Speedboat aka Virgin Money is an exciting boat,an engineering marvel, elegant, extreme, powerful, fragile. Not particularly useful as its purpose can only really be to set or break distance records. Yet she requires a great deal of attention.
Below she reminds me of Windward Passage the 72 foot 1968 design by Alan Gurney, a practical sensible layout. Both were ahead of their time. Once again, if only today’s materials had been available to Alan; who knows what he might have created. the thought process was similar; go fast.
There is a difference in that Passage was built on the beach, There were limits to what someone would spend for a yacht. From that comparison the owners of Passage got a lot of bang for their buck. She was durable, still sailing, looking better than ever. In today’s world she is heavy and under canvased. I expect she will still be sailing after Speedboat is only a memory.
September 2007 found me joining Gary Jobson on his new Swan 42 “Mustang” for the Stamford-Vineyard Race. The first time we had ever sailed together on the same boat; having competed against each other in college and on twelve meters for the America’s Cup.
A few weeks later I was again aboard “Mustang” for the first ever Swan 42 North American Championships in Newport, hosted by the New York Yacht Club. Gary had assembled a fine crew, each bringing some strength to the group. The racing was keen and close. Gary did an outstanding job steering the boat. All the starts were great. We ended the series in second place.
This race, in stark contrast to the Bermuda race earlier in the year, has become a legend of sorts. 35 knots at the start; 53 boats entered, three boats finished in a race that saw the wind build to 60 plus knots. The wind direction was very steady out of the East, Making the course a windward-leeward race. We hit 26 knots with a storm jib and two reefs.
We finished second to Blue Yankee, our confidence in the boat having received an enormous boost after this thrashing.
the photo shows the crew stacked aft behind Jack Cummiskey, as we surf downwind.
I was invited to sail on John Brim’s 55 foot R/P “Rima” for the 177 mile Ida Lewis Yacht Club Long Distance Race over the weekend.As a helmsman,teaming up with my old shipmate Ed Cesare, who Navigated, his brother Ben, Jack Orr from North Sails and a score of other great sailors.
In this first photo showing “Rima” there is also the stern of “Charisma”, the same boat I have written so much about in earlier entries, now belonging to a Spanish owner.
The boat is very nicely set up and well built. a treat to sail. The weather forecast for the weekend was, if you can think of it, it might happen, making any strategy other than staying near the rhumb line impossible to formulate.
The only treat was the last four hours of the race beam reaching from Montauk to Newport at 16 knots. One could not help but smile, the boat is so well behaved.