Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden 728x90

Sydney Yachts GTS 43 – Raising eyebrows on World stage

by Richard Hammond on 10 Feb 2012
Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2011 - Walawala 2 Guy Nowell © http://www.guynowell.com
What to do you get when you combine the world-renowned Ker Yacht Design, with Australia’s Sydney Yachts, a team that have been building quality offshore boats for a long time.

Well, the result is the Sydney Yachts GTS 43 and recently, it’s been raising some eyebrows, as it competes against some of the other hot new things out there in the marketplace.

The latest of these results came just in the knick of time, before a huge tropical downpour took over the course on the last day of the 2012 Singapore Straits Regatta. Two wins for their day’s work was enough to have Steve Manning’s Walawala II take out the overall IRC A crown for the regatta, which finished just ten days ago.

Importantly, it comes on the back of the great time they had at the 2011 Phuket Kings Cup Regatta in Thailand a little over a month earlier. There, the then very brand new boat had been available for just the one day before the regatta, having only been handed over in Singapore just a couple of weeks earlier.

None the less, they still managed to take a very handy second place in IRC 1, with seven podium finishes during the running of the 10-race regatta.

Walawala is an Aboriginal sun goddess and the GTS 43 has certainly been bathed in golden light of late. Steve Manning, the skipper of Walawala II, put a lot of thought and some computational analysis behind his decision to go for the Sydney Yachts GTS 43 over some of her other competitors.

He was delighted by the efforts of the boat and her crew, which is clearly evidenced by his huge smile as he held the Singapore Straights Regatta trophy aloft.

‘We had five of the local team and a couple of guys who came down from Hong Kong, as well as Jason Rowed from Sydney Yachts, which meant the boat had three quarters of the team from Thailand back again, so it was not an uphill battle to get it all going. Had we not had the mistake at Phuket, we could well have had two regatta wins from two entries, but that’s sailing and we learn from it all’, said Steve.

Of the boat’s performance at the weeklong regatta, Steve simply said, ‘We were tremendously impressed with the way the boat went, once again. We started conservatively but the GTS 43 has such power and jumps out of the box all around the course, so tactically we could have been a little bit more aggressive earlier on.’

‘I think everyone recognises the boat is a hot boat right now. Everything we thought of or mentioned at the beginning of the whole process seems to be applying, but the one thing that is really staggering is the upwind performance.

‘It’s just a machine going upwind and I think that is a combination of not only the boat, but also North Sails 3Di’s. They are so stable and keep tremendous power in them. There’s no power lost in the gust when the fabric stretches. All the gust gets converted to forward energy.’



All of that is certainly true and Steve used to have a Beneteau 44.7, so you may be thinking that moving from a displacement hull to a planning hull may be part of the heightened sense of achievement.

However, it is not just relative to the standpoint of from whence they cometh, but more importantly to those they are accounting for out on the track.

‘We have got both boat speed and we’re pointing high. To be honest, we’re still finding the right combinations, because you can point extremely high and still keep great speed - upwind Walawala II is just incredibly impressive.

The other item that had us intrigued, and we saw it really on the long island races, was that we expected the Ker 40 to slowly disappear into the distance, given its much lighter displacement and big kites, but we kept track of KukuKERchu all the way during the passage races.

‘That was extremely encouraging as well. We are not sure how to explain that one yet, but downwind the GTS 43 kept up with the Ker 40 very well and they have to hand us about 20 points under IRC, too.’

Steve went on further to say, ‘I think everyone’s got their eyes glued on everything that goes on with this segment now and are watching with interest our wins over the Ker 40. We have beaten them in six out of ten races so far.’

At the Singapore Straights Regatta, Walawala II recorded four wins, two seconds and their worst result was a fifth from the seven race series.

Despite that impressive tally, Steve said, ‘We had a difficult first few days, as it was a bit of a lottery. After that, we had a day race over to Batam for the two final days of racing, which turned out to be excellent. Two powerful windward/leeward races were on offer for both days, which were good fun in the breeze, which ranged through 13-18 knots - nothing wrong with those whatsoever. I think we got three firsts and a second.’ (Indeed they did…)

‘We’re a little bit staggered at the moment. Once we got over to Batam and started getting onto the solid upwind stuff again, it was all a little reminiscent of Phuket, you know. We were thinking it’s a great boat and we’re going to see a lot of podium finishes. The longish waterline helps with handling the chop and the sails just keep powered up, driving the whole equation forward.

'Naturally, we got a few things wrong, of course. We weren’t as sharp with some of the spinnaker hoists and also one or two of the starting tactics. We still had both Men at Work and Windsikher around to keep us fighting hard. It was down to the last day in the end, so to get the win is very, very encouraging.’

So after all that, the question, ‘Where to from here?’, gets proffered. ‘We have some local things here, then we’re going to get the boat to the top of the Gulf of Thailand and do Koh Samui. I am probably going to pass on the Eastern China Sea stuff this year - May and June at the top of the Gulf, then probably the Singapore event in the summer with Raja Muda and Kings Cup on the radar for the end of the year. There is a huge amount of thought process going into what else can we do and crews we can find to do battle against. ’

To cap it all off, Steve said, ‘You know there is one other thing that does complete justice to Sydney Yachts. Not only did they get it ready to deliver on time and we went racing straight away, but also the whole boat has been incredibly reliable so far. The only thing we have had to replace is a block for the barber hauler, so the GTS 43 is solid and well built. Overall the Walawala II result can be attributed to three things. The crew, the sails and the wonderful design and build techniques of the GTS 43 itself. It’s tremendous and nicely in-tune!’


Contact details

Sydney Yachts Jason Rowed M +61 (0) 414 332255

http://www.sydneyyachts.com

C-TechSelden 660x82Protector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

An interview with Donald Weld about the 2017 J/70 North Americans
I caught up with Donald Weld, regatta chair of the 2017 J/70 North Americans, to learn more about this exciting event. The 2017 J/70 North American Championships are set to unfurl on Long Island Sound and will be hosted by the American Yacht Club from October 9-15. Given the number of sailors living in the greater region, it’s not surprising that it’s attracting the kinds of numbers that would be the swooning envy of plenty of world championships. I caught up with Donald Weld, regatta chairman, to learn more.
Posted on 9 Oct
America's Cup - New York Yacht Club makes a smart early move
New York Yacht Club's announcement of an entry in the 36th America's Cup may have seemed to some as a premature move. New York Yacht Club's announcement of an entry in the 36th America's Cup may have seemed to some as a premature move. Coming just seven days after the Protocol joint announcement, most would have expected the club with the longest involvement in the America's Cup to have at least waited until the concept drawing of the AC75 was published, at the end of November, before confirming their intentions.
Posted on 6 Oct
America's Cup - Dan Bernasconi on shaping the AC75 'Beast'
Dan Bernasconi, Technical Director of Emirates Team NZ is leading the design team charged with developing the AC75 rule Dan Bernasconi, Technical Director of Emirates Team New Zealand, has turned his hand from leading the team charged with developing the quickest America's Cup multihull on the planet to performing a similar feat with a monohull. First step in the process is coming up with a concept boat, and then writing a class rule to accommodate that type. The 75ft monohull has been given various monikers, bu
Posted on 5 Oct
A Q&A with Sam Rogers about the 2017 Melges 20 World Championship
I interviewed Sam Rogers, the Melges 20 North American fleet manager, to learn more about the 2017 Worlds (October 3-7). The 2017 Melges 20 World Championship is set to unfurl off of Newport, Rhode Island, from October 3 to 7 and will be hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) at their beautiful Harbour Court facility. I caught up with Sam Rogers, the Melges 20 North American fleet manager, via email to learn more about this exciting regatta that’s expected to draw competitors from four continents and nine nations.
Posted on 2 Oct
America's Cup - Dalton opens up on boat and options for next Cup
The Protocol for the 36th America's Cup will take place in Auckland on the morning of the 29th September Italian media are reporting that the announcement of the Protocol for the 36th America's Cup will take place in Auckland on the morning of the 29th September. Dalton confirmed the details of the yacht will be revealed two months later on November 30, but would not say if it will be a foiling monohull as speculated in the media.
Posted on 18 Sep
An interview with Rainer Muller about the International 6 Metre Worlds
I interviewed Rainer Muller, vice chair of the International 6 Metre Class Worlds, via email, to learn more. The 2017 International 6 Metre Class World Championships are set to unfurl off of Vancouver, Canada, from September 17-21 and will be hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, so I caught up with event vice-chair Rainer Muller, via email, to learn more about this exciting biennial regatta that’s expected to draw 45-50 boats from eleven different nations.
Posted on 18 Sep
An interview with Shelia Graves about the IHYC's Classic Yacht Regatta
I interviewed Sheila Graves, co-chair of IHYC’s Classic Yacht Regatta, via email, to learn more about this upcoming even Indian Harbor Yacht Club’s eighth-annual Classic Yacht Regatta is set to unfurl the weekend of September 15 and 16, so I caught up with Sheila Graves, event co-chair (and a former winning sailor), via email, to learn more about this now-classic New England event.
Posted on 13 Sep
An interview with Katie Coleman Nicoll about the 2017 J/24 Worlds
I interviewed Katie Coleman Nicoll of the 2017 J/24 World’s organizing committee to learn more about this great event. This year’s J/24 Worlds will unfurl from September 15-23, 2017 on the waters of Canada’s Lake Ontario and will be hosted by the Port Credit Yacht Club on the lake’s northwestern shores. I interviewed Katie Coleman Nicoll, secretary/treasurer of the Canadian J/24 class and a member of the 2017 J/24 World Championship’s organizing committee, via email, to learn more about this exciting event.
Posted on 11 Sep
Pulling G’s with Beneteau – Pt II
Just a little while ago we pulled some Gs with Beneteau’s Mr Product, aka G3. Just a little while ago we pulled some Gs with Beneteau’s Mr Product, aka G3. You can go back and read Part One of the story of Gianguido Girotti, as and when you may like. However, for now we’ll push on with the incredible semi-foiler Figaro 3, and the new Oceanis 51.1, along with what they represent for the brand as a whole. It is a very interesting tale, especially as Beneteau...
Posted on 31 Aug
A conversation with Jay Keeshan about the SYC's 2017 Vineyard Race
I caught up with Jay Keeshan, vice chair for the 2017 Vineyard Race, via email, to learn more about this classic race. This year’s Vineyard Race is set to unfurl on Friday, September 1, and will likely take most boats between one and three days to complete, conditions and vessels depending, of course. I caught up with Jay Keeshan, vice chairman for the 2017 Vineyard Race, via email, to learn more about this classic New England distance contest.
Posted on 28 Aug