Well we are now deep into Spirit's refit. Over the last few weeks we've been able to make great progress into the works lists. The main items we have on the list are:
- full refit and rebuild. Everything has been removed, paint sanded back to timber and glass in most areas and then it's been redesigned and rebuilt out of 60HD foam with a layer of 400gram double bias on each side. We're building the fridge into the hull under the entryway and also making two beds either side of the centreboard case. New storage and shelving and the instruments and electrical panel will be on the port side. The deck-head or ceiling is being raised a little also giving head room of 6'6 in the galley area.
- removal of exterior cockpit back to the hull. Removal of all plywood and fittings. Make new rudder box and new deck and seating on either side of cockpit and build out new flange to mount winches on. Instal jammers nearer the outside of the hull and make new spray dodger.
Beam and nets
- Make new aft beam that's full width and can accommodate the mainsail traveller. Increase the size of the aft nets and remove all old net fittings and attachments. Install new netting attachments via PVC piping and fibreglass to allow for lashing.
- remove engine and replace with outboard. Install anchor winch and bow roller. New prodder 8ft in length. Remove rig and test all rod rigging, paint mast. Fit new Ropeye for deck attachments replacing the old and heavy pad-eyes and u-bolts. Install totally new solar system that can accommodate all onboard power situations. This system will be applied by Solbianand will be around 740watts!!
We have planned for the months of to work like this January - interior. Feb - cockpit and march beam and small items launching by April sometime we hope. So far this months we've just about done the interior and have only now to glass in the furniture and raise the deck-head.
There's a few photos below of the goings on. Will post some more news and pics as we get on. We update out FB almost daily so if you'd like to keep a better eye on what we're up to check out the link to our FB page here. https://www.facebook.com/trimaranspirit
Over the last few weeks Spirit has slowly been getting transformed from a 1990's designed two-handed racing formula 40 to a modern day fast cruising and racing trimaran.
Over the next few months (we hope by April 2015) she will have a large amount of work done to her that will improve her sailing by making her lighter and simpler to sail and by also opening up her interior and exterior spaces we hope that will improver her cruising comfort. Here will be the place to keep an eye on things as she progresses we will post photos and news and we will also update our facebook page daily with what's going on. We're working with some great companies and in the near future will bring updates of how they are involved and how we will implement some great products into Spirit making her a top cruising trimaran.
Here'a link to Spirit's Facebook page
Some photos below of the refit so far and Spirit's rig removal yesterday.
Well it's coming close to the time when we'll be heading home to Spirit. Over the last six months I've been thinking of what to do when we return. There seems to be so many questions and it's only time that seems to answer most of them. It's hard to stop planning everything, to let go and let time decide plans as it passes and like most people I do a lot of daydreaming, which doesn't help.
Daydreaming of the places we could visit of the places I've always dreamed about visiting since I was sailing as a child with my mother and father, those distant places you read about in magazines while a kid are always the first on my list as they seem so exotic and far away. One thing were learnt when we crossed the Pacific in 2011-2012 was how vast and huge this body of water is. There is so many small Island chains both north and south of the equator and they all seem to have there different qualities. With all this in mind we have made a rough plan for the next few years. and that's to sail back out into the Pacific. But with the trade winds mostly from the north east to the south east how is one to do this comfortably on a little trimaran that get's incredibly wet once you have more than 15kts of wind forward of the beam?
The last few weeks have been spent studying the weather patterns for the different times of year. And one of the benefits of Spirit is that she loves the light airs. So the plan is simple..... find the lightest airs from any direction preferably forward of the beam to increase our apparent and head east!! So far it seems the most enjoyable way to do this would be to head north from Australia through to Indonesia. Maybe taking part in the Darwin to Ambon yacht race next year and sailing up to Ambon. We always love a little race along the way as well and that's one race where the winds are normally on the quarter making for some seriously enjoyable sailing.
