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Bavaria yachts' offshore success

by Jane Pares, IMB on 8 Jun 2007
Nautilus, Bavaria 36, Fatu Hiva - Solo circumnavigation by Ron Sim in his Bavaria 36 ’Nautilus’ Ron Sim

Bavaria Yachts have recently been proving their worth offshore and given a very definite thumbs-up by their owners and crew. For comfort and speed on the oceans the J&J designed Bavaria brand are quite superior.

In early May, Kriselda, a Bavaria 39 left Opua, in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, in glorious sunshine, a moderate swell and very light breezes, on course for South Minerva Reef, 720 nautical miles away. She was one of 19 yachts in the Island Cruising Association’s (www.islandcruising.co.nz) annual Tonga Rally.

Light winds made for slow going early on, but within 48 hours of leaving the winds began to increase, as did the swell and when the crew checked the weather fax they found that the isolated low which was expected to dissipate, was in fact stationery and right in their way. Sailing into it they were hit by blustery easterlies and a big uncomfortable swell slapping hard onto the starboard beam.


For two days and three nights they got hammered by high winds gusting up to 40+ knots, big seas and heavy rain. Visibility in the heavy rain squalls was limited and they relied on the auto pilot to give them a break from helming.

On day three the sun came out from behind the clouds but the wind was still a blustery 25 to 35 knots from the east and the waves required careful helming. Averaging 6.5 to 7.5 knots over the ground - 8 to 9 through the water - with a double reef in the main and only a few feet of the genoa showing, they sailed into South Minerva Reef.


Kriselda’s performance delighted her owner, Peter Jensen, with a daily average of 150nm and average speed of 6.5knots. As one of the smallest boats in the fleet they were very pleased to be the first yacht under 50ft into South Minerva having weathered the punishment of the storm with comparative ease.


Kriselda is currently cruising round Tonga and Fiji and will return to New Zealand for the 2007 summer season.

Ron Simm from Austria, who is solo circumnavigating on his Bavaria 36, Nautilus is absolutely wrapped with his latest passage from the Galapagos to the Marquesas!

'…… quite constant winds, seas less than 2.5m and not too many squalls. My best 24 hour run was 182 miles. All in all it took me 19 days and 4 hours including anchoring, to cover the 3000 nautical miles from Isla Isabella (Galapagos) to Fatu Hiva (Marquesas). Due to the ITCZ I could not sail a direct course but had to go south for the first three days to pick up the trades.


I outpaced many mono hulls and even a catamaran which left at the same time - the mono hulls by as much as 2 - 5 days and the catamaran by 1 day! Nautilus happily planed downwind! I sailed for hours at speeds of 8 to 10 knots with a top speed of 11.6. Other yachties, especially the ones from the catamaran, were quite surprised and frankly - so was I! I had no damage whatsoever, while most other boats had one or another major problem with equipment.'

Ron and Nautilus are due into New Zealand in November this year.




Bavaria 46, Pebbel Rebel wins 2007 New Plymouth – Mooloolaba Race

Bill Byford and Duthie Lidgard took line honours and 1st place for their 7 days, 7 hours 37 minutes crossing of the Tasman. They were as much as two days ahead of the next monohull home.

'I think I’ll retire from ocean racing after this,' commented Duthie, who has spent a life on the water. 'It just can’t get any better.. ! We had 8 plus knots of boat speed in just 10 knots of SSW.' Pebble Rebel is a fast and very comfortable boat.


Their win is a great achievement for Bill, who has increasingly difficult mobility problems. It is also very exciting for a Bavaria to win such a prestigious race and speaks volumes for their performance as both ocean cruisers and racers.

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