain, wanted. By that I mean, I always live by the adage, to finish first, first you must finish. So a nice lighter than average year was perfect for us in two ways.First, we are a very light, low righting moment, VMG machine, and second, lighter air decreases the chances of costly breakdowns.

Now obviously this undertaking would be impossible without Manouch, but to say he goes beyond the the call of duty would be an understatement. Not only has he provided us with an unbelievable racing machine complete with big cozy bunks, a fully equipped galley, hot and cold running water, and a private standup shower, he did all the provisioning and meal preparation himself. That included the purchasing of 70lbs of chicken which was either BBQ’ed or baked, and then made into meals. He stuffed our freezer with trays that included the likes of homemade turkey lasagna, chicken and penne pasta, chicken and lentils; you get the idea, we ate well. Our lunches were masterfully prepared each day by Jeff Messano, who would toil everyday over the hot grill creating many gastronomic delights.

The race itself was fairly uneventful. The only thing we tore were sailbags, the only thing we broke was a strop, and we only had to do one backdown. Now uneventful doesn’t mean easy. However, excellent tactics and navigation was provided the Gavin Brady and Chris Branning. The two of them worked together as well as any I’ve ever sailed with, always keeping us in the right place on the course with correct shoes on.

As most of you now, we were successful at claiming the barn door. It is a trophy that has eluded myself, and quite a few others on our crew, so the victory was all the sweeter.