From there we would head up to Raja Ampat and then onto Palau for December when it's cyclone season in the southern hemisphere. We'd pick our way east along the Pacific Island chains starting with the Caroline Islands, which is all part of Micronesia then onto the Marshall Islands and down into the Kiribati's and Samoa for the southern hemispheres winter season. During that time we'd do Tonga again as last time we left most of it out due to time restraints and it was one place we promised ourselves to go back to. We hang out around that area until the cyclone season again in November/December and head north again to Samoa.
From Samoa it would be north to the Line Islands and Kiribati. Then down to the Marquases Islands and back down to Tahiti for the start of winter again.
It's way to hard to plan something like this and what will decide our final arrival point is always the weather. Before we make for another Island we will watch the weather intently and depart with light winds from a favourable direction. Should things change on passage we will adapt to them as they happen. But one thing is we will always have plenty of other options with so many islands there will always be one that is in the correct direction for the weather we have.
So in the end this is all a dream. It's a dream of places we'd love to go to and a direction we'd like to head. In the end it will be mother nature that decides where we visit and when. So in a few years it'll be great to look back and to see where that is compared to where we were aiming today.
Well it's been over three months now since I left Australia and Spirit sitting on the hard at the Whitsunday Sailing Club and time has flown by. Hopefully in another six months I'll be back home with Spirit readying her for the water once again. I can't tell you how much I miss sailing on her and being free upon the ocean. Unfortunately we have to work occasionally and I can't complain my work is pretty cool.
Here's a bit of a breakdown of how the last three months have been for us here. I arrived in St Maarten at the start of February and took over the yacht I work on every few years when funds run low. She's been here since coming down from the US east coast in December. She's an 80ft ketch that was originally built for the 1979 Whitbread around the world race. She was a little to heavy we hear and because of this she was turned into a luxury yacht. She was then chartered around the Caribbean and sold to her present owners and my boss's in around 1984. Since then she's been privately run and does the Mediterranean, East Coast US and Caribbean.
So after I arrived we sat around St Maarten doing odd jobs and getting the boat ready for the owner to come down and enjoy. We did a one week trip around the British Virgin Islands before heading to St Barths for a week. We then did another three one week long trips around St Barth's before heading back to St Maarten where we had a week to recover.
After a weeks rest we did another seven days around St Barth's and then dropped off in St Maarten again before heading directly down to Grenada where we did a two week trip around the Grenadines dropping off in St Vincent before heading straight back to St Maarten where we've been for the past week. So with all that sailing and travelling time has just flown by. As you can see we're really just a fancy bus on the water travelling from place to place for a week or so at the time.
At the moment we are getting ready to cross the Atlantic. Our delivery crew are all arriving over the next few days and then we'll haul the yacht clean her bum with some new anti-foul applied we'll be fresh and ready for the crossing. We're hoping to be in the Med by the first week of June all going to plan. Then it'll be a few months around Italy and the Amalfi coast before taking the yacht to Holland where she'l go into a yard period. From there I'll be heading home to Australia and Spirit again.
I've put in a few photos of our travels around this part of the world. We've been fortunate enough to see some beautiful places this year and we were also lucky enough to be in Bequia during there famous easter regatta, which was a blast to see. Sorry again for the lack of updates and the length and quality of the text but it's pretty busy here at the moment. I'll be sure to update from the Med once we get there with some news about the crossing.
We'll things have been all over the shop as normal. Just before Christmas 2014 I was offered some work back in the Caribbean and with the wet season upon us in North Queensland I thought it sounded like a great idea to head back to work for a while.
The next question was what to do with Spirit? after a week of running around all over the place and ringing people and asking friends for help. The Whitsunday Yacht Club offered to put her on their property just beside the yacht club. It was a great surprise and it all happened so quickly and easily. I can't thank all those involved with Spirit enough. One minute your worrying about what to do with your home and boat and the next thing it's all ok and you couldn't have found a better spot for her. Actually a shed 50ft x 40ft would have been perfect but that's out of the question.
