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 RSHYR media


  

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:

10 Mar 2014  Rolex Sydney Hobart: Raw footage from the ABC helicopter
07 Jan 2014  Rolex Sydney Hobart - One of the most exciting editions on record
04 Jan 2014  Rolex Sydney Hobart: America’s Cup heroes take on Sydney-Hobart
01 Jan 2014  Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - The final four
01 Jan 2014  Rolex Sydney Hobart; Rounding Tasman Island -Got a Few Hours To Spare?
31 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Bacardi to return for 70th edition
31 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart - Making tracks to the finish line
31 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race wrap up video
31 Dec 2013  Victoire announced overall winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart
31 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart 2013 - Television coverage of the start
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

The first of the iconic Great Capes has been passed in the Barcelona World Race with Cheminées Poujoulat rounding the Cape of Good Hope earlier this morning. Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam passed 20°E around 400 miles south of Cape Agulhas – the southernmost tip of Africa – at 0935am (UTC) today and have begun the Indian Ocean leg of their race around Antarctica. ... [more]  

The Classic 18fters were racing again on Saturday on Sydney harbour. Michael Chittenden caught the action from a shore vantage point. ... [more]  

When race leader Dongfeng rounded Singapore 60+ nautical miles ahead of the chasing pack, it looked like the final 1200 miles of Leg three would be a procession but over the last day, the Volvo Ocean race leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya China appears to have tightened incredibly. ... [more]  

US Sailing and Rolex USA announced last week that the 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year is Stephanie Roble. Her accomplishments on the water last year were recognized by the selection panel for her versatility; her accomplishments as a skipper and as a crew; and her competitive successes on a variety of platforms, sailing against both men and women. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - The first of the Great Capes is fast-approaching, with the leading boats in the Barcelona World Race expected to pass the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of South Africa tomorrow. As they pass 20°E, the Atlantic Ocean will deliver its verdict – did Cheminées Poujoulat’s east-bound track or Neutrogena’s southerly gamble pay off? ... [more]  

Mardi Gras may not be for another month but US Sailing’s National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) kicked it off early for Oakcliff Sailing this year. This evening, Oakcliff received The Captain Joe Prosser Award, given to an organization that has made an exemplary contribution toward improving the quality and safety in the training or instruction of sailors. ... [more]  

The 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has already attracted entries from 20 different countries: Antigua, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russia, St.Maarten, Uruguay, USA and the US Virgin Islands. ... [more]  

The world is watching. Can Dongfeng Race Team hold onto their 57 nautical miles lead to China for what will essentially be the ultimate home victory? Or will another team get desperate and make a bold decision that could cost Dongfeng their win? ... [more]  

Most of the marque classes at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 came down to the last day of the regatta, which delivered the toughest conditions of the week. Howling winds and rough seas challenging the competitors on Friday, forcing the top contenders to raise their game in order to claim overall victory. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Sport met science today on the Barcelona World Race when the pairs of skippers took the first opportunity to deploy their data monitoring Argo beacon which was given to them in Bareclona prior to the start. ... [more]  

2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - It really wasn’t our week. Two races were held today in very nice conditions and we finished third in both. Bella Mente won both races to win the class. ... [more]  

The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, incorporating three days of coastal racing and the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race concluded last night at a sumptuous, Mount Gay Rum-fuelled prizegiving dinner and party. The final 300-mile Ocean Race to Antigua to tie up with the Superyacht Cup starts on Saturday. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water again today at 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, and provided this gallery of images from day five ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 - With a solid 17-20 knots from the north east, reducing the possibility of a distance sapping park up, the likehood of the Leg three leader the Chinese boat Dongfeng getting the gun in Sanya just 640 nautical miles ahead continues to strengthen. ... [more]  

The 2015 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship set to be held in Swinoujscie, Poland from 15 – 19 September 2015 Notice of Race has been released. ... [more]  

Currently doing scheduled maintenance. Some elements of site may not be visible at the moment. ... [more]  

On 2nd January 2015, Team Vestas Wind announced that skipper Chris Nicholson had been tasked to review the team during the month of January. The objective is to ensure the right team for the come back to the race, which is now, for this team, of a different nature than the scheduled original route from Alicante to Gothenburg. ... [more]  

Beau Outteridge has compiled a video of highlights and interviews from the 2015 McDougall + McConanghy Moth Worlds completed recently in Sorrento, Melbourne ... [more]  

Former Oracle Team USA team member, Matthew Mitchell has issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the International Sailing Federation over the actions of a fellow crew member, Simeon Tienpont, and inaction by the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup, in San Francisco. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, and provided this gallery of images from day four. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Along with the rest of the 848 sailors from 63 nations currently training in Florida ahead of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella (January 26-31), US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes and coaches have entered a period of intense focus ahead of the first major Olympic and Paralympic event of 2015. ... [more]  

