sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : From Concept to Start Line: Winning the Rolex Sydney Hobart
From Concept to Start Line: Winning the Rolex Sydney Hobart


'Matt Allen is hoping his latest Ichi Ban will deliver an overall win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart'    © Andrea Francolini Photography    Click Here to view large photo

Past Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore, Matt Allen, has spent a year carefully working out what it will take to win the Rolex Sydney Hobart, and his answer is his brand new Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban.

Designing and building the boat, all the decisions and questions and answers that it involved tells us a lot about Matt Allen - the true nature of a Rolex Sydney Hobart - and Australian offshore yachting.

'I worked out that about 70 percent of our racing is ocean racing and 30 percent round-the-buoys, and I wanted a boat that could do both,' Allen says.

'We wanted a boat big enough to get away from the TP52s, so that even if you were on the wrong side of the first shift, you should be able to dictate your own race. We saw that people who built 55 footers had to get the first shift right or they were slowed down.

Matt and Lisa Allen at the launch of Ichi Ban -  Andrea Francolini   Click Here to view large photo
'Also, the ability to shift sails and be manageable both from a crew and cost point of view eliminates bigger sails and canting keels, which all add expense, so 60 feet looked about right,' Allen says.

'We also found that with a 60 footer, you generally get to Hobart around lunchtime, and that’s a good time to arrive, when there is plenty of sea breeze in the Derwent River. The 52s often get there very late at night or early morning, when the wind can be fluky or shut down, and the 70s can be on the other side of that as well.'

Allen says there is a line honours category for boats under 18.5 metres – and Ichi Ban came in at 18.499 metres.

To do both kinds of racing meant an all-round boat, good to windward and downwind. 'No particular strengths or weaknesses,' says Allen. 'She has a powerful hull and plenty of sail area so should be good in all conditions.

'Obviously a VO70 is very fast reaching, and if we get a hard reach to Hobart, they will be a long way ahead of us, but on the east coast of Australia you are generally going up-wind or downwind. The odd bit of reaching doesn’t last that long.'

Ichi Ban’s owner says they did a lot of analysis of both wind direction and speed and found that mostly the winds are lighter in the race than generally thought, too.

So now Allen had a very detailed, highly researched concept in his head. Finding a designer to give the concept substance, he says, was the hardest part of the whole project.

'I spoke to a lot of designers, but many weren’t confident about doing a boat that size. You want a designer you can talk to and is on the same wavelength.'

Ichi Ban heads for the finish - SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Tuesday - CYCA Trophy -  Crosbie Lorimer   Click Here to view large photo
South African designer Shaun Carkeek had been doing a lot of work on the idea of an IRC 55 foot boat without the box restrictions of a TP52 or a Volvo70. 'He’d already done a lot of conceptual thought on the smaller boat. I felt he was the one to pick.'

Allen also decided to go for hydraulic rather than traditional man-powered winches, but again only after a full study of the pros and cons. With hydraulics, you have to run a bigger, heavier motor most of the time - which means a rating penalty - and there is extra weight and complexity of the hydraulics themselves.

However, it means more crew on the rail instead of mid-ships grinding winches, and the crew can concentrate on steering and trimming the boat. It also means that on a long downwind ride, trimming the spinnaker over every wave, hydraulics don’t get tired. Men do.

'We thought this might be one of those things where what might be good for ocean racing might not be good for round-the-buoys, but the more we looked into it we saw that it suited both,' Allen says.

The Ichi Ban saga then moved to Dubai, and Premier Composite Technologies. While they were building her, Allen scoured the world for the best gear he could find. Winches in Italy, mast and rigging in New Zealand, sails mostly made in America.

'You’ve got to pick the right sail maker and designers, and we thought North Sails were the best team for what we wanted,' Allen reckons.

North’s used the same computer system as Southern Spars, who were building Ichi Ban’s mast in Auckland. There was constant interplay between mast and sail designers through the whole process.

Eventually, when the boat from North Africa, sails from North America and rig from New Zealand all came together in Sydney, all that meticulous planning and design paid off.

'They fitted perfectly,' Allen declares. 'The sails’ luff curves were right, the sails fitted; there was no need to send them back to the loft for adjustment.

'Ten years ago you could get close, but never that precise, and you had to work out whether to change the sail to fit the mast or change the mast to fit the sail. That all takes time.'

And with a late November launch and a Boxing Day start, time was in short supply.