After a few days getting all the crap off the boat, mostly pots, pans, food, fridge, clothing and everything I could remove it was time to haul her out. Sitting on the tailor ready to be wheeled over the old volleyball courts
Rupert King who owns Overdrive offered the use of his trailer and also his forklift. Spirit fitted perfectly on the trailer. After hauling her out we then drover her over to the patch of ground she was going to live on for the next eight months. Rupert helped organise some tires and we bought four two ton concrete blocks for her to sit upon. One being put under each float where the beam bulkhead is. We then put the tires upon the blocks and also some under the main hull until she was sitting straight and steady. From there we jacked one side up and removed the trailer.
After that we removed the tires we placed under the float to jack her up and then lowered her down onto the single tires, which we had place upon the concrete blocks. We bought some two ton straps and strapped her down to the blocks so at the moment she's holding fast to eight tons of concrete!!
We had a pretty close call at the end of January when a cyclone crossed the coast just north of Airlie Beach in Bowen. It just happened to cross at the same time as the years highest tide which brought the water level up to near where Spirit was. There were a few days there where we didn't know how bad the cyclone was going to be or how Spirit would cope with the wind and water. Thank goodness she came out ok in the end. There was a bit of water damage to the ground around where the concrete blocks were but nothing too bad. Spirit is all fine and with my parents living in Airlie Beach it's great to know someone is popping down regularly to keep an eye on her for me. Along with a few local friends that have also been a great help.
So I'll be updating the blog from the Caribbean for the next few months. We're going to be based around here until May when we hope to sail over to the Med and Spain and beyond...... who knows??
I'm now on a very luxurious 80ft ketch with ever mod con and more. It's one extreme going from Spirit to this yacht Zanabe. I do miss Spirit's simplicity and her turn of speed. She has proven over the last three years to be a great little boat and a perfect platform to cruise on. I can't wait to get back to her and have more adventures up and around Asia.
Over Christmas and New Year we spent a wonderful ten days up at Magnetic Island. The weather was perfect and we found some great anchorages with the light north easterly breezes that we were lucky to have had.
The water was clear and warm and the skies blue and cloudless each day. Magnetic is a really understated place that doesn't get the mentions it should. There is some beautiful anchorages and on the island itself there's also some great walks wit no around and this was the busy season!
I spent time up there with my very old and close friends on their Catamaran Tigerlily, rafting up most days and relaxing with a nice cold beer in the hammock. We managed to get out and go sailing on both boats one day and I gave Tigerlily one of Spirit's old asymmetrical spinnakers for Christmas. She looked great with it up and made good speed with the main and jib only on Spirit we weren't able to catch her down wind with our angles being to great and her running way deeper. It was a blast.
The sail home was fantastic we managed to break the "just fixed prodder" again in a different place this time and once we rounded Cape Bowling Green we had smooth seas and a beautiful light breeze from the east to north east that didn't even produce a white cap. Spirit loved the 60 degree apparent wind angle and took off like a shot sitting happily on 8-15kts all the way home.
The sail home took fifteen hours, which compared to the just under eleven hours to magnetic was a little slow. On the way up to Magnetic we managed an average of 12kts and on the way home managed 8kts.
Sorry for the really slow posts on my blog. It seems life gets in the way of me sitting and putting all this stuff down on the blog. Since the last post I've been busy working in NZ for five weeks and have only a week ago returned to Spirit here in the Whitsunday Islands. It's been great getting back as there was a pile of stuff I needed to do to get Spirit ready for our Christmas cruise to Magnetic Island. We plan to meet some close friends up there on there 49ft Cat and to do some sailing together, which has been a dream of ours since we were kids growing up together in Sydney.
After nearly two months of not cleaning Spirit's bum it was well and truly time to give her some love. A job I thought was going to be nasty turned out to be pretty easy. My father had some really great wide and flexible paint scrapers that we used. And as there was a fair amount or more like a carpet it came off really easy in one foul scrap! We had to be careful though not to scratch any anti foul off with the flexible blades but after a few goes it was easy. After the scraping we gave her a quick scrub as well with a green doodle pad.