2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - It probably won't be a late night on Duval Street for the sailors competing on Division Two and Three at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015. After doing three races in strong winds on Thursday, there are no doubt a lot of sore muscles, aching bones and tired bodies. ... [more]  

Children’s heart health continues to benefit from Team Alvimedica’s online auction now underway for two unique experiences during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover here. The Chinese Agape Foundation Inc. will be the recipient of funds raised for these unique team experiences in Sanya, the next stopover port of the global ocean race. ... [more]  

Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta overall by John Payne, Fort Lauderdale
The Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta was held January 17-19 in the Atlantic Ocean off of Dania Beach in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Open to Finns (it’s their Midwinter Championship), Lasers and Laser Radials, competitors came from twenty countries and Puerto Rico. They range in age from 14 to 79. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg 3 update from Dongfeng Race Team: All hands on deck as Chinese crew suffer damage to their boat as the tack line of an important sail (J1) broke suddenly sending the 132 m² sail shooting up the forestay in a matter of seconds. The team have managed to set up a temporary replacement but the reality is, this is a rude awakening of how far away the finish line is. ... [more]  

The city of Cagliari , Sardinia - Italy, will inaugurate the 2015 – 2016 America's Cup World Series, the regattas preliminary to the 35th America's Cup. The event will take place in the Gulf surrounding the island's capital from June 4 to 7, 2015. ... [more]  

Based off early morning forecasts, it appeared a lay day might be in the cards for competitors at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015. Some sailors might have already been making plays to play tennis or go fishing during an hour-long dockside delay. ... [more]  

Bay of Islands photographer, Steve Western was on hand to catch the action on the on the first Day (and with a couple from Day 2) of racing at the Millennium Cup and Bay of Islands Sailing Week. The two events are being conducted in the picturesque Bay of Islands, Northland, NZ. Five superyachts are competing along with round the world race winner Steinlager 2. ... [more]  

Despite generally light airs with winds reaching no more that 15kts, three teams have won their skipper’s weight in rum for breaking records in the 79th Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race. ... [more]  

2015 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - There is no straightforward regatta 'formula' and many events around the world strive to improve the experience that participants have year after year. For the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta it is no different, and this year they are listening to the regatta sailors when it comes to on shore venues and locations. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, and provided this gallery of images from day three. ... [more]  

Sailing in light winds of under 10kts, five superyachts enjoyed the first day's racing at the Millennium Cup sailed in the Bay of Islands, in Northland, New Zealand. Five superyachts are competing Silencio, Silvertip, Bliss, Janice of Wyoming and Sassafras. Three of these designed by Ed duBois, who is attending the regatta. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Up up and away by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 - The nightmares of the Malacca Straits behind them, leg three leaders Dongfeng Race Team have now well and truly entered the South China Sea, clearing Singapore without too many problems on the way to Sanya. China, a little over 1000 miles away. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - 'Haves' and 'Have Nots'
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 update from Jack Bouttell onboard Dongfeng
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Game time!
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2015 – Ninth year ready to rock!
Foiling GC32s Key West Race Week images by Ingrid Abery
Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race - Crews prepare for big race
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 2
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - A challenging day
America's Cup: Spithill leads Oracle reconnaissance team in Bermuda
Extreme Sailing Series announces new teams and venues for 2015
Barcelona World Race - Leaders enter the fastest section of the course
Martinique Surf Pro - Must attend event in the world surfing circuit
New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup preview
RORC Caribbean 600 proving irresistible
18ft Skiffs: Images from NSW Championships - Race 2
Volvo Ocean Race – Malacca Nightmare – now it’s a boat race again!!
2015 Annapolis to Newport Race - Battle for Surflant Prize
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Off to a great start
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica - Enter the Dragon + Video
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series - Day 3
World Match Racing Tour's title sponsor goes into administration   
Kieler Woche 2015 promotes Olympic sailing competitions   
Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía – Kiteboarding and Dragons return   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami preview   
Audi Melges 20 Class - Miami Winter Series   
Barcelona World Race - The South is looming.   
Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week announce new one design class   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg 3 position report for 19th January   
Pape Chevrolet North American Championships - Register today!   
Volvo Ocean Race: Sally Barkow - from the Olympics to the Volvo   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - The big casino *Feature   
C&C 30 Javelin makes West Coast Debut   
Quantum Key West Race Week - Flurry of activity   
2015 Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series - Day 2   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Entering the Malacca Strait   
McDougall+McConaghy Moth Worlds: More Alex McKinnon images   
Quantum Key West Race Week - GC32 class joins the action   
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race - Racing underway in classic conditions   
Barcelona World Race - Matched up for a Duel in the South   
McDougall+McConaghy Moth Worlds: Final day's action and Interviews   


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