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Nothing wrong with your eyesight

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 10 Mar 14:00 PDT
Black Jacks - modified VO70 on the shipping dolly, and R/P100 supermaxi minus the rudder, but with the rig in. © Mark Bradford

Look closely, and you'll notice it is two Black Jacks, not one superimposed over the other. The upper one with the rig still in is the world famous, and ever-conquering Reichel/Pugh 100 supermaxi with the heavy bulb, and the other is the modified VO70. It's the chine down aft that gives it away...

Now the late Sir Jack Brabham would have been proud of these two. He may not have created them, like he did with his own F1 cars, but he would have admired the way they have been campaigned, that's for sure. It is also kind of cool that the nickname given to him by the late Charlie Cooper, still lives on.

Now the shipping dolly under the VO70 also adds a bit of interest to it all. It's how they move them inside RO/RO vessels, and prevents them having go as deck cargo. So then, the next question is just where is she going? Well, here's your answer...

  • June 9-11 at the Rolex Giraglia Regatta
  • June 12 at the Rolex Giraglia Distance Race
  • September 27 at the Maxi Worlds, and then to cap off the year,
  • October 26 will see her take part in the Rolex Middle Sea.

So that brings us to the R/P pencil that had the forestay moved out to the stem, and a super-long prodder added as part of her birthday when she returned to Australia. Now unless you were asleep during last year's Hobart, you would know that it was remarkable how close all four supermaxis were at the end of a 628nm haul. All had spent the preceding year attending to their shortcomings as best they could.

Brand new North Sails were ordered for some of them, sails were cut, weight was saved, new paint, booms, winches, and a plethora of other mods were attended to as they all sort to account for being of significantly heavier displacement, narrower, wider, more wetted surface area, stern heavy in the super light stuff, as a result of the massive increase in for'ard buoyancy a whole new bow section had created, and so it goes on... Unfortunately, Scallywag did not make the whole distance, and we will have to wait and see what happens from inside that particular programme as time moves forward.

Now Black Jack the supermaxi may or may not be getting new toys for the year, but it is clear that time on the water is certainly going to be a cornerstone of their programme for both boats. I reckon you could say unfinished business, and a fervent desire to win Line Honours in the Hobart could be the motivating factor. Why not? After all it is the race that captivates a nation...

So in addition to all the rest of their sailing, Peter Harburg and his crew skippered by Mark Bradford will take the big boat on these soirées...

  • The annual start of the Northern trek with the Sydney to Gold Coast race commencing on July 27,
  • The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron's new race from Brisbane to Hamilton Island, which is from August 2,
  • Then there's Cabbage Tree Island, and Bird Island races Nov 9 and Dec 1 respectively
  • Things a re serious by the time the Big Boat Challenge is on December 11, and finally we are here again...
  • Sydney to Hobart on December 26, 2019.

Tacking now, and on Friday we had International Women's Day. Earlier on, at the Yachting Journalists' Association awards, all the winners were female. How cool is that. Our Managing Editor, Mark Jardine, is on the Committee, and he commented that the in terms of Tracy Edwards and Nikki Henderson, the voting continued to go down to wire, even after all the usual ways of achieving a result (apart perhaps from white smoke out the chimney), so they just said we'll give it to both, and they did!

In and of itself, this is kind of even cooler, given they are both significantly accomplished Round The World sailors.

Now apart from celebrating his 80th birthday, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, was on hand to present the awards. Right. So not the result of tie, as per above, 15-year-old Emily Mueller collecting the award for winning the Volvo Gill Optimist British National Championship, and she is just the third girl ever to do so. Amongst it all, Emily said, "...I just did it for fun at first, but now I love the competitive element." I reckon that may have to go in as the start for every chapter of the coaching 101 manual. I also know that it is something people like Adrian Finglas completely operate by, because it works! Q.E.D.

Right oh here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information about the Clipper, 18s, Etchells, 9ers, intel from North Sails, SailGP, AC36, IMOCA, 52 Super Series, Golden Globe, kitesurfing, magical craft at the RYA Dinghy Show, Hobie 16s in Western Australia, WASZPs, Sail Port Stephens, 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 AUS

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