Friday, October 28, 2016


Francis Joyon, one of the top multihull skippers is just waiting for the right conditions to set sail on one more attempt at the world sailing circumnavigation record that belongs to Banque Populaire and Loick Peyron (45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds). Banque Populaire was crewed by 14, IDEC, Joyon's boat has a crew of only 6!!! They tried last year (with the same crew) and failed for about two days. IDEC is the "old" Groupama 3 with some modifications. Groupama 3 was the holder of the record (with Cammas - 2010) before Peyron took it away (2012). I wish them good look :-).

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Now that most boats have arrived lets have a look at the fastest among the smaller boat, the ones that arrived on the next group after the ones on the last post. Leading that group the next boat to enter was a 2009 First 45, followed by a 2009 Grand Soleil GS 43, a 1984 Swan 651 a 2015 XP 44, a 1996 Open 60, a 2011 First 40, a 2015 Grand Soleil GS 54, all ahead of the first Class 40 racer a 2010 Pogo 40s2. Here the focus goes for 3 boats, the two First (40 and 45) and the Grand Soleil 43. Specially the GS 43 and the First 45 are great performance cruisers, with a good cruising interior. Beautiful boats too.

Comet 38s

After the first Class 40, coming at almost the same time, two other racing boats, a 2011 Club Swan 42 and  a 2002 Farr 400 followed closely by two smaller cruiser racers, a 2015 JPK 10.80 and a 2010 Comet 38s both ahead of the 2nd Class 40 (2007). Followed a 2008 Sly 53, a 2008 Dufour 44p, a 2008 M37, a 2010 JPK 10.10, a 2010 Elan 450. Just some boats after, coming not far, the first 2 crew boat, a 2013 Solaris One 42 that finished ahead of the 3rd Class 40 (fully crewed) and leaved behind a racing 2 crew Class 950 and a 2 crewed Farr 45.

Solaris 42
Among those the focus goes for several boats: The JPK 10.80 but even more for the smaller JPK 10.10, the Comet 38s, the M37 and the Solaris 42, but specially for the Comet and the Solaris that are less race oriented and have far better cruising interiors.

A word about the other boats on the 2 crew class: First come the Solaris 42, then the a Class 950 followed by a Farr 45  and a Comet 41s. It is worth to mention that even the Comet come before the last full crewed 40class racer and also interesting to see the comparatively good performance of the Class 950 (compared with the Class 40). A class 950 is a boat similar to a Class40 but with only 9.5m and its performance is inferior of a class40 but it is the ideal boat for a solo or two crew medium amateur experienced crew, that can explore easily the full potential of the boat and I think it is one of the reasons it has done so well on the 2 crew class.

The Comet 41s is not, by the position of its winches, adapted to 2 crewed racing, the Solaris 42 has  the main sail winch at easy reach of the helmsman while on the Comet one has to leave to wheel to go there. Not a problem sailing with two, but on a 2 crew racing for several days many times there is only one on the cockpit and the boat cannot be sailed as near the limits as with two.

Just a final note, a curious one: many that follow this thread followed the previous thread with the same name at Sailnet and probably know a Alex, once a preponderant poster there, the owner of Giullieta, a beautiful and fast 40ft one off, made and designed in Portugal. For the second consecutive year Alex and Giulietta crew have made this race. This year they finished just a little bit ahead the Comet 41s (with a 2 crew) and several hours after the Solaris 42 that arrived first among the 2 crew class. That means that Giulietta is a slow boat or that Alex and his crew are not good sailors? No way, it means that this race has many fast boats and many first class crews and that is why I like to look at it for reference in what regards boat performance on Med conditions.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Teasing Machine finished the race moments ago. As I had commented before even if having made a fantastic race it is only 10th on the IRC classification, due to the weak wind that all the boats with this rating found on the last leg. The A13 is the first of the production cruiser racers, a pity the boat is not made anymore. We posted here about it when it was just a project. What a beauty ;-).

