Här är en rapport från SA. Kul att de spanade in SeaCarten :-)
I was a member of the crew on Cream. It was a blast racing these boats. I really appreciate PJ inviting me to race and I look forward to more Gunboat events whether I get to participate or just read about it. It’s a unique boat and a unique sailing group (very fun, very laid back).
To clear up a couple of questions, we were probably sailing upwind at 9-9.5 knots in the flatter water and 8.5-9.0 knots in the big waves. Downwind in race 1 we were doing 17-21 knots. Our top speed for the day was on the long downwind from the top of the island back to finish area, we hit 23.7 knots on one fantastic surf. Our tacking angles were around 95 degrees in the big waves and closer to 90 in the flat water. I think at least 60% of Race 1 was upwind so total distance sailed was probably around 45 miles. Our elapsed time was 3:56:21 so that’s about an average speed of 11.5 knots which seems about right given the conditions.
Our bowman and spinnaker trimmer Cali Sanmarti is a very experienced TP 52 sailor. He loves the TP 52’s but also loved the relaxed and fun racing on the Gunboat. It’s still an apples vs oranges comparison between full on racing machines and boats primarily designed for cruising (in races 2 and 3, we raced with our dinghy hanging in the davits, we had no choice!). I think the most competitive racing sailor would enjoy a weekend racing a Gunboat (in fact I believe PJ is marketing the boats to folks who are somewhat tired of the “grand prix” scene and want to go cruising with comfort and ease and have the option to go racing, both at double digit boatspeeds). BTW, that is Cali trimming the spinnaker from the back of the boat in the CNN video using the dinghy davit winches which were really too small for the task. We used a bag launched A-sail as the chute and had a roller furling screacher for tighter AWA’s (the boat was setup to trim the screacher from the forward cockpit winches). The boat is not really setup for the bag launched A-sail and I see Peter recommending an upgrade to the owner.
In terms of multi performance, I think the most impressive multi was True North, the Seacart 30. In the first race, they were very conservative and used a double reef in their mainsail and did not have a great day. On the 2nd and 3rd days, they shook out the second reef and were the fastest boat in the entire fleet around the course in both races. Very impressive considering this 30′ boat looked very small next to us and especially a boat like Hexe. Maybe if I win a lottery I can buy one of those but I’ll have to settle for a Corsair for now.
It was very cool having Shirley Robertson on board for Race 1. After we finished, PJ gave her the helm and we had the screacher flying on a broad reach. She very quickly had us ripping along at 19 knots. I was trimming the screacher and I turned around to see her with a look on her face telling me that this was one cool machine to be able to rip along this fast steering from the comfort of cherrywood paneled main salon!