Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

2014 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week- Maxi Ragamuffin's racing comeback

by Lisa Ratcliff on 19 Aug 2014
Maxi Ragamuffin off Dent Island Andrea Francolini
2014 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - The 27 ton bullet-proof aluminium built Maxi Ragamuffin is making its racing comeback at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week following a 21 year lull when the old girl toiled as a charter workhorse.

Maxi Ragamuffin is a German Frers design built in Mona Vale in Sydney in 1979, the same year when racing as Bumblebee IV for John Kahlbetzer the boat took line honours in the Sydney to Hobart. Under Syd Fischer’s charge another two line honours triumphs would belong to the famous maxi and Ragamuffin moniker, in 1988 and 1990.

The boat joined the 93-boat fleet at the inaugural Hamilton Island Race Week in 1984 and at least one part of the boat has been a permanent fixture at the island since 2009. The 30m aluminium flagpole on the flagdeck at Hamilton Island Yacht Club used for starting and finishing races at Race Week is the mast off Bumblebee IV which was lost overboard in Sydney Harbour then salvaged.

The mast was repaired and re-stepped in the boat and eventually replaced some years later by a more modern version. The original was stored in a warehouse in Sydney and forgotten until it came to the new yacht club’s finishing touches, when Commodore of HIYC Iain Murray thought it a fitting addition.



Maxi Ragamuffin’s new owner Keith Batt has grand plans for the 80-footer he purchased less than a year ago starting with Race Week August 16 to 23, then the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race in December.

In seven years Maxi Ragamuffin will head to Europe and the UK to retrace the epic sailing journey of the Nant Estate’s original settler who made the 10,000 mile journey from Cardiff to Van Diemen’s Land in 1821 to set up a whisky distillery.



Batt bought the convict built sandstone mill, last used in 1884, in Tasmania’s Central Highlands in 2004 and is successfully distilling under the Nant name. 'We’ve found French made mill stones the early settlers brought out from Calais in the paddocks at the property,' said Batt, the CEO of Nant Distilling Company.

Some yachts in the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week fleet have power winches, electric furling sails and canting keels. It’s old fashioned grunt on Maxi Ragamuffin with the original cleats and winches and plenty of lugging, grinding and a heart-starting workout at every sail change and hoist for the 17 man crew.



Given its vintage, trying to find parts for the aging deckware is proving challenging. Graham ‘Scooter’ Eaton from AME is overseeing the refurb and he’s had to arrange for replacement parts to be specially milled.

Some of the boat’s original sails dusted off for Race Week haven’t been used since 1993; they were dug out of storage at Airlie Beach. So far the big heavy boat hasn’t had the chance to wind up in the light breezes, or test the strength of the sail cloth in the gusts.



Also in Maxi Ragamuffin’s cruising division one is another big boat from a by-gone era - Condor, a two-time line honours winner in the Sydney Hobart race and winner of the famous Fastnet race out of England, and Whitebirds, an aluminium built Kel Steinman design originally launched as Bobsled.

The norm at these regattas is the workers sleep in the boat while the boat owner rents an apartment ashore. Batt is clearly enamoured with his new purchase. He sleeps on his boat and the rest of the crew stay in rented accommodation.

For more information, please click here.

Ensign 660T Clewring J-classBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Hoisted on their own petard
Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear... Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear in World Sailing’s premier event, the Sailing World Cup. In that time, a flurry of material has espoused all manner of joyous points including travel grants and prize money. That’s terrific and the hope is that somehow this will overcome the tyranny of distance for Melbourne
Posted on 9 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May