To give an idea of the boat performance I will tell you what boats had come in after (at a considerable distance): A Racing carbon Mylius 49, a CNB 92, a Carbon Mylius 76FD, a racing Carbon Ker 40, a Swan 45 and a very fast and well sailed XP44, XP-ACT (that's the boat name) and in fact it made a class act on this race. The Swan 45 is also a great cruiser racer and a production boat but given its price I would prefer to take the focus on the XP 44 that has a really a good cruising interior (there is right now one circumnavigating on the ARC World). Both boats arrived at almost the same time.

And this was not the only XP44 that made a good performance, since immediately after Jivaro, a J133, comes another XP44, Xpresso. The X133 even if more dated is also a great cruiser racer with a very good cruiser interior. Next comes another Jboat and then another one. First a cruiser racer, a J122, Artie, and then a smaller racing J111, all of them making a great race. The focus here goes to the J122 that had a good cruising interior and that in its new version (J122e) looks gorgeous and has an even better cruising interior. I really like it as a cruising boat.

Closing this group comes a Grand Soleil GS 50, a great performance cruiser, a bit less race oriented than the others but that, as we can see, can sail fast providing a lot of comfort.

To really gave you an idea of how fast these boats were think about this: They all were way faster than the first racing Class 40 (that has not arrived yet) and there is 4 racing. As a Class 40 is way faster than a Pogo 12.50 that may put some scratching their heads. And that explains also why that RM 12.60 is so slow on this race (that and a bad crew I believe): Most Med conditions are not favorable to this type of hulls that shine on an Atlantic crossing, on the trade winds, or in a circumnavigation but against the wind and on choppy seas with weak winds they are not at ease.


I like Azuree, not only one boat but its entire line. That's one of the brands that I cannot understand why they don't sell more boats. Maybe because they are Turkish? We had already talked about the 41 when it was on the design stage: 

It looked already great as a design and it seems that the real thing is as good as the design. The boat has barely touched the water and it is already boat of the year for the British magazine Sailing Today, that says about the Azuree 41:

"She has a stylish, modern Italian interior with bags of light, and crisp exterior lines by the celebrated Rob Humphreys. She has more ballast than her predecessors, but a lighter hull with carbon fibre reinforcing. In other words, the Azuree 41 is a delightful family cruiser with a real turn of pace when you want to turn it on."

The Azuree was also tested by Yachting world, by Toby Hodges, that finish the test calling it a "Turkish delight". I had a good laugh at that, Turkish delight are famous Turkish sweet cookies:-)

So what can I say more that I had not said already on the previous post? That the price, like on all Azurees, is great comparing with the quality that is offered? That the boat offers a stability and sail power that puts it on another league than main market mass production builders, that offer products at about the same price?

I hope to confirm the quality of the finish at the Dusseldorf boat show, but if it is as good as the one on the 46, then it will be certainly one of my favorite 40fters.

Monday, October 24, 2016


Maserati, the Italian 70ft trimaran was the first to arrive beating the American 70ft Phaedo3 that leaded all the race. A stupid mistake regarding navigation took the victory away fro, Phaedo3. They took the small Island of Linosa for Lampedusa and instead of passing out of Lampedusa passed out of Linosa. When they found out the mistake they turned away and made the correct route, but too late, Maserati had overtook them and maintained the lead till the finish line.

Later I found out that Maserati had done all race handicapped and not on the configuration that we can see on the video above due to an accident that broke one of the foiling rudders. They have to change and race the boat with the non flying configuration, with the old foils and rudders, due to the impossibility of having a new flying rudder in time.

More boats have arrived, as expected the American Rambler a beautiful 88ft JK designed racer (2014) had no trouble in arriving first among the monohuls, beating the 50Muli trimaran (that is one from the previous generation -2005) followed closely by Trifork, the fastest of the VOR 70, another JK design (2008). Trifork was once named Groupama, a VOR winner and the fastest of all VOR racers ever made.

Just now three more boats are rounding Malta, very near the finish line: Wild Joe, the well known Australian racer (cheers to the Australians to come racing in the Med), a 2002 RP design closely followed by Aegir, a very interesting and fast 82ft cruiser racer (2010, designed by Rogers).

