Extreme Speed to Ultimate Cruising
With a fleet ranging from Extreme 40’s to a Seawind 1160 an impressive diversity of craft lined up for this year’s regatta. Grabbing some of the limelight is the inclusion of three Extreme 40’s. In 2007 these speed machines lit up the sailing world bringing thrilling stadium sailing to the sailor’s life. With the move in 2016 to the foiling GC32’s it appears these magnificent scaled up Tornadoes are finding a new lease of life in the Australian multihull scene. The burning question on everyone’s mind is of course, ‘Will the Extreme 40’s be able to handle Moreton Bay if the breeze gets up?’
Sailing on Drew Carruthers’ Rushour, the breeze whistles in at a steady 15/20kts for day one’s windward/leewards. Winner of the Groupama around New Caledonia race and the Brisbane to Keppel race, she’s a powerhouse offshore racing cat, licking her lips at the prospect of some choppy seas. On this bright autumn day, with temperatures hovering at a pleasant 25ºC the seven division one multis and 12 division two multis prepare to race. Mike Perberdy skippering High Voltage, rightly decides these aren’t the conditions to learn on an Extreme 40 and heads back to the dock. Every race counts but race one of a series usually sets the trends.
Julian Griffiths’ Boatworks, having campaigned for a few years is the Extreme 40 with credentials. Geoff Berg’s Allyacht Spars Indian Chief, fondly known as the ‘red rocket’, duels Boatworks for the favoured start boat end and off they charge into the typical short seas of Moreton Bay. Getting dirty wind from Indian Chief, Drew decides to tack, but in the heat of the excitement she stalls. This allows Darren Drew’s all-time classic Top Gun to pass as Rushour pays off on port tack towards Green Island. Meanwhile Michael Van de Zwaard’s debut Extreme 40, rocking the AC/DC theme with Back in Black, has put the bow down, leading handsomely around the windward mark. Rounding off this spectacle is perhaps the most interesting debutante in division one, Peter Wilcox’s new Asia Catamarans, Cosmo.
Indian Chief have got away nicely in race three, although Back in Black are in the box seat to weather. The Boatworks is already in trouble with the jib traveller pulled out. They continue the race bare headed.
Five minutes later division two gets underway, a great chance to compare the cruiser racer fleet. Here we have the likes of the valiant Corsair Sprint 750 Triton, taking on the mighty 60’ Schionning Esprit. Aboard Rushour the plot is unfolding quickly, Top Gun narrowly lead us towards the first mark, unfortunately their jib tack comes undone and their day is over. We’re enjoying a stellar battle with Indian Chief narrowly leading us. Manning the foredeck rather than the helm, I’m not used to being fire hosed while wrestling with a monster kite as the aftergaurd call for it to be done faster! I want to join the foredeck union!
Back in Black, holding a glamour lead loses its 75sqm carbon main as the headboard let’s go. With two of five races being held on day one, three division one boats have already shot their series chances less than an hour into a four day series. In a thrilling finish, Drew shows nerves of steel, sending his creation at 20kts on port to narrowly pip a starboard gybe finishing Indian Chief by four seconds. Yet it’s the mighty Boatworks, who take the OMR win.
With a huge waterline advantage, Esprit blitz division two, barely feeling the chop. Richard Jenkins’ 42’ Kestrel finishes only six seconds behind Alan Larkin’s Schionning G-Force Attitude, a commendable performance. In a David and Goliath clash, the Corsair Sprint 750 Triton is a mere four seconds behind the powerful Lidgard 52 Avalanche. Rounding off the close racing in division two, Agape, the Farrier82r, get the better of a decent performance by the Seawind 1160 Double Black Diamond.
Now the writing is on the wall and the action keeps rolling. In the second windward leeward Rushour are four minutes late, but stage a great comeback to take the omr win. Indian Chief pip Rushour by eight seconds scoring the PCF win, with the Boatworks completing the course under main alone. Chris Bowden’s Corsair Sprint 750 Triton, impressively take third over the line against bigger boats in division two. Hilda, the Seawind 1190 Sport, manage to get around the course in the interesting Seawind showdown, beaten home by Double Black Diamond.
Michael Van der Zwaad's Back in Black charge off in race one. They held a commanding lead before their headboard failed.
A dramatic start to the passage race sees the Boatworks pull out their jib track and have to race under main alone. High Voltage break their headboard and the main comes crashing down. Mike Perberdy’s team valiantly head ashore, repair it and sail out to Russell Island for the nights festivities. Top Gun light up, charging upwind into the short seas for a convincing OMR win. Cosmo, who have been working hard on new boat teething problems, find a sandbank on Redland Bay and break off one of their high tech asymmetric boards. The mighty Espirit mistakenly sail the division one course and remarkably record an elapsed time only two minutes slower than Rushour. Attitude narrowly beat home Kestral for the division two win, while Hilda enjoy a win over Double Black Diamond.
After a night of fine camaraderie at the RQYS annex on Canaipa point, race four starts as a looming rain squall approaches. Rushour is off to a cracker start under their huge kite but the freshening squall has the crew battling to make a quick change down to a screecher. Cosmo, racing with only one board is finally having some joy, having set off under a screecher, duelling with the ‘red rocket’. Slipping tack lines, tangled sheets and a wineglass sees Rushour on the back foot, trailing division one. Settling in we make up time, passing the lower rating Cosmo and pegging back Top Gun but at the St Helena red, as we try to drop the kite, the halyard is stuck and its race over for us.
Agape, Rob White's Farrier 82r, performed well in division two. She was third over the line in the downwind passage race.
The Boatworks are runaway winners, while Mike Perberdy manages his first finish, less than a minute behind the well sailed Back in Black. Top Gun pip Indian Chief with Cosmo showing promise on OMR. Esprit is once again easy victor in division two, while the Farrier 82r pips home the Corsair Sprint 750 by seven seconds giving them a well earned second and third. In the Seawind battle, the 1190 Sport levels the score beating home the modified 1160. Fruition, the comfortable looking Lance 14m enjoy their best race beating home Avalanche.
Such a wide range of craft reflect the huge diversity in our multihull racing world. The Extreme 40’s sparred up against each other in a league of their own, while the offshore orientated OMR cats enjoyed close results. In division two the wide range of more cruising craft proved fine competition for the smaller Corsair and Farrier tri’s.
With sails reflecting in the sublimely placid bay like a mirror on a supremely beautiful autumn morning, racing is abandoned on the final day. Highlight of the presentation is the first class food reminiscent of our days racing in Asia. A delightful team plied us with fresh scallops in shells, succulent lamb cutlets, calamari, whiting bites, samosas, sweet potato chips and many more delights. Meanwhile Julian Griffiths claimed the divisione one OMR trophy for the second year running, while Geoff Berg’s win in PCF reflected perhaps the best campaign, giving great opportunities to his young crew and making the least mistakes in division one.
Designed and built by Richard Jenkins, the 42' Kestrel took out division two OMR, second on PCF.
Bob Peberdy took out the division two title and has really got the hang of the mighty Esprit now. No doubt next year his handicap will reflect this. Richard Jenkins on Kestrel won the division two omr, with all the winners fittingly collecting bottles of rum. Once again a first class regatta, hosted by Queensland’s premier yacht club, the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in conjunction with the Multihull Yacht Club of Queensland.