Crac-A-Jac’s latest Trophy
Wild Days Rum Tours on Waiheke Island – more details here
What a great race ( for us ). Crac-A-Jac a 30+ year old Bruce Farr designed 1/4 tonner enjoyed the soft conditions all the way to Tauranga finishing the race 1 1/2 hours ahead on corrected time – results here, scroll down to page 5.
In this issue;
Crac-A-Jac – 2 handed to Tauranga.
KZ-2 Steinlager 2 to race in Legends,
ETNZ Camper leaves Auckland,
Blue Planet Times,
AC45 – race testing – flips, spills and big grins,
AC45 China Team – first sail here,
Laura Dekker – update here,
Sir Richard Branson on board his boat,
Australian Rider Keahi de Aboitiz,
Scuttlebutt USA – latest issue here,
Sail-World UK – latest issue here,
Sail-World Europe & Africa – latest issue here,
Sail-World USA – latest issue here,
Sail-World Asia – latest issue here,
Sail-World NZ – latest issue here,
Sailing Anarchy – News from the Viaduct – latest updates here,
Des Top News,
Volvo Ocean Race – latest news here,
The weather man said it would be light winds on Thursday building slowly during the day to a nice easterly and a southerly for the ride home.
A few days from the start I start watching the weather. The shifty light conditions were going to favour the little boats who could wriggle the best, make the most of the shifts and keep the game close.
Start time and the breeze had gone on its Easter break, staying in the strongest out going tide would be key to getting out of the harbour. As kite trimmers tweaked and swore at the lake of breeze to fill code zeros we just worked our jib and stayed with the strong tide to stay with the fleet. as best we could. 1 1/2 hours later we drift past Devonport. slowly a north easterly builds to 3 knots. all around us are drifting in every direction. Open Country, our Tauranga friends are behind us, Hysteria, our BMW regatta friends are also behind us the front runners have drifted past Bean Rock and the fastest yacht in New Zealand, Vodafone is becalmed off Browns Island. You can just imagine the frustration setting in all over the fleet as race records are the furtherest from anybodies thoughts.
Then as if to say don’t butter that toast New Zealand the best is yet to come the 3 knots of breeze turns into nothing and we all sit slip slop slapping.
Crac-A-Jac is still making the best of the situation. Slip slop slap some more sun screen and trim the sails to keep us drifting east. Then wouldn’t you know it the breeze from the east has built from the south and those under Rangi are looking very sick. We weave and twist ourselves though the fishing fleet as a local reels in a good size schapper. Time to tack, yep folks our 3 knots has built to 5, sneaking us past the headlands and channels of the inner gulf islands. Staying in as much tide as we can we wriggle our way East. East towards to forecast new breeze, East along the coast of Waiheke, past Oneroa, Palm Beach and Onetangi.
One by one the fleet tack onto starboard and head towards Maria Island. mmmm the tide has turned and they will be pushing it back towards the start. We are heading for the finish and elect to stay with the tide flow along the Waiheke coast towards Gannet Rock.,Then just as the sun goes down a mighty rightie is bending us south, a couple of quick tacks and we have clocked ourselves right above the fleet, only Escapology has had a better rightie and they are 20 degrees higher than us and we are 20 degrees higher than the fleet. Open Country have also stayed close to the Waiheke shore and are too enjoying a huge gain on the early trackers. One by one a new green light appears under our boom. Little old Cac-A-Jac is having a glamour. Sending it strait past 17 green lights. Keep sailing fast Edwin they will be chewing their arms off when they realise the 3 of us have nailed their asses to the wall. It would take another 6 hours to sail 25 miles to Channel Island where Vodafone had found a big sticky hole. The classic who we had been duelling with from the start would take 6 hours to catch us. By the time we reached the northern end of Coromandel 33 green lights and 4 white lights are all within 5 miles of us. Holy crap that’s the bulk of the fleet, only 41 yachts have entered the race and 14 hours into it, Edwin’s little 727 is still in sight, blood on those decks tonight.
By now the northerly has built to 10 knots and the bigger yachts are finely able to stretch away. 15 knots across the deck is time for the number 2, Edwin is clipping on the new sail as the breeze decides to piss off for a rest. shit now its building from the south east, must be too close to the high hills of Coromandel. Gennie up as we try to keep moving north, here comes the Classic, doing what Classics do best in light winds – keep going. Arrrrr the northerly is back, back to the head sail and make course to Channel Island. We round the island just before midnight, a few miles behind the classic and a few miles ahead of 5 green lights.