Another of the big jobs was to install some new B&G 20/20's that I had bought from a great friend in NZ. He had a few spare so I was able to pick em up at a really reasonable price, which made replacing them easier. I removed the console that they're installed in and painted it along with the speakers. We used Jotun Pengaurd high build and then did a top coat of Jotun Imperite 300 white. Came up pretty nice considering it was a quick job with a roller. I've also removed all the varnish I had onboard. There wasn't a lot but it's such a pain to maintain so we now have oiled timber. I'm using organ oil and it's real easy to apply and looks great. I'll do a coat every month and see how it holds up. The water-maker has been put back into the boat. It's now installed in a much better spot under the fridge and the membrane is now under the sink area so none of it's in the way. It's really hidden and makes more room on the interior now.
There's two new solar panels on the floats where the old ones were. I've used some 6 gauge wiring from a mate good quality stuff as well as he said I was using to smaller wiring for the long run we had. It's great to be getting these small jobs done and things like the new solar panels and better wiring make all the difference. Spirit will easily run off the 240 watts of solar we have onboard. The panels easily run the fridge and stereo along with the autopilot while we are at sea. Other small things we charge through USB like the iPad and iPhone are easily kept in charged. We love being self reliant!
The autopilot connection was pretty crappy and needed a lot of attention so that's been upgraded and the two Bose speakers were replaced with new ones so we have some pumping tunes now in the cockpit ;-) We cracked the Prodder a few months ago so have now removed the track that ran up it and also all of the metallic fitting that were bolted or screwed to it. We'll now lash any fittings to the prodder and it'll be a heap lighter with out all the metal on it. It's also going to allow us to tack the light air sails further out near the end as the track used to stop a good 20cm before the end.
Next week we hope to leave for Magnetic Island and will try and do the 120nm run in a day. I'll update again soon with new from how the trip up went.
Thought we'd do a little bit on the blog about one of my favourite places and to be honest of the best sailing and cruising grounds there is around, the Whitsunday Islands and a trip we recently did south to Keswick Island.
I've been fortunate enough to sail around this area since I was a kid. We first sailed here as a family during 1989 onboard our 54ft ketch Japara. The memories are still vivid and it was my first taste of true paradise and sailing as a kid so it has a special place in my heart.
The Whitsundays are a group of 74 Islands that are located on the central Queensland coast. Most people will know them that read this but some may not so I'll give some basic details here and will also put a few of my favourite spots. The Islands start just off shore from Mackay and run north towards Bowen. The two largest and main Islands are Hook and Whitsunday. These two are around 15nm offshore from Airlie Beach as prove to be the most popular with some of the best anchorages and beaches. There is also some amazing walks to be had in the area as well.
We have been fortunate enough over the last few months to have some fairly calm weather with light northerlies that have hung in for days and even a few weeks. Meaning we've been able to get out around the Islands to the south that are normally more exposed with the strong trades that blow in the area.
Last trip we did we made it down to Shaw Island just south of Linderman and were able to anchor just off the beach putting out the stern anchor and sitting in around 5ft of water at low tide. It was awesome and with the dead calm conditions it was surreal to wake up in the morning to rich turquoise ocean of glass.
From Shaw we sailed down to Cockermouth where we spent a nice night at anchor before heading to Keswick early the following mooring. On the way down to Cockermouth we passed several schools of dolphins and also a mother whale and her calm slowly swimming south. This time of the year there is so much wildlife around it's awe inspiring!
There are moorings at Keswick that you can use but these group of Islands don't really have a great all round anchorage, they are really best visited in calms or when the winds are low and seas calm. The water between Keswick and St Bees is deep and there is strong tidal flows between them so it can be a difficult and ordinary anchorage so making use of the moorings is best advised.
We spent a nice night down at Keswick visiting some close friends and having a nice lunch ashore at their home. With the anchorage not being the best we only stayed the one night before sailing back to Shaw. We had a nice light north east wind that went further east as we sailed north. It was a great run up and Spirit sat happily on 8-9 kts upwind. Just awesome flat seas where we don't get wet is the best when we sail to wind. Anything above 15kts and we start to get pretty wet onboard.