Ichi Ban secures the line honours win - CYCA Trophy - Passage Series 2013 -  Andrea Francolini   Click Here to view large photo
Over the year, Allen had been working with Gordon Maguire, the former sailing master of Stephen Ainsworth’s hugely successful but now retired Loki, to meld a crew from former Loki and Ichi Ban alumni.

'It was a bit like my old merchant banking days,' Allen quips, 'mergers and acquisitions'.

'We tried to build a crew that is readily available to sail in Sydney. In recent years, with my old VO70, we had been bringing in people from all over the world for races. We will still do a bit of that; it is good to have the Volvo guys around.

'You don’t need everyone to live in Sydney though. You know when the race starts and roughly when it finishes, so we can bring them in because airfares are cheap these days.

'Anthony Merrington is an Aussie living in New Zealand. The airfare is only a couple of hundred dollars. We won’t bring him over for every race, but you can do that for all the major races.'

Still, even with a crew oozing thousands of racing miles, getting the new boat fully up to speed in a short time is a huge task.

'We can get to 98.5 percent pretty quickly,' Allen says, 'but that final 1.5 percent takes time. You might get to 100 percent sometimes, but then you won’t change gear accurately enough or quickly enough to keep it 100 percent. That is not so important in an ocean race.

'If we were going to do a full-on windward/leeward regatta, you’d think we were not quite ready, but in an ocean race I think we are fine.'

The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia, the Australia Network throughout the Asia Pacific Region and webcast live to a global audience on Yahoo!7 from 12.30pm until 200pm on Boxing Day.

Ichi Ban rounds the ’Kentucky Fried’ mark - SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Tuesday - CYCA Trophy -  Crosbie Lorimer   Click Here to view large photo


by Jim Gale

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=117793

2:03 AM Sun 22 Dec 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Related News Stories:

22 Dec 2013  Video Coverage of last years Sydney to Hobart race
22 Dec 2013  Sailing legend prepares for thrill of Rolex Sydney Hobart chase
22 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Record donation to worthy competitor
22 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - Taylor’s quest for the Cup
21 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney to Hobart - Wild Oats XI receives clean bill of health
20 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney to Hobart - Long range weather forecast favours big boats
20 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Zefiro seeks full blooded southerly
19 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney to Hobart - Patrice performs like a rocket ship
18 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Downwind drag race for Wild Oats XI
18 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The Dark Horse is coming
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race: Heading for the speedway to Cape Town *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The Volvo Ocean race fleet are now all around the turning mark of Fernando de Noronha, and have continued down the Brazilian coast. Currently the first three yachts, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Team Brunel and Team Vestas Wind are all travelling at 17kts, as they travel around the St Helena High. ... [more]  

Join the crew of the ORMA60 TeamVodafoneSailing as they slash 20 minutes off their previous record for the PIC Coastal Classic on Friday. The Coastal Classic is a 119nm course from Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands. Originally conceived as a drag race between multihulls and monohulls ... [more]  

2014 Optimist World Championship - The first stage of the OptiWorlds Argentina 2014 schedule has finished today. The fleet was divided in three equal parts: the first third is gold, the second one is silver and the last fleet is bronze. This individual regatta continues next Tuesday. ... [more]  

2014 - 15 Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing won the race to the Equator late on Thursday and were in good shape to make the turning mark of Fernando de Noronha at the head of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet as their six rivals were still playing catch-up despite finally escaping the Doldrums. ... [more]  

After more than 17 years with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Jerome has decided to pursue other professional challenges. ... [more]  

2014 Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - Stamina and determination were key factors for the competitors racing in day two of the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup today. The 14 international guests and 26 young Bermudians finished five races on Bermuda’s Great Sound. This is a test of endurance for any sailor especially young ones. ... [more]  

With less than a day left to reach the turning mark at Fernando de Nonoha, 220nm off the coast of Brazil, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has retained the lead she built in the Doldrums. She is unlikely to be headed, although the second boat on the water, Team Brunel is projected to be less than an hour behind at Fernando ... [more]  

2014 International Masters Regatta - Anyone heading out to San Diego Bay this weekend is likely to witness some of sailing’s most legendary skippers show exactly why they’ve earned the reputation as the best in the business. Established in 1975 by Don Trask, the International Masters Regatta features the best master sailors from around the world and is being hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club ... [more]  