The third one is Mascalzone Latino a surprisingly fast Coockson 50 (cheers to them). The Cockson  is basically a shortened TP52 with higher freeboard to have an interior that allows it to ocean race, featuring a canting keel. The concept was thought out by Coockson and developed by Farr (2004).

Here a Cookson 50 on the 2007 race, Cippa Lippa 8. This one is also racing this edition and doing a good race. It is approaching Malta, not far from the Infiniti 46, having ahead a beautiful Baltic 78 (2009 by Judel/Vrolijk)

Next, after the Cookson 50 comes Caro, a favorite boat of mine, Caro beat the ARC record some years back leaving way behind a Gunboat 62 catamaran. It is a 65ft cruiser racer designed in 2014 by Botin partners. Caro leaved behind Green Dragon a VOR 70 racer designed in 2008 by RP (entered after Caro). What a performance for Caro!!!.

Next entered another incredibly fast boat, a racer too but only with 46feet!!!!! Maverick, a Infiniti 46R, a brand new boat and I cannot tell you how I am satisfied with that.
That definitively proves the competence of Hugh Welbourn as a top racing designer as well as the validity of his DSS design (see the post about that on the Index). The concept had been used on other boats including Wild Oates XI but this is the most outstanding result on a boat designed by him ....what a race for theInfinity 46, on the tails of a VOR 70!!!

Next boats to arrive are a TP 52 that is beating a VOR 60 (the first among them) that comes just behind. Than a considerable space without boats (from Lampedousa to Malta) and turning around Lampedousa comes the first  production boat, a A13, unfortunately the last boat made by Archambault before going bankrupt.  The A13 is followed by many bigger boats, many of them production boats but also by the fastest among the smaller boats with special relevance to Artie, a J122 that risks to win again this race (in compensated).
and for the wind:,13.939,9

Don't forget, I have been making the coverage of the race (and boat/crew performance) on the comments of the previous post and probably some missed that. Instead of making several posts about a race I am going to utilize this system that allows replies and direct comments to what I post. If you are following please comment.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Those are images from the 2014, a spectacular edition with strong winds, not such look this year but lots of boats racing, many of them performance cruisers and a good race to see what they really worth in med conditions.

For me an additional point of interest is that a sister boat of mine (Prospectica, a Comet 41s) is racing on the double handed division, one of the more interesting regarding performance, since short handed sailing has more to do with cruising than full crewed racing. So far so good, they are in 3th place in real time (2 handed division) and they only have ahead a Solaris 42 and a J109. They are slightly ahead of a First 44.7 and all are beating several race boats among them a Class 950 and a Farr45. Last on the class and on all fleet, a RM 1260.

You can follow the race on the tracker, here:


Another test, this one with beautiful images, that concludes that the Maxi 1200 is a great boat and very good value for the money...and yet the boat is not a sales success. I find that ironic since this boat is all that many sailboat forum posters are demanding: less beamier, fast, well built, with a superior quality interior at a very nice price...and they seem not be buying it!!! LOL. 

The reason this boat is not a success is because what most cruisers look for in a first place on a sailboat is the biggest interior they can afford for a price and that is not what they got with the maxi 1200.

Having talked, over the last years, with many cruisers that do 1000's of miles on each season and live several months on a sailboat (and those are a minority among cruisers) I reached the conclusion that most use the boat as a mean of transport and as a house, being sailing ability in itself and sailing pleasure a very small part of what they search on a a sailingboat. That explains the little success of the Maxi 1200. 

That and for the ones that like sailing, the absence of a traveler, that ironically a professional racer that tested the Maxi 1200 says it is a good compromise. The boat features a central two way electric winch just below the boom, allowing for high tension on the leash and the reverse function on the electric allows to spill wind quickly. Being the winch very close to the helm it makes easy a bigger ‘dump’ if needed. In fact, sailing solo, more easier than on most cruiser racers, where the traveler is on the other side of the steering wheel and you have to move around to let it go.
More information on previous posts: