The General’ outflanks the fleet and wins the War in the West
by Sail-World on 22 May 2013
Only weeks after securing a dominant season of offshore IRC racing and receiving the prestigious Siska trophy for their efforts, the ‘General Lee’ team have dominated the 1440nm Fremantle to Bali Race.
Fremantle - Bali Race - General Lee Image supplied .
The 11m Bakewell-White design stunned the fleet by leading around the first two rounding marks but eventually had to concede line honours to the 29m canting keel maxi 'Super Sled' (ex Nicorette) which went on to set a new course record.
The ‘General Lee’ team set about their corrected time demolition of the fleet by making the hard yards early on, heading upwind and west of the rumbline to set themselves up for a predicted weather front. Once the front arrived The General executed the coup de grace, hammering the fleet as they charged at 20+ knots sometimes reduced to just a storm jib as 50kt squalls came through.
In stark contrast the wind disappeared for the last few miles and The General drifted backwards away from the finish. Two miles to go soon became five, and so the crew anchored until finally they ghosted home to secure second on line honours and a dominant IRC and PHS win.
Launched in May 2010, ‘General Lee’ is the second boat to be built to Design #0810 from the Bakewell-White studio. Designed and built in New Zealand, this design reflects a solid philosophy that ‘a fast yacht will always be a fast yacht, while rating rules come and go’. There have been concessions to IRC, but not too many.
Although the rating is quite high for a yacht of this size, it simply confirms that the design is fast.
When developing the original design brief, the client made it very clear that he did not want a downwind flyer that couldn’t go back upwind. The ability to sail upwind was paramount in his list of requirements. Without doubt these boats have the legs downwind but the revelation for most observers is this design’s power and ability upwind. This has been achieved by being realistic with the total displacement and very careful about the placement of weight, along with the careful sizing of appendages.
Originally designed as a twilight beer can racer, the ‘General Lee’ team have proven the design’s ability offshore as well, having raced in both the Pacific and Indian oceans now. This design has owned the 220nm Fremantle to Geraldton race in recent years with two different examples of this design having won line honours and corrected, and ‘General Lee’ setting a new race record previously held by a Volvo 60.
For further information on this or any other design contact:
Bakewell-White Yacht Design Ltd.
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