Hood Sails Australia's Ian Broad received a call just seven days prior to the 2010 Sydney to Hobart start from CYCA immediate past Commodore Mat Allen.
Mat and his crew had been on their pre-Hobart shakedown sail just a few hours before and had discovered the moulded composite Hobart mainsail on his IRC optimised Volvo 70 Ichi Ban had begun to delaminate.
You can imagine the conversation, we will leave the preamble to you, but the nitty gritty was ...‘Need a mainsail, need it bulletproof, need it by Thursday night.’
Broad (Broadie) explains. ‘We undertook to deliver a Hood Dimension GPL carbon with Internal Taffeta two ply in the last two panels in leech and head..... 'bullet proof' by Thursday night.
‘We ordered the rolled cloth on Sunday, the material arrived Monday afternoon. We had five sail-makers at a time on it, working in shifts, with another team. We did the job, we did it on time and the sail took Ichi Ban south.
'We are proud of our ability to build in house in this day of offshore outsourcing. It's an area we are focused on and we are carving out a niche - we are Australian sail makers.'
Now Hood Australia have built another mainsail of significance and that Hobart mainsail was one of the reasons why.
Ian Broad from Hood Sails Australia with Ian Thomson and Brindabella new mainsail -
Ian Broad continues. ‘Jim Cooney the Brindabella owner and his crew were alongside Matt’s Volvo 70 and they saw the whole operation, from the measuring of the mast to the sail going onto the boat, then leaving and going to Hobart.
'He thought that the whole process was really good and with no problem with Allen's mainsail, the Brindabella team thought that’s where they should get their next one (main) from. They are preparing for their attack on the Round Australia record and so they need a new mainsail for that attempt.
‘Their brief was to make the sail bullet proof so they can go all the way round. We have made it out of woven Spectra and it is build to last.
'It's obviously heavier than a normal run of the mill mainsail. It's triple reefed so that they really don’t have to put the trysail on; that's a pain on maxi. We have added another batten on it to try and make it easier for the crew when they put the reefs in and get the sail up and down' explained Broad.
Brindabella skipper Ian Thomson was at Hood Sails Australia this week, supervising the placement of the Save Our Seas campaign signage on the new mainsail.
Thomson said ‘Last year when I sailed around Australia the importance of sail durability really hit home. It's more than ten Sydney to Hobart races back to back. We are confident this sail will do the job for us.'
More information on Hood Sailmakers http://www.hoodaustralia.com.au/flash.cfm
Follow Save Our Seas and Brindabella around Australia and in the lead up to the attempt as the crew compete in the Brisbane to Gladstone race over the Easter weekend.
Brindabella - Hood Sails Australia