We were the only boat at Shaw Island, well on this side anyway. There wasn't another boat to be seen and we once again dropped the anchor in shallow water and put out the stern anchor to secure Spirit and allow us to get in closer to the beach. We spent another two days here lying around and just relaxing, cooking, eating, reading, sleeping and paddling out SUP's around exploring.
You'd think you'd get bored doing nothing all the time but that's just it. After a few days your body just seems to get into the swing of things and everything seems to slow down. You seem to love in slow motion and your body clock adjust to the sunrises and sunsets. It feels incredibly natural and healthy to live like this and one finds that the day fills with the little things like cooking and looking after oneself. It's so nice to have the time listen to be able to hear yourself and to hear what's important to you and that you need to be happy. I'm sounding a bit deep here but life is truly so simple we do need so little to be happy. For myself it's just the ability to live freely and simple that I enjoy most and to have the ability to do things without the normal day to day rush.
From Shaw Island we headed north to Hamilton where we picked up some more fresh fruit and veg. After nearly a week on our own at Shaw the sudden influx of people and things was intense and we quickly chose to get out of there and move onto May's Bay another favourite anchorage just south of Hook Passage. It's a great spot as there's normally no one else there and you get to see an awesome sunset if the weather's right over the Molle Group of Islands.
Next day it was off to Nara inlet. This has to be one of the best all round anchorages within the Whitsunday group as it's calm in most winds and provides great shelter from nearly all directions. We tucked right up in the end of the main arm where the water's flat and wind was just barely noticeable. If it's blowing strong directly from the south it can have a little bit of chop enter but I've never seen it really bad in here. We enjoyed a day here paddling, swimming and relaxing before we sailed back to the mainland.
This group of Islands is a must place to visit and sail around and I hope this little story of one of our adventures here inspires you to do just that ;-) I've also posted a few new videos on our youtube page so if you'd like to see some more of the area check them out.
Here's a nice little time-lapse video a family friend made. This was a day we had out with family sailing out to Hook Island in the Whitsundays. We had about 18-22 kts of breeze from the SE and were sitting on 18kts on the way out and a solid 22kts on the way back into town. We ended up putting a stress crack in the prodder on the way out as we were a touch over powered with the small reacher up. Fun day had by all!!
Anyone that has been reading the blog often will know that on the sail home across the Pacific we just happened to be at a few places at the right time for certain regattas. This is what really gave us our taste for doing some more serious ones while back in Australia.
When we arrived in Brisbane in December, we were approached by a sponsor who encouraged us to participate with Spirit in the Brisbane to Gladstone 2013 Yacht Race. It was the results of B2G that encouraged us to plan for the Airlie Beach Race Week Regatta, however we realised that the old sails were well past their “Use by Date”. The next questions were could we organise new sails in time? Can we get a crew together? Will the boat be ready in time?
Having arrived back from a delivery to Fiji from Cairns about a month prior, we felt we had enough time to get it all done. The sails had been ordered from Hyde UK and it was just some small details we had to iron out with the final measurements before ordering. We wanted to make some changes with the mainsail compared to the old one we wanted a larger square top and also larger jib, we really wanted to max the jib size out but with the sail designers being in the UK and us in Australia it was up to us to get the sizes right, which meant we made it just a touch too big.
Abell Point Marina was chosen as our base for the month prior and with word that the marina was now under new ownership and set for significant upgrades, we were keen to check it out. After checking in with a friend and staff member of the Abell Point Marina team, I was overwhelmed with the the new vision and plans for the marina. Plans included development of public access areas, upgrades of on-site amenities and associated tourism facilities and the establishment of a shaded park for community use. There will also be extensive dredging work inside the marina wall to depths never experienced in the history of the marina.
With a list a mile long we set about servicing winches and removing all deck gear and getting Spirit ready for race week. Dave Chittleborough (Chippy) reinforced the deck to hull join below the jib tracks and also patched an old hole from where we pulled out a padeye during the Brisbane to Gladstone. We reinforced the winch bases and removed all the cruising great, which never ceases to amaze me. The amount of stuff that the little boat can fit on, it is incredible! With the sails set to arrive two weeks prior we had some time for the modifications that were needed as I’d gone a bit too far with the dimensions I’d sent to Hyde. We were tyring to squeeze in the maximum size for the new jib and it ended up needing the head chopped off and the clew was also chopped off with a batten being fitted, which allowed for the clew to have two sheeting points instead of just the one.
Once we had refitted all the winches and deck gear it was time to do sail trials and with the Whitsundays at our doorstep, what better location to adjust sails and tune ready for racing. A great deal of the year the winds are from the southeast. This gives you an awesome beam reach to the northwest tip of Hook Island around Stonehaven or Langford. It’s a blast reaching out to it’s best sitting on 18-20kts with the main hull skimming the water and Spirit flying over the wave tops. With the incoming tide you get a nice little chop and Spirit revelled in it. With some fine tunning the sails were working and looking great. We had them measured by Shane Bayer for our OMR rating and we were all set to compete in Airlie Beach Race Week.
We decided that we would go with the least amount of crew we could for race week. The forecast was looking light and weight plays a big role onboard Spirit in the light airs. We had young Dan Townsend, Andrew Mosley, Wazza Innes and also Dave Chittleborough for crew along with myself. Dave and Wazza were to work the pit as we call it and Andrew was foredeck while Dan floated and called numbers while we were sailing the longer legs.
Race one was a blast out around the Cones and back. We didn’t get off to a great start as one of the mast rotation lines got caught around our new rope constrictor clutches that were supplied by AllYacht Spars in Brisbane. If you haven’t seen these things do yourself a favour and check them out! When the mast rotation was pulled it also caught the line for the clutch dropping about two meters of halyard while we were running with our small screecther up! We had “Bullet Proof” below us and couldn’t run off so had to work hard and get the halyard onto and winch and back under tension while trying to still race. It was full station in the pit but Wazza and Chippy managed to keep things under control and get us moving again quickly. About a third the way out to the Cones we realised that we were running way to and were totally underpowered compared with the other boats. Before the start we’d checked the angles but between then and now the breeze had shifted south. So up went the big reacher and off we went with more power allowing us to run deeper angles at speed. We slowly reeled in the other boats and were about the fifth boat around Olden Island. Once around Olden we were on the breeze again which is where Spirit loves to be. With Chippy having done ten race weeks his local knowledge proved invaluable here and we ran as close to the coast as we could. Getting some incredible lifts along the way and staying well out of the tide and chop. We went past Indian Chief and Hot Vindaloo here and made some serious miles on the front-runners. After an awesome beat to windward we crossed the line fifth on OMR, which we were all pretty happy with considering our start.
Race two couldn’t have been more different. The wind went super light under 10kts and the race ended up being shortened with the boats doing the Pioneer Bay large triangle course and finishing at Pioneer Rocks. We did really well this day in the light and managed to get a third placing which was to everyone’s surprise.
Race three proved difficult and eventually the start line was moved out into the passage where the wind line was. The race was around the Molle group of Islands and White Rock near Shute Harbor back to Pioneer Bay. We started in around 7kts from the SE and beat up towards North Molle. We hugged the tip of Molle as we know the tide floods around the point there. With the lack of wind we were looking for anything to help us get South around South Molle and even though we did run into a hole that lasted a few minutes it was a real bonus to have the tide sending us south.
From here we hugged the coast and tide line until we were able to get around Denman and off to White Rock. It was a crazy race as we were on the breeze all the way to Denman then we ran across the passage to White Rock where the wind died out and came in from the North! It was great racing and the guys had to work constantly moving their weight around and changing sails to eek out every little bit of forward motion we could. Once around White Rock we put the light air reacher up and followed Morticia and Mad Max sticking close to the coast looking for wind. We had a great result this day and came in third on OMR.
