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Oh Yeah. Giddy Up!!!

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 31 Mar 2019 22:00 BST
Hull form for the fully foiling FBVM 52 © FBVM

At first, I really did think this was an April First kind of thing. Now even though it actually is April Fools' Day, this boat, and the story around it have been vetted. So whilst they are just renders, for now, the project is very much alive and kicking. Best of all, if you are dead keen, then it can be born in time for this year's 75th Hobart, but you will have to apply the defibrillator paddles, stand clear, charge and apply. Yes. That means money.

So on that point alone, it makes a lot of sense, for just two gorillas (USD 2m) gets you smack up the front of the fleet, with a tilt at Line Honours, even a Race Record, but you'd have to think that the Tatersall's Cup is off the menu. Still, stranger things have happened. Importantly, the Race Organiser has allowed her to compete, which is good considering that Europe may not be so positive. Some may say that's a lot of money for a 52-footer, and perhaps that's true, but it is well short of the $20m for a new supermaxi, and something in the order of $27m for a foiling supermaxi.

Alas, right there's the key. For this is no ordinary 52. She is a fully foiling beast. Yep. Fully. As in up, up, and away! Hence the use of the rudder and elevator CAD drawing at the start. So if you consider that a used TP can be had for something like AUD 300k, and you would need to spend that again to get her properly prepped, add in a few sails, and all of sudden, you're almost halfway there. Now it is apples against oranges, but if you are in that zone, then why not go the full slog, and really take it on?

Other positives to weigh into the deal are that she will have a smaller rig, and smaller sails, with no more than two bods required to handle them. On that point alone, you will sail with just seven or eight on board, so that means just the one raft, and also a lot less provisioning to be required. Not that you'll need much food and water when you may be in the 24hr bracket, or less. So if Sean Langman's ORMA tri clocked it off in 29 hours 53 minutes and 23 seconds, then you could be in a for a late lunch, or checked in and having a well earned nap at the MACq 01 hotel.

The deal is that she will do 28 knots from 16 TWS, having dragged it through to 35 AWA now that's an apparent wind machine! They say it can all be done, but they need to get into it now, as the plan is to have 30 to 40 days sailing beforehand. You'll need that too, for you would want to go and understand her behaviour in the delightful confluence of sea state in the Green Cape to Got-A-Bit-On Island area, where three overarching sea conditions can struggle to see which will prevail, and that's before you account for the wind, which is more often than not blowing a lot hence GABO!

Serious parties will need to be into it by early April, or else it's 2020. There are something like 6000 man-hours at Brett Van Munster's shop on the NSW Central Coast for the hull, and the deck will be done nearby and soak up another 4000 hours. Reminds one of the adage that there is never been a problem in sailing that throwing heaps of money at has not made go away... Still all the basic tech elements are sort off the shelf, but this could be the first offshore boat to be made like this.

For now, her beam allows her to not require deck spreaders, as the staying angle is over 20 degrees, and at any rate, if she had them, they would have to be 5m long. So many items have already been evaluated, and therefore it is no longer a case of if you do this, you'll have to do that, and so on. This is why I found the rudder so intriguing. In the earlier drawings, there was a little post sticking down, and it was the trigger for the question. How so? This is what revealed the fully foiling nature, and as the tip is always the biggest point of effort, having the elevator further up saves on having a massive structure. The comment received was good partial endplate for both foils, and better structurally as well. Remember that at full noise that foil might be loaded to around 900kg! That would be Larry Load all right...

Tacking now. Been a lot of talk about real sailing after the Sayonara Cup. So check this one out. Thomas Quick recently won the Farr 40, Sydney 38, and MC38 Australian Championships in consecutive weeks. Now he and father were part of the Sydney 38 department for nine years. Their best result in that class was second to a very commendable crew that had a handy sailor, and former Contender World Champion in one Mark Bulka on the helm. Yes, they were the late Lou Abrahams' mob from Challenge.

The Quicks then went over to a Beneteau First 40 for a while, before picking up the Farr 40, Transfusion. So in this last period, they won in a chartered Sydney 38, of which Tom Quick said, "...they are undergoing a bit of a re-birth currently, so it was good to get a win there." The very next week they won the Farr 40 nationals, with David Chapman back on as tactician, and dropping just two points along the way.

For the final part of the trifecta, Tom then filled in for Neville Crichton on Maserati to take out the MC38 title. Here, it was a win at the last post kind of affair, which would have kept the adrenaline going.

"A good season as an owner/driver. A real joy," was how the understated Quick referred to it as. "Dad does cameos now, and follows it all on Facebook religiously. He still enjoys the twilights, like tonight. We had a good time in the Sydney 38s, but it was a bit harder, as we had some fill-in crew. The Farr 40 was a bit easier, as we had the regular crew. We were well prepared, and you can't beat preparation, even if it is a lot of effort. We're lucky to have a phenomenal team, and practising to get it all sorted and bedded in."

"It is a great bunch with experience and youth. David Chapman is awesome and Phil Armstrong organises things so well. We have talented sailors on board, which is brilliant. From Rob Greenhalgh - and he fitted in so well - and then also some youth, like Jess Angus. It is good to have that kind of spread of participation, and we all benefit from it!"

"It means we have a good standard on board, and we support each other, which really makes a difference. It is all about fit, and matching people to roles, and we have three female members of the crew too. So I am sailing with good people, for it reminds you that the worst day sailing is better than a top one in the office."

As for the McConaghy 38s, Quick said, "It was a learning curve after first time on Pittwater late last year, which was great. It was an excellent challenge. We just tried to be consistent, overtaking where we could. It also means you're always still in with a chance, as you can plane. Neville's team are a great bunch of guys. They're quiet, stick to their roles, are positive and have a can-do attitude, which is a delight. Doing something like this is wonderful. Great sailors such as Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, Martin Hill, and Andrew Hunn have managed to put together fantastic programs to win Australian Championships in multiple classes. Hopefully we can continue on, and match some of their other successes."

Little boats now, and seeing as the contenders for the Olympic Singlehander have been having their evaluations in Spain of late, I could not help but notice this latest furore over the Laser. Naturally, you would think that this is not a good time for one of the builders to have their licence revoked, given that a lot of the criteria around the choice will involve Anti-Trust issues.

In talking with an expert who has followed the Olympics, and their classes, for over 20 years it seems that is not a new thing, but the result of an ILCA inspector being turned away from Laser Performance (LPE) quite some time ago, and that LPE was warned as far back as 12 months ago. It is further alleged that LPE principal, Fazhad Rastegar, has written stating that the Police would be called if said inspectors turned up at the factory again. As inspection forms part of the terms of agreement to build, the outcome seems sort of obvious. Little wonder Chris Caldecoat's Performance Sailcraft Australia will be looked to for continued supply.

Right oh, here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information about the skippers for the next Clipper, IMOCAs, America's Cup, GC32s, Golden Globe, RS Aero, racing from Tasmania, Newcastle, and South Australia, Mirabaud awards, Superyachts in Sardinia (yes please), and certainly there is much, much more. Also very good to see that the Fremantle Sailing Club picked up Maiden with engine failure and brought her in to Perth with all on board safe and well. She had sought help at around 0230hrs on Sunday morning local time and was towed in the 40nm from Ledge Point.

Remember, if your class or association is generating material, make sure we help you spread your word, and you can do that by emailing us. Should you have been forwarded this email by a friend, and want to get your very own copy in your inbox moving forward, then simply follow the instructions on our newsletter page, where you can also register for different editions.

Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World.com AUS

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