Time to tack and the smaller sail is not producing enough grunt to deal with the confused chop, back to number 1, it’s a long port lay to the next corner just off the Mercury Islands through the Hole in the wall about 25 miles south east of Channel Island. The Hole in the wall is a great fishing spot with lots of rocks and a few islands, spectacular cruising grounds and home to some of the prettiest beaches, rockie bays and coves New Zealand has to offer. As the moon rises so do the clouds, our star filled night is being replaced with building rain clouds to the east and the mist is blocking the visiblity. However the wet stuff is bring breeze and we are able to tack and wriggle our way past some tied yachties and by the half way mark we can still see 17 lights the 5 that followed us around Channel are still behind.
We are through the hole, boobing like a cork, slip slop slapping our way south in 5 knots of random breeze. As the mist clears we can see 17 yachts against the coast, we have wriggled our way east and are first to get the new breeze, under number 1 and full main Edwin is able to catch the odd wave past Open Country who are slip slop slapping there way backwards. The breeze has now settled to a nice 10-12 knots from the north east, time for the gennie. Lets see if we can catch some of the bigger waves. One by one the yachts to leeward hoist their spinnakers and slowly pull away once more,
A great sail down the coast to the mount when Edwin spots 2 kites way in the distance behind us, last and second to last are bringing down the last of the northerly breeze as we close on the finish. A call to the race office as we run down the last few miles and 32 hours after starting in Auckland we arrive during sunset on Good Friday at the finish.
Edwin’s sister Kathlyn and dad have made the trip south and are waiting with a hot meal and a beer. All the boats have finished and the boys on Vodafone have been celebrating a long race since 3am some 15 hours ahead of us. The first Monohull, the 50ft Akatea finished about 9 hours ahead yet the bulk of the fleet has finished during the afternoon. We have been able to sail Edwin’s Crac-A-Jac to a win in the 2 handed division. A result worth every inch of the 120 miles. The conditions were kind to us, with a bit more wind the bigger yachts would have had a better race, but a win is a win and we will collect the trophy and enjoy the result. A quick feed and it’s time to head home. Day job is calling and the holding of the trophy will have to wait for another day.
Kathlyn in her pink Crac-A-Jac shirt is our trophy collector. Double Grin.
Special thanks to Mike from Sea Safe who supplied a tracker for our supporters to follow us. When you plan your next adventure into the bush or onto the ocean give Mike a call and for just a few dollars your friends and family can follow you too.
The win in the Auckland – Tauranga Race tops off a great year for us.
BMW Regatta Division 5 PHRF winners
Auckland Anniversary Day 2011 Small Keel Boat Division Line and Handicap Winners
Rocky Bay Regatta Line Honours Winners
SSANZ 2010 Farr 727 PHRF Winners
Now it’s your turn, if you would like to support Edwin in his adventures please contact his manager at edwinsail.com
KZ-2 Steinlager 2 to race in Legends
Alicante, Spain 26 April 2011. One of the most important and famous boats of all time, the Farr-designed maxi-ketch Steinlager 2, which, with legendary Kiwi skipper Sir Peter Blake in charge, won all six legs of the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race (the forerunner of the Volvo Ocean Race) will be in Alicante later this year to race in the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion.
Now restored to her original colours and still racing under her original sail number KZ-2, Steinlager 2 will make the voyage across the Atlantic from Antigua in time to join in the festival that is the Volvo Ocean Race Legends. Racing against her from the same era will be Rothmans, originally skippered by Englishman Lawrie Smith, and Charles Jourdan, whose skipper was Frenchman, Alain Gabbay.
“I couldn’t be happier,” said Legends ambassador, Lady Pippa Blake, whose late husband Peter competed in the Whitbread five times. “I hope that as many of Peter’s crew as possible will come to the Legends and relive the past. The event will be an exciting and fun time and seeing Steinlager 2 racing with the fleet will be quite something. It will be a huge spectacle,” she added.
Steinlager 2 was bought by Giorgio Falck, the Italian skipper of Gatorade, which competed in the same race. She was repainted blue and named Safilo after her Italian eyewear sponsor. She continued to be a winning boat until Falck sold her to Serge Vassard from Belgium. Once again, she was repainted and renamed Barracuda.
On 24 January 2003, a group of idealists from the Yacht Club del Mare in Lugano, Switzerland, chartered the boat for the Les Voiles de Saint Tropez regatta and fell in love with her when sailing her back to Rome. “The yacht was in poor condition, but even so, her fascination was unbeatable,” explains current owner Stefan Detjen. “During the delivery, we decided to save her from a sad end.”
“When we started the restoration, we soon learned that a one-off big ketch needs particular knowledge and a lot of money. With every new bill, the initial group of 10 co-owners reduced. The first enthusiasm was soon over, and then the hard work started,” he explains. Now it is just Stefan and his wife Regina left caring for Big Red, and there is still a plan to take her back home to New Zealand where her life first begun.