The following day was a lay day and a few of the boys and girls from Hot Vindaloo joined us for a trip out to Daydream Island where we lazed around in the sun enjoying some ice cold beers and fine scenery the Whitsundays has to offer. It was incredible that the wind just didn’t seem to be filling in for the series. You can normally count on at least one or two days of 20-25kts but not this year it was just not going to happen.
Race four saw the race committee put on windward leeward’s for the multis. It was a glass out and the wind just didn’t seem to be coming in so most of the multis opted to raft up and make a megamaran. The beers and BS was starting to flow fast so when the race committee came onto the radio to announce the course and starts there was some surprise amongst us. Once underway it was painful for us as Spirit is just under four ton she takes a while to get moving and in the super light windward-leewards were hard work. The whale at the top mark made for an interesting rounding and in the first race we did ok getting another fifth place. It was a shame that the 2nd race was cancelled but we could understand why in the next to nothing breeze that we had.
Race five was another passage race and they gave us the Gumbrell Island race. It was another super light air day with next to no wind, with fine scenery and turquoise water surrounding us. We had a good start considering the amount of boats that were still on the line from the other Divisions starts. Between the top mark and the start line were boats from all divisions making it very tricky in the light airs to not hit anyone and to get by and on our way. We squeezed through two monos with feet to spare and once around the top mark with the big reacher up we were off. Once around Grimston Point we headed straight to Gumbrell and with the wind again shifting North it ended up being close hauled all the way. Once around Gumbrell we headed west to Olden where we found some serious breeze and we were off along with everyone else. It looked as though it was going to fill in so we had to dump the big reacher and put up the smaller one. From here the wind died out again and headed us. It was crazy the amount of wind changes and wind strengths we were getting in one day.
Up ahead we could see Malice, Morticia and Mad Max. We stayed in close to the coast gain looking for a lift and also tide to get us around Grimston. Incredibly we found a huge lift once near Grimston and with the tide heading south we were pushed around the point. The finish was shortened and we ducked across the line in 2nd on OMR.
The final race six was set to be a goodie, as there was finally going to be a little wind with some consistency. We ended up having around 15-18kts of wind and you could see that things within the standings would have been a lot different should we have had a few more days like this. It’s where the cats just started to get moving and once flying a hull they were all off. It was great seeing them liven up and boogie around the course. The race committee gave us a Pioneer Triangle again for the last race and it was great.
We had a good start and where hanging onto the leaders. Once around the Grimston mark though I decided to head back into the bay looking for less tide. This wasn’t a good decision and after a few minutes we could see the other boats out wide powered up much more than us so we decided to head back out into the passage looking for the breeze. It was a much better move and Spirit enjoyed being powered up with the other boats. We had a few issues onboard and lost a little time tacking. The guys worked hard to keep the boat going fast and we tried hard to hang onto the front runners. You could see the cats though were making some big gains on everyone when going downwind and being passed by Malice flying her hull was an awesome site. We had a good close race with Hot Vindaloo being taken on the downwind legs to catch them again on the windward legs was great fun. After a good few hours racing we managed to cross the line in 7th on OMR not our best result but not bad considering the people and boats we were racing. In the end and very much to our surprise Spirit came in 2nd on OMR in division 1. At the start we just wanted to have a great time racing be safe and enjoy doing what we all love. So for us to get a place was a huge bonus.
Airlie Beach Race Week has become a huge success over the last few years. The acceptance of Multis into it and the hard work from the volunteers and sponsors and the great setting it's held in is why it’s growing every year. I think there needs to be a special thank you to people like Shane Beyer that organised all the measuring and weighing of boats for the OMR rule so there was no complaints or confusion at the end of racing. The Whitsunday Yacht Club and all their volunteers along with the Abell Point Marina that was the major sponsor and organised all the berthing for competing boats.
I’d also like to thank Allyacht Spars, Hyde Sails and Power By Nature whom either sponsored us or helped us get the boat onto the race track with their great service and help. Also our race crew that put in the hard yards, before, during and after the event, thank you!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.