Sunday 29 November 2009

New M34 seems to be spot on

The new M34, the chosen One-Design for the Tour de France a la Voile, seems to have all the right design parameters. Design and deck lay-out seem to be well influenced by the TP52's. The M34, built with resin infusion technology by Archambault in France, attracts plenty of attention worldwide and is a positive step up from the Melges 32. The latter seems to be very restrictive with it's current "owner only driver rule", even amateur drivers with good intentions have been oozed out of the class. Also many sailors disliked the lack of jib inhaulers and other key trim options on the Melges32. The M34 has an exciting set up and promises to be the ultimate replacement of the aging Mumm 30. Keep up to date on the class at


Saturday 20 June 2009

Round the Island Race Cowes 50 nm 20-June-2009

Rising at 5am to an excellent breakfast, the crew of Seawolf walked through a damp and overcast Cowes to rig the boat early on Saturday morning.
Round the Island race attracts over 1800 yachts, from the slowest 24fters to the jaw dropping sleek canting keelers with their powered winches and professional crews. IDEC with round the world record holder Francis Joyon and Ben Ainslie on Team Origin Extreme 40 were just two of the participating multihulls.

At 0730 Seawolf got a good start on the mainland shore under jib, then peeled to Code Zero, then back to jib, in lightening winds and adverse tide. Progress was slow to the needles, where we avoided the submerged hazards, then hoisted the R1 and gybed back to the island.
Our goal was now to catch and pass "oystercatcher" a very similar although lower rated craft. We achieved this by St Catherines Point, where we peeled to the R2 as the breeze had increased. A weakening gradient wind was battling with the adverse nascent sea breeze and we were surprised to come round the point and sight the becalmed larger and much faster yachts in the near distance.
Gybing to the point of grinder exhaustion, we worked every shift along the shore and reached Bembridge ledge buoy having made huge gains on the fleet and left the raft of pursuing smaller boats on the horizon.
As we reached Bembridge we transitioned into the weak SW sea breeze and beat uneventfully up the island shore. Finishing at 1606, with 100fters Liara and Leopard in sight, we came third in class.
Tom Whitburn

Monday 25 May 2009

Custom laser measurement machine to check foil shapes

In house development is continuing with a new laser measurement machine. This laser measures foils and allows us to get accurate data on the fairness of the foils. Foils can then be graphed in a variety of programs to check the fairness and foil shape and compared to the original design. It also allows us to re-design foils around the existing base sections. Proper foil prep is one of the key elements of sailboat racing.

Saturday 28 February 2009

Article in the Dutch Online magazine Zilt about the recent breakages in the Volvo ocean race

An article in the Dutch Zilt about the recent probelms with the VO 70's in the leg to China. Are these boats to light, sailed to it the audience who demands this kind of more in the magazine on page 8.