Steinlager 2 is currently lying at Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua, where she is being prepared for an Atlantic crossing back to Europe. A lot of money was invested to bring her back to her former glory, including a complete refit, a new paint job, new engine and new rigging. She has already completed six Atlantic crossings with a current crew that treat her like the Holy Grail, and, according to Stefan, love her more than any other boat.
Bringing the boat to the Legends means a lot to him. “I feel that this symbol of yachting and good old legend days must be treated with respect and we want to offer a bigger circle of interested people the chance to have a look at one of the most victorious yachts from the days of the big racing ketches,” he says.
After all, the powers that be considered using Extreme 40s to jump-start the America’s Cup World Series, then decided against them because those boats are known to be too much in a breeze. At considerably greater effort and expense, the AC45s were created to meet the mandate that Cup boats be race-worthy whether the wind is light or heavy (and to have boats with wings). So the sight of Oracle Racing flipping in 22-25 knots of breeze on day one of the test series in Auckland was, um, arresting.
I guess Jimmy “We were pushing really hard” Spithill now knows a bit more about where the edge is.
Safe to say, you might have flipped the whole fleet if they had been sailing X-40s, but it’s an interesting problem, isn’t it? You’re a designer, and you know these one-design 45s were drawn with rather full bows for buoyancy and straight daggerboards for simplicity, and you have to figure it’s working pretty well since it’s taken this long for one to flip by being driven too hard. But you know that when you scale up to the 72s you will go to curved daggerboards—capable of carrying perhaps 80 percent of the displacement of the boat—which gives you an opportunity to go to thinner bow sections.
And that’s faster.
While it’s right side up.
“We were pushing really, really hard,” Spithill explained. “We ended up having a capsize, we just weren’t quite set up right for that run. But it was a good experience. I think everyone will go through this… I don’t think it will be the last time.”
No one was injured in any of the incidents today and the Oracle Racing boat suffered minor damage to the wing. But Spithill expects to be sailing again on Wednesday.
On the race management side, Regatta Director Iain Murray also declared the day a success. “I think it’s fair to say we tested a lot of things and found some we need to work on further, but at the end of the day we’ve brought together a bunch of teams as well as a whole lot of new systems and that’s what it’s all about. Generally our equipment worked and everyone is now getting familiar with it,” Murray said.
“I think the teams learned a lot as well. The teams pushed it about as far as they need to push it today but everyone lives to sail another day and we’ll be out there again tomorrow.”
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget
Photo by Chris Cameron
follow the chatter on Sailing Anarchy here
PUMA’s Mar Mostro moves to another shed at New England Boatworks to have finishing touches made.
As a team, about a year ago we set May 1, 2011, as our date to have PUMA’s new Volvo Open 70 in the water sailing. The fact that we are closing in on that date and it looks as if we’ll meet our goal is practically a miracle. There are typically a million reasons during a boat build to continually move the schedule backwards — all good reasons, by the way. But, the build team refused to buckle under, and everyone has double shifted for nearly the entire build and worked around the clock for the last six weeks to make sure that our sailing date would be met without a loss of quality. What did this extraordinary effort give us? Lots and lots of design time. We started the build as late as possible to give the Juan K office several weeks more than our schedule allowed, which immediately put our build team under the gun. Hopefully it was time well spent — we certainly think so. Yet even with all that design time, our boat will be the second, third generation V-70 in the water. Fantastic!
This is certainly the week to praise our 40+ person build team lead by Brandon Linton, Tim Hacket and their spectacular construction “swat team,” as well as the entire work force and management group at New England Boatworks. Brad Jackson has been a fantastic build coordinator from the sailing side, working daily with Nahuel Wilson from the Juan K office on every single detail on the boat. As I have said before, these races are won or lost before the start. Our entire build team has done their job amazingly well, now it’s up to the sailors to keep the momentum going.
As we stand here on Monday, April 26, we have a complete Volvo Open 70. Over the next week, the entire team (both shore and sailing) will put the finishing touches on Mar Mostro. The boat has moved today from the low roof “building” shed to a high roof “finishing” shed to have the keel put on and the remaining big bits and pieces installed. Later this week, the completed boat will come out of the high roof shed to have the mast stepped. And after a “thank you party” for all the builders and suppliers and a day or so of stress tests, we get to go sailing early next week.
I have to admit, we’re all antsy to get on our new boat. The final few build weeks is always hard on the team. Each of the sailors has their area of expertise and they’re all dying to get on our new toy to try everything out. In a little over a week, we’ll start the process of testing this amazing new piece of hardware and try to prove whether this boat will live up to very lofty expectations.
Soon enough, Mar Mostro will be sailing around Newport Harbor and into Rhode Island Sound. It will be pretty easy to tell who we are because the world has never seen a graphics package like this boat has. Plus, its still a bit chilly around here and there is literally no one else dumb enough to go sailing yet except for us.