Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Festival of Sails - Anticipating break-neck speeds in Geelong

by Danielle McKay/Festival of Sails media on 14 Jan 2014
Ker 46 Patrice in action Daniel Forster © http://www.DanielForster.com
The 2014 Festival of Sails is set to take place January 21-27 in Geelong. Tony Kirby, skipper of Patrice, had to adjust the yacht’s insurance policy, not because it crashed out of its debut Sydney Hobart with hull damage. Rather he anticipated it would record break-neck speeds at events including Geelong’s Festival of Sails starting next week.

'When I got the policy it said I’m insured to 20-knots of speed, and I thought ‘geez, this won’t do’,' Kirby said.

'So I’m now insured to 30 knots. The yacht’s sistership in Cape Town did 32 knots downwind; we’ve managed 25 so far. There’s nice flat seas and solid wind in Geelong on Corio Bay, so we’re excited to see what she can do.'

Kirby’s Ker 46 has set tongues wagging since her baptism in November last year, racking up a string of podium finishes and a fourth in its first test-run in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Cabbage Tree Island race.

All the success made the light-displacement carbon-hulled racer a fancied favourite for the coveted Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race’s Tattersall’s Cup, awarded to the overall winner.

It looked like Patrice was set to continue as she started, leading overall with just 50-odd nautical miles remaining on the run to Hobart.

But as a stiff sou’wester blasted 40, 50 and then over 60 knot winds across a confused, short and sharp sea near Tasman Island, the dream run came to an end.

Three fractures in two bow ring-frames surfaced and Patrice’s race was over.

'We didn’t have a choice,’’ Kirby reflected while sitting inside the bow of his yacht which is on a Hobart slipway.

'If we had have kept pushing it would have made it a lot worse, it would have delaminated; we could have been in a life-raft situation.

'The crew understood. We all drew the same conclusion. We’ve got a big future ahead of us, so we didn’t want anyone injured or the boat broken.'

By the time Patrice sidled up to a mooring at Triabunna on Tasmania’s East Coast, the yacht’s designer and builder McConaghy Boats had hatched a plan spanning two continents.

Pre-fabricated sections were constructed in China to replace the fractured ring sections and flown to Australia’s smallest state, Tasmania.

And that’s just how it happened.

Last Wednesday a weather window finally opened up, allowing the crew to motor Patrice the remaining miles to Hobart, where she was slipped at Prince of Wales Bay, Hobart.

A McConaghy shipwright arrived the next day and the race against the clock to get Patrice race ready for the Festival of Sails started in earnest.

'The bad foam was chopped out and new foam was put in,' Kirby explained.

'More layers of carbon skin were added to reinforce both of the rings, it’s probably three millimetres thick either side instead of two now, and the points where the staysails are attached have been lowered to where there’s more bonding.

'It’s only about two-kilos heavier, but much stronger structurally.'

The round-the-clock repair effort means Kirby is now back on track in his racing program.

Patrice will return to the water today, Monday 13th January, her gear reloaded and delivery stock packed for the 400 nautical mile trip across Bass Strait to Victoria.

Kirby expects to leave Hobart on Wednesday and hopes to arrive in Williamstown on Port Phillip on Saturday.

The crew will reassemble on January 22 and begin training for Victoria’s oldest sporting trophy, the Festival of Sails, where they will join the event’s grand prix division contesting the Racing Series.

'I can’t wait to get there; it’s a chance to prove to the world that the boat is what I want it to be; that this is a world beater,’’ Kirby said.

'We’re not lying down, we’re not giving up, and we’re coming back stronger than before. We’ve still a lot to learn about this boat, but we’re ready to compete and start winning again.'

From Tuesday 21st to Monday 27th January an extensive sailing program will cater for all levels, with 17 different classes open to keelboats and multihulls from Australia and overseas.

The event will conclude Monday 27th, the Australia Day public holiday, with the trophy presentations and the final Shoreside Festival program of Festival of Sails website

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
North Technology - Southern SparsNaiadT Clewring Cruising