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Big names. Bigger guns!

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 27 Jan 13:00 PST
Spindrift racing squad - Jules Verne Trophy © Spindrift racing

Guns don't get any bigger than Spindrift 2! She has replaced her own record for the dash to the equator by an hour and 48 minutes. In doing so, she set an as yet to be ratified time of four days, 19 hours and 57 minutes. Yann Guichard and his crew will be pleased, but right now I am sure they are focussed on South Africa and bettering Idec Sport's 12d 21h 22m at sea for that mark, and claim the next ticket in the overall Jules Verne.

At the time of writing, they were clocking up to eleven days into it, had racked up just over 7000nm, and were averaging 23 knots. The latter is down on last week when we wrote about them, but then look at where they have been in the St Helena High. Importantly, the 41m beast is around 393nm ahead of Idec Sport's pace, with the strengthening breeze coming in off the port quarter. They have turned the corner at the bottom of the Atlantic, and now charge off to the Cape of Good Hope, and the mighty Southern Ocean. It will be interesting to see what they get in the Indian Ocean, as they head for Cape Leeuwin, for there is not a lot of breeze there currently.

Something like two and half years ago, I was privileged enough to be shown the sheer line for what got launched at Boot Düsseldorf last week as the Beneteau First Yacht 53. Yes. The biggest boatbuilder in the world was bringing back its big gun - the 'First' brand. Taking over Seascape to have smaller Firsts was all part of the plan to own the category, so I reckon you can look for the gap between big sister, and her smaller siblings, to be filled in over time.

At 15,500kg she comes in at not much more than the much-venerated First 45. Of course that is double a TP, for instance. She is hefty in terms of beam, however, with a significant five-metre stance. In looking at the render, you think that once heeled she will be significantly longer from knuckle to transom than her 16m static hull length. The optional 3m, iron fin, lead bulb, 4,500kg keel should make her plenty stiff, and uphill there is a 90m2 main, and 78m2 (110%) heady to get her cracking.

The tack for the Code Zero is directly above the bobstay, halfway along the prodder, and the Ace is right out at the end. It will be interesting to see what size they are, when she gets launched in September at Cannes. Anything around 250 sq m for the bag will make her plenty powerful.

Our sport's big guns will be out on Sydney Harbour soon enough for the first ever SailGP. We at Sail-World are really excited about this event, for having six F50 foiling cats out there will be monumental, and one hell of a spectacle. Given that the class is not static, we think they have found the right mix between developmental and OD. Enhancing them as a collective moving forward will see them get quicker and quicker at each event.

Already, the six of them are going faster than they were in Bermuda, so it is kind of fitting that the ultimate speed machine on the planet right now is using the ultimate amphitheatre as the stage for its first round. Yee Haaaa!

In Australia and environs, now is the time to start thinking about Hamilton Island Race Week 2019. All the best properties book out well in advance, so get in quick to get your preferred option. Kristie Kaighin from Whitsunday Holidays has offered some suggestions:

Shorelines 13 - luxury two-bedroom double storey apartments located nice and close to the marina village. Boasting spectacular ocean views, modern furnishings plus large balconies - perfect for entertaining! Includes a four-seater buggy. Have a closer look.

Yacht Club Villa 28 four-bedroom villa in a perfect location right on the marina. Includes two buggies! Have a closer look.

Peninsula 6 three-bedroom villa with private pool. Have a closer look.

No City Limits four-bedroom luxury home with private pool, and billiard room. Have a closer look.

"There are many more options still available. See www.whitsundayholidays.com.au for descriptions and photos. Please also free to call us seven days per week on 1300 653 997, or for our international guests, call our mobile on +61 434 004 029. Our consultants know the island, and its properties well, and can help you with your decision about which is the right choice for your group. We look forward to hearing from you," said Kaighin.

Short one and in. Seeing as we have been waxing on about foiling, it was great that Sven Erik Janssen sent in some images for the TF10 from Lelystad in the Netherlands. This one is off to San Francisco, and another will be in Newport R.I. in time for the Northern Summer. Importantly, if you have expressed interest, you will soon be going out for a sail/fly on the West Coast to see what it is all about. Nice!

Right oh here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information about the 12 Metre Worlds and sailing royalty, World Cup Miami, intel from North Sails, Golden Globe Race draws inexorably to a winner, windsurfing from Lake Macquarie, Carolijn Brouwer to become the first female helmer in the AC when the Orange Navy kicks in, the International Waszp Games, The Ocean Race, new X4 Zero from X-Yachts, RS Aero Worlds at Black Rock, Festival of Sails, and certainly there is much, much more.

Remember, if your class or association is generating material, make sure we help you spread your word, and you can do that by emailing us. Should you have been forwarded this email by a friend, and want to get your very own copy in your inbox moving forward, then simply follow the instructions on our newsletter page, where you can also register for different editions.

Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World.com AUS

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