One flight of the Quarter Finals was sailed Friday afternoon following the completion of the Qualifying Rounds and the selection of opponents and draw for boats. The Quarter Finals set Ian Williams against Marek Stanczyk, Taylor Canfield against Steffan Lindberg, Eric Monnin against Pierre Morvan, and an all Swedish pairing of Bjorn Hansen against Johnie Berntsson. ... [more]  

What could be better than racing for three days with over 2000 of the world's best sailors? How about racing for four days! The St.Maarten Heineken Regatta is proud to announce that their pre-event, the Gill Commodore's Cup, is accepting entries in all boat categories (excluding Lottery Class). ... [more]  

The seventh day of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam saw the light winds continue, despite a promising forecast for today. In the late afternoon a few of the sailors took part in a tow-in training session as there is scope to run a tow-in contest tomorrow, with the forecast looking glassy. ... [more]  

Picture postcard perfect conditions returned to Bermuda for the third and final day of Qualifying at the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour. After yesterday’s torrential rain, Hamilton Harbour was bathed in glorious sunshine and breeze that by lunchtime was gusting up to the mid-teens. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leaders pass Fernando and head for Cape Town *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Volvo Ocean Race Control reports that the lead boats in the 40,000nm race have rounded, or rather passed, the turning point off Fernando de Noronha. They are now proceeding down the Brazilian coast, to round the back of the South Atlantic high pressure zone , and have what is expected to be a fast ride to the Leg 1 finish in Cape Town. ... [more]  

Melges 32 Gold Cup on the horizon by International Melges 32 Class Association
With a fleet and sailors as diverse as the nightlife on Ocean Avenue, the Melges 32 Gold Cup, hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club kicks off in just two weeks, featuring eighteen ultra-high performance Melges 32 teams from nine different countries. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Keeping a good watch by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Peter Dimech, Principal Race Officer and Race Chair spoke about the storm that raged through the Rolex Middle Sea Race fleet. “The remaining yachts racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race are expected to arrive at the Royal Malta Yacht Club by today and tomorrow. Whilst the wind speed has decreased, the sea state is still significant and we are keeping a close watch on the yachts still at sea. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team Alvimedica. I’d hate to come across as being impossible to please but after days of wanting out of the doldrums, days of struggling with routines, with sleep, with a lack of regularity and consistency to our schedules, and of course--predictability to the weather—we’re 'out' and still trying to find it ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 13 onboard Team SCA. I’m unsure if I should be nervous, excited, stressed, or thrilled today. As today I get to have fish guts smeared over me only to then become officially apart of King Neptune’s kingdom. ... [more]  

There was a shakeup at the top on day three of the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, Florida! Fully recharged thanks to the lay day yesterday, all competitors were eager to enter the final stretch of the competition in Clearwater, and the planing conditions in the forecast certainly contributed to the excitement on the beach. ... [more]  

The opening day of the 105-boat China Cup International Regatta saw old rivalries renewed in the Beneteau 40.7 class, as Vatti Sailing stole victory from Vanke Longcheer in the opening Simpson Marine Passage Race from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica Navigational Strategist, Anderson Reggio, explains the issues ahead of the crews in the remaining half of leg 1 of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. After the Equator and Fernando, the weather looks to be shaping up to be pretty standard for the South Atlantic. The St Helena High which typically dominates this body of water is the main driver for breeze in the short term. ... [more]  

The next landmark, or ‘sea mark’ if you will, for Leg 1 is crossing the Equator, as Team Alvimedica continue to make their way south to round Fernando de Noronha off the coast of Brazil. Crossing this latitude is not like crossing any other on their way around the world, but has special significance for sailors who have never crossed the 0° parallel of latitude. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Mapfre cruzará el Ecuador hacia las 13:00 aproximadamente. ... [more]  

Argo Group Gold Cup - A front slowly crossing Bermuda brought with it an overcast sky and rain squalls. Nonetheless, despite squelching their way ashore completely soaked, the Group 2 crews enjoyed the morning’s stronger breeze, the wind less shifty having veered into the southwest overnight, blowing down Hamilton Harbour rather than across it. ... [more]  

RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup - In second place, Adam Larson of Bermuda has seven points and had a great day on the water today. Larson, whose family is still without electricity after Hurricane Gonzalo, said he has been getting to bed a lot earlier these days and feels that the conditions also favored his performance today. ... [more]  

