Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Farrier F-33 RXC trimaran build approaching completion at Multihulls Direct in the Phillipines

An update has been posted by Ian Farrier on the construction progress on the F-33 RXC trimaran being built at Multihulls Direct in the Phillipines:

Photos courtesy of Ian Farrier:

GC32 catamaran update, results from the recent Key West Race week:

The Great Cup press release on the Key West event:

Quantum Key West Race Week provided the opportunity for the GC32s to make a spectacular debut in the USA.

During the five days of racing held in balmy temperatures off the southernmost tip of Florida, crews experienced a range of conditions. The beginning of the week saw lighter winds in which the foiling catamarans could sail at almost twice wind speed and the 20 knots on the final day enabled them to foil not only downwind, but upwind too.

Four GC32s took part: Flavio Marazzi’s ARMIN STROM Sailing Team and Erik Maris’ ZouLou made the trip from Europe to line up against two US teams – two time Melges 32 World Champion Jason Carroll on ARGO and fellow Melges 32 sailor Alex Jackson racing Leenabarca.

ARGO set the pace at the regatta. Despite Quantum Key West Race Week being its first competitive GC32 outing, Carroll’s team benefitted from training time in Key West prior to the start and familiarity with the race course and seemed to relish the light to moderate winds early on. ARGO led up until the penultimate day, but was not dominant, with all but Leenabarca claiming bullets in races along the way.

By Thursday the ARMIN STROM Sailing Team and ZouLou crews were getting into their stride, and two races in stronger winds left the top three boats impressively tied, but with ZouLou ahead on countback, going into the final day.

Former Olympic Star sailor Flavio Marazzi’s team won the first race on the last day, the Swiss crew demonstrating their experience in the brisk conditions. They led around the top mark and then extended away.

Sadly while lying in second, one point off the lead, ARGO was forced to retire after this race when one of the fittings broke holding her transom-hung rudder to her hull – a race course littered with lobster pots providing an additional hazard for the crews.

“We thought about whether or not we could repair it or lash it in place, but given how rough it was out there it was going to be a recipe for further damage if we continued to race,” explained Jason Carroll.

With ZouLou claiming the final race, a second was enough for ARMIN STROM Sailing Team to win the GC32’s inaugural prize at Quantum Key West Race Week.

While the GC32 can easily handle 20 knot winds, Friday’s short sharp chop meant crews had to throttle back. Marazzi explained: “The problem was that if you went too fast on the downwind, you jumped out of the waves and that was a risk. Since we just had to finish the race, it was a balance between holding back and going fast enough to win the regatta.”

Despite three crews making their GC32 race debuts at Key West, Marazzi was pleased with the high level of racing and there being no stand-out crews. “It was great that everyone was on the same points going into the final day and that it doesn’t come down to the boats or materials or different sails, but boat handling and team work.”

Despite his disappointment, Jason Carroll enjoyed his week: “It was awesome - I had a great time. Clearly this was the boat to be on at this event.”

ZouLou skipper Erik Maris has previous experience on Extreme 40 and D35 catamarans, but had only spent one week training in October aboard the GC32 prior to Key West. America’s Cup multihull sailor Thierry Fouchier, the jib and the genniker trimmer on board and who has sailed most top racing multihulls, commented: “I am pretty impressed with the boat and all the systems work pretty nicely. It is still early days for the class, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t attract more and more owners and get some very good racing. The boats are easy to sail and you can learn foiling fast. And they are pretty safe which is good.”

Former Team New Zealand helmsman Cameron Appleton was calling tactics on Alex Jackson’s Leenabarca, which suffered some technical set-backs. “I’ve never come last in a regatta before and had so much fun! Alex walked away with a huge smile on his face. These boats have made multihull foiling accessible to less experienced guys. You can get into them and steer them well, then it is about refining your skills. The learning curve is huge, but it is not on a level you can never achieve.”

During the latter part of the week Appleton said they had been hitting speeds into the high 20s, but it was the GC32’s handling that was impressive: “Once you get up on the foils and you are used to the sensation, the boats are actually a lot more comfortable than you’d think. We were doing stuff that you couldn’t do on other multihulls – bearing away and so forth - you would have flipped over. After racing we power reached at an angle that you would never usually consider on a multihull, but the sense of power and control was right there.”

Flavio Marazzi is also President of the GC32 Class Association and says that he hopes GC32 racing in Florida will become a regular feature over future northern hemisphere winters.

In the meantime the GC32s are gearing up for the start of the Europe circuit, the GC32 Racing Tour, kicking off with the GC32 Austria Cup, to be held on Lake Traunsee, Austria over 27th-31st May. The participation of more teams will be announced over the next few weeks.

And a video of the racing filmed from a drone:

GC 32 Racing Key West Race Week 2015 from Nick Bowers on Vimeo.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Spindrift Racing update, team prepare maxi trimaran Spindrift 2 for attempt to improve Jules Verne record in 2015

From the following press release on the Spindrift Racing website:

On 6th January 2012, just over three years ago, the Jules Verne Trophy record was beaten for the seventh time in its history. A new record for sailing around the world without stopping via the three capes was beaten by 14 sailors aboard the largest trimaran ever to be built. The crew travelled 40,000 km around the world in 45 ½ days, just over half the time that Jules Verne famously gave to Phileas Fogg.

Spindrift racing is planning to use the same boat to shave more time off what is considered to be the most extreme record against the clock for crewed sailing boats. The team has been working meticulously and creatively to achieve this goal for several months. Now, as 2015 gets underway, this monumental challenge is taking shape every day.

read more here

The Spindrift Racing team are preparing Spindrift 2 to attempt to improve the Jules Verne Record time, photo courtesy Spindrift Racing

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Extreme Sailing Series update, Launch of 2015 Extreme Sailing Series at Dusseldorf Boat show and venues announced for the upcoming season

From the following press release on the Extreme Sailing Series website:

2015 heralds the ninth year of this award-winning elite level stadium racing circuit that visits eight iconic venues, including a return to Germany for the first time since 2010: a world tour spanning three continents. Once again, another full eight-team grid, representing seven nations will line up in a few weeks time like gladiators in an amphitheatre, ready to do battle for the ultimate accolade of becoming the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series Champions.

20 January, 2015 – Düsseldorf Boat Show, Germany:

The Extreme 40 skippers and sailors presented today to the media and public at the Düsseldorf Boat Show confirm once again the very high calibre of competitors for the season ahead. The commercial and competitive appeal of the original stadium sailing circuit shows no sign of abating: “The Series is now firmly established in the arena of world class professional sailing, and we have built that reputation by continually attracting some of the very best sailors in the world, supported by global brands, in iconic and attractive venues – competing annually and on a global scale,” commented Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of OC Sport, the organisation behind the Series. “And whilst the event has never changed its core DNA – racing in a stadium environment where exciting sailing is brought right to the audience – there remains a great deal to do. We must continue to innovate, to break new ground, change people’s perceptions of our sport, find new ways to share it and engage with new audiences around the world. That’s our ongoing challenge.”

read more here

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Neel 65 cruising trimaran structurally complete moving on to fitout

The first Neel 65 trimaran shell is complete and is moving on to the fitout stage.  This is the largest production cruising trimaran ever built.

from the Neel Trimarans facebook page:

On January 15th, the NEEL 65 has been welcomed in the brand new NEEL Trimarans factory! Interior wood work start in February and launching is scheduled for May 2015.
NEEL Trimarans now benefit from High Tech modern production facilities right on La Rochelle Harbour down town.

Neel 65 trimaran, photo courtesy Neel Trimarans

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Extreme Sailing Series, Morgan Larson the laid back champion

From the following press release on the Extreme Sailing Series website:

The defending Extreme Sailing Series™ champion Morgan Larson tells Ed Gorman why winning the Series in 2014 is the biggest success of his career.You are rarely going to find a more chilled out, self-effacing success story in the cut and thrust world of professional sport than the new Extreme Sailing Series championship-winning skipper Morgan Larson.

The laid-back Californian and his crew on Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi dominated the 2014 Series with consistently good boat speed and cool tactics and eventually confirmed a convincing overall win at the final Act in Sydney in December after 11 months of globetrotting.

Larson, aged 43, has sailed in some big fleets and prestigious events in his long and successful career, not least in two America’s Cup teams, but he was happy to admit that wining the Extreme Sailing Series in his third season is his biggest success. But there is no bragging from Larson about that. In fact he delivers that assessment more as a compliment to his rivals in the Series than as a statement about his own ability.

read more here

A video of the final day of the 2014 series won by Morgan Larson and the Alinghi team:

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Corsair Pulse 600 trailerable trimaran update #6

From the following update on the Corsair Marine website:

Mast & Boom
The mast and boom will be aluminum. The cost differential to go to carbon on a boat this size vs. the performance gain does not add up and we want to keep that boat as affordable as possible whilst maintaining a high level of performance. 

Rudders & Dagger Board
Both the rudders and dagger board are composite boards and both are retractable. In the up position, the dagger board will sit just under the boom and in the down position will be neatly out of the way and flush with the cockpit sole. This really clears up the area just behind the mast for crew in the cockpit.

read more here

Pulse 600 trimaran, render courtesy Corsair Marine

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Governors Cup, Farier F9AX trimaran 'Banjo' breaks own race record set by Frans Loots in 2010

From the following article on the Governors Cup website:

Kevin Webb, Sarel van der Merwe, and Brad Stemmett sailing Banjo, a Farrier F9AX trimaran, have broken the 1,750-mile Governor’s Cup Race record from Simon’s Town to St Helena with a time of 9 days 13 hours and 36 seconds.

Webb, van der Merwe and Stemmett arrived in Jamestown, St Helena at 01.53.36 today in just enough time to shave off five hours from Banjo’s previous race record of 9 day,18 hours and 59 minutes set by Frans Loots in 2010.

read more here

Sunday, 4 January 2015

ORMA 60 Team Australia loses mast while racing in the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race

The ORMA 60 Team Australia (formerly Banque Populaire IV) has lost it's rig while competing in the Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race.  There were no injuries onboard and the boat is now travelling at slow speed under motor and jury rig towards Port Stephens.