Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Hard campaigner preparing for Sydney Hobart handicap challenge

by . on 16 Aug 2013
Matt Allen’s ICHI BAN heads south on Boxing Day - 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi http://www.carloborlenghi.net
Yachting Australia Vice President Matt Allen probably sails at more keelboat regattas in more boats than any other skipper in the Asia Pacific.

He has been campaigning a Beneteau 44.7 and an IRC modified Adams 10 in Asia, a Farr 400 on the Australian regatta circuit and the IRC modified Volvo 70 offshore, all called Ichi Ban (number one in Japanese).

We sat down with the former CYCA Commodore aboard his Farr 400 which before racing on the second last day of the 2013 Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Regatta was leading the Performance Racing class.



‘Sailing wise the Farr 400 obviously enjoys fast downhill but these boats are quite good in the light stuff. They power up quite nicely against especially some of the older boats. We power up at seven or eight knots. We are almost on our last rig setting at 11. We are enjoying the battle here at Airlie especially against Menace. While we have similar overall speed the two designs have completely different hull shapes so in varying conditions one will be faster than the other.

‘It was interesting last year at Hamilton Island. Depending on how the construction of the race was but if we went upwind for a passage race, things like Volvo 60s were a long way in front of us but we would then beat them home and so the downwind speed more than offsets the lack of speed upwind. A Volvo 60 is 64 foot, this is 38 feet. People think it is 40 feet but it is not. It is 38 feet and four inches.

‘But looking to the future, the new Carkeek designed boat is in progress. The deck is on. It’s probably going to leave the factory probably about October 7th. We are calling it a 60 but it is really 61 feet.

‘Lisa, my wife, and I figured we were spending so much money on the boat that we had better save money on the crew gear so I think we are going to call it Ichi Ban.

‘It is a boat with high riding moment and lots of sail area. A very powerful hull. It is really orientated towards Australian conditions so you do have the very powerful hull for when you need that in races like the Hobart and the normal Gold Coast race, but maybe not this years, but also a lot of sail area for the lighter airs and also the hull is shaped to reduce wetted surface a long way for lighter airs and utilize it when it is heavy airs.

‘It’s a fixed keel boat. I think if you go much larger than 60 you probably should be building a canting keel boat rather than a fixed keel boat the way the riding works.

‘That’s why I think the mini maxi’s, once again in you go bigger than 60 you end up pretty much with a mini maxi, but a mini maxi hasn’t got a canting keel and probably should have a canting keel in the way that I view the world so I figured that at about 60 is about the cut off for a fixed keel boat.

‘I was quite keen to have a boat that is considerably more powerful that say a TP52 for ocean racing, utilizing modern sail shapes but also for the Hobart race a boat that would on the average race arrive in the afternoon rather than the evening or very early morning hours. On average that arrival time helps you and you have got to play the averages.

‘So that is the plan with the boat. It is orientated towards ocean racing but is built high tech enough and light enough. We have really found a lot of weight savings through the construction by using different cores and also going to some titanium fastenings and things like that.

‘It’s being built by Premier in Dubai. Neil Cox is the project manager. Neil built ABN1, ABN2, Camper, and Puma so he has built almost half a dozen Volvo 70s and obviously this boat is a little smaller and a little less complex. He has had a t of experience on building boats that have gone around the world at least once.

‘We expect to be sailing in late November. Everyone says that is late but Limit and Loki only got in the water about the first week of December when they did their first Hobart. I think the way you build boats these days with so much more computer orientation and the engineering is a lot more precise, rigs are coming out of Southern and North are making the sails. Cox has built a lot of boats with Carkeek, with Southern, so the communication and all that is pretty straight forward.

‘But of course, things can go wrong with the best laid plans so we shall see,' Allen closed.

And so they do.

The second last day of the Airlie Beach regatta certainly started like a day you´d wished you'd stayed in bed for Allen.

In very soft morning conditions Howard Spencer´s MC38 Menace and Allen´s Ichi Ban, were first around the top mark on the course to Gumbrell Island, but rounded it to port instead of starboard and had to go back. The breeze was already dying and Ichi Ban touched the mark and had to go round once again. Caught in the gas of more rounding boats, she struggled and was at the tail of the fleet, having lost probably ten minutes against her rivals.

With glass between them and the leaders, Ichi Ban headed eastern side of Pioneer Bay and found a new breeze line which allowed them to sail back into second place in the 27 nautical mile race.

But time was not her friend and Farr 400 was eighth on handicap, while Phil Grove´s Sydney 39 CR Huntress took yet another handicap win ahead of Charles Wallis Reignition and Damian Suckling´s Another Fiasco. Howard Spencer´s Menace finished fourth. Overall Huntress leads on 15 points, with Ichi Ban on 19 and Menace on 20.

We will watch the last day of this Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week with interest, as we will watch the progress of the new Ichi Ban in the coming months.







Ancasta Ker 33 660x82NaiadBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Shawn Macking about the StPYC’s Sailing Center and OD fleet
I talked with Shawn Macking, the StPYC’s waterfront director, to learn how the club is getting more people out sailing. I caught up with Shawn Macking, waterfront director of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, via email to learn more about the club’s Sailing Center, its hefty investment in a new fleet of ten J/70s, and how the StPYC is using this infrastructure to expose more people to the sport we all love.
Posted on 13 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016