As predicted in last night's preview in Sail-World, the ORMA 60 TeamVodafone Sailing has set a new course record for the 119nm course in the PIC Coastal Classic. ... [more]  

Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One, top seed in Group 2, is the first skipper to qualify for the Quarter Finals in the 2014 Argo Group Cup. Canfield lost his first match in day one of racing against Chris Poole (USA) Riptide Racing. Since then the number two skipper on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour has sailed to seven straight points. ... [more]  

The forecast for day six at the La Torche PWA Grand Slam offered a slight possibility of producing some racing, but unfortunately the wind never really materialised meaning the sailors spent another day on hold. Throughout the day there were gusts of up to 10 knots, but the wind failed to improve beyond that. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 12 onboard Team SCA. This morning the boat was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, shortly after sun up we were hooning along in 20kts in a torrential downpour, by late afternoon we were sailing backwards, and who knows what tonight will bring. ... [more]  

The push and shove of 12 knots of Atlantic breeze – things are looking up in the Volvo Ocean Race. On board Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, things are looking up. First in the fleet, and out of the Doldrums, they’re heading fast towards the Equator, trade winds blowing gusts of encouragement around their ears. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Day 12 for Team Alvimedica by Amory Ross, Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 12 onboard Team Alvimedica. There is no question as to the origins of the phrase 'down in the doldrums;' the monotony of these days is painfully apparent. It’s a pattern too familiar: a night of variable conditions—torrential rain and 20 knots of wind one minute, no wind and starry skies the next. Feast or famine. ... [more]  

With only nine days remaining until the close of entries, one of the smallest, most audacious and memorable yachts in the history of the CYCA’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, appropriately became the 100th entry. A mere 10.5 metres, James Cameron’s Hick 35, Luna Sea, will again do duty as one of the pintsized yachts in fleet for the 70th edition of the 628 nautical mile race. ... [more]  

Today was the last day of competition at the Student Yachting World Cup. Even though England’s victory was already for sure, the top-5-ranking could change a lot with two more races: Italy was second with 46 pts, Ireland third with 47 pts, Norway fourth (52 pts) and Switzerland fifth (58.2 pts)… the USA followed with 59 pts! ... [more]  

A varied and international fleet ranging from 40 to 100ft (12.19 to 30.48m) will set off for Grenada on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote, the most eastern in the Canary Islands chain, in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Transatlantic Race. ... [more]  

Star Sailors League Finals - Three American greats to compete
America's Cup: Airbus and Oracle Team USA forge technology partnership
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Another dramatic day
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie confirmed as overall winner
Argo Group Gold Cup - Near perfect start for GAC Pindar
Volvo Ocean Race - A nightmare for sailors
The 2014 Severne Starboard Aloha Classic is coming...
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Artie's heroic return
Argo Group Gold Cup - Slender lead for Marek Stanczyk
Ben Ainslie Racing foiling on the Solent + Video *Feature
METS names DAME Award nominees
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - A day of rest for wave sailors
Rolex Middle Sea Race - A day of reckoning for the fleet
Volvo Ocean Race - Playing the Doldrums lottery
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng Race Team takes on the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica, somewhere in the windless ITCZ
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie gunning for glory
Volvo Ocean Race - Another perspective from Team SCA
Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Success in San Francisco
RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championship - Intense racing + Video
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Big breeze and lumpy seas   
The first sail that changes lives   
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 10 plus Videos *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 1 turns inside out in Doldums *Feature   
34th Student Yachting World Cup La Rochelle 2014 - Fifth race day   
2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Match racers defy Gonzalo   
Volvo Ocean Race: Big gains for two boats in Doldrums *Feature   
Argo Group Gold Cup - Qualifying Groups set   
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - Kids breeze past Hurricane Gonzalo   
DSS to revolutionise IMOCA 60s, both new and old   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami: Groupe Beneteau sponsors US Sailing Team   
Volvo Ocean Race - The bright side of the Doldrums   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Vestas Wind contemplates the tropics + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race - Dull day, crazy night for Dongfeng Race Team   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA ready for equator crossing   
Volvo Ocean Race - Tough challenge for Brunel's Pablo Arrarte Elorza   
RS:X Youth Worlds - Hard work on day 1 + Video   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - NoR released, entries open for 2015   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - A turning point for the fleet   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leg one – Doldrums for dummies   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT