by John Curnow
To achieve an overall win in a race like the Rolex Sydney Hobart, you have to have a good boat, great crew and the right sails.
Two True downwind
Whenever Mother Nature is involved, a certain amount of luck, with things like the weather, will always assist you too. It's this last element that adds the thrill component, which makes ocean racing the sport that it is, for without it, it would be called something entirely different.
Andrew Saies certainly wanted to achieve this goal, so it was definitely a measured and considered program that they deployed to go about it. Two True's Quantum Sails are a crucial element of the whole campaign. 'We chose Quantum Sails, because our goal was to win our division in the 2009 Rolex Sydney to Hobart.'
Brett Young, who runs Two True for Andrew, talks of Quantum Sails Victoria's, Dave Eickmeyer. 'We've always had sensational service from Ikey and we've really been looked after with this boat. They've given us some good designs and really backed us up with support. We had fantastic Code Zero and A4 designs. You've got to get what you actually need and Ikey has done a sensational job.'
'The Code Zero won us the race! We used it on the morning of the second day and then during the day for tight reaching. We'd lead our sistership Wicked by two or three miles into the first night and woke up in the morning with them five miles ahead and I still don't know how. We said, ‘Right, we've got better gear than these guys and a better sail wardrobe.
quantum sails logo quantum logo
'They don't have any asymmetrical spinnakers, so we will get reaching. We've just got to hang onto these guys and our wardrobe will get us through. If we let these guys go it'll come down to luck and who gets the best conditions.
'We're going to stick to our game plan. We're going to keep these guys in touch' and sure enough it got to Code Zero and a little bit of assy conditions. As a result, we were able to do a knot and a half faster for five miles, which was all that we needed to pass them.'
Beneteau First 40 Two True lr
'Additionally, we were running 10 people on a tri watch system, whereas they were running eight people, on a split watch system. At the time I said that they will fatigue on the third night and it was on that third night when we locked them out them. That's where the difference was - fatigue and the sail wardrobe', Brett said whilst recounting the race.
Dave explains the whole process with a little more detail. 'Andrew's old boat, the Beneteau 40.7, was quick and they had done well with it. We had done all the sails for that boat, so we had a lot of knowledge that we could use when creating the new wardrobe for Andrew's Beneteau First 40.
As a mark of all the development that went into the earlier boat, it is not surprising that in a lot of ways, the sails for the new boat are modified versions, designed to harness the new hull's performance characteristics.'
There are certainly benefits stemming from a long-term association. Dave and Brett have known each other for 20 years. Their friendship stems from when Brett used to sail on Dave's sports boat.
Andrew Saies and Crew from TWO TRUE Final Prizegiving Ceremony at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania
More recently, the pair also spent time together on Phil Coombs DK46 Dekadence, which always spent time on the podium, including 1st place in last year's Club Marine Series, on Melbourne's Port Phillip.
Of that race-winning sail, the Code Zero, Dave comments, 'Zeros are an awesome sail! A lot of people underestimate them. They're just fantastic in 55° plus, which you get a fair bit of in the ocean.
'A Jib Topper is really only going to be effective in 15 knots and above, whereas with the small jib boats, you can use this sail in under 15 knots, anywhere from 60 to 90°. That's a massive hole that gets plugged by the one sail and as the pressure builds, you can just run deeper with it.'
'It's different to the early zeros. It's not an uphill sail, but rather, it's a reaching bag with a tight luff and a 75% mid-girth, which makes it a spinnaker.
'The technology of the 1.8oz laminate sailcloth allows shape to be built into the sail. It won't go ‘puff' as the pressure builds and you can take it to 20 knots, as long as you run really deep with it', he added.
Two True had four spinnakers onboard. There was the Code Zero, the one asymmetrical and two powerful, downhill and easy-to-trim symmetrical kites.
Quantum's Fusion Membrane sails were deployed, as Dave explains, '… these offer a big steering groove by virtue of their straight exits, so that when you sheet it on, you know you won't be causing massive issues.
'When we looked at the whole package, we wanted to ensure that there was a consistent matching of mainsail luff curve with mast bend, backstay pressure and the removal of excessive forestay sag. The other big thing was to look at sail size optimisation for IRC and we managed to get a another couple of points, which all helps!'
Andrew Saies' comment on the package is that, 'The key to our success was the quality and performance of the Quantum membrane sails, which enabled us to reach or exceed target speeds throughout the race.'
Indeed there seems to be a bit of a shift occurring, with a lot of boat owners keen to investigate Quantum's success in many divisions.
Dave commented of the recent Docklands Invitational, 'The Docklands win with Scarlet Runner was truly great.
'There were challenging conditions on the last day when that buster came through. We broke a runner tail, which we replaced with a spare jib sheet.
'At 5.7tonne, the runner broke and the block hit the carbon batten in the head and broke it! That's 20 odd metres up. We had to run downhill to get it back, then gybed and got back into racing for the last beat. On the run down it hit 38 knots and we ended up sailing goose winged to avoid the gybe in the last half, as the opposition had caused themselves all sorts of issues with their kite. We still managed 22knots SOG, however.'
Carl Crafoord, Dave Eichmeyer and Robert Date (R) after winning the Docklands Invitational
'Overall, we were pleased to see so many Quantum boats out there. Five out of the 11 doing Docklands were ours and in the Production Class, it was three from seven with Two True coming 2nd, Extasea 3rd and Akatea 5th.
'In the Sydney 38s, four of the 10 boats competing had Quantum sails to some degree. 1st was Cinquante, who's wardobe is virtually all us and 4th placed Chainsaw, uses our jibs', Dave commented.
When Carl Crafoord joined the Quantum Sails team some five months ago, to manage Quantum's business in Australia and Asia, he said, ‘our emphasis will be on delivering the best possible service, with the best people, from sail makers servicing sails to professional racing sailors who will sail with clients, to pass on knowledge in areas of boat speed and tactics and more.'
Indeed, as a measure of the strength of those words, he was in fact at Docklands and Geelong for Audi Victoria Week, sailing with Dave aboard Rob Date's Scarlet Runner.
'What a hoot. We had a good time and got some great results too! It would be good if they can make it for the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta. This is something we do for our clients and we really love it', Carl commented.
'Globally we have 60 lofts and we remain committed to technology, so that we can offer the best products, manufactured to the most exacting requirements and keep clients happy. The refinements to our FusionM sails are a product of this and our involvement in the sport's highest categories.'
Quantum Sail Design Group have stated that they are definitely there for IRC production boats and it seems serial winners, like Bob Robertson's Farr 40 Cracklin' Rosie, who won the recent Sail to Paradise regatta, agree.
Cracklin' Rosie - Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week Day 2
They have recently taken delivery of upwind wardrobes and there's been many individual sails made for Beneteaus and other branded boats, as well. 'It's quote central here at the moment, which is just fantastic. It's great to see that our efforts are being recognised. We've been continuing to build a strong team, so I am sure people are seeing us deliver on our service promise', Carl finished by saying.
It is little wonder then, that Andrew Saies had this to say of his dealings with Quantum. 'The service and attentiveness of the Quantum Sails team in getting us on the starting line and in full race mode, was fantastic.'
So. In order to anticipate the shift and see how a measure of Quantum will affect your results, call Carl Crafoord, on 02 9905 7715 or reach Dave Eickmeyer, on 03 5975 1119.