Georgia Racing

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Redesign of Georgia

Monday, November 23, 2015

In the last posting on this site, the weight of the boat in light winds compared with some of its new TP52 rivals was identified as the cause of the uncharacteristically average performance of GEORGIA in the Jack Tar regatta in March (and previously in Bay Week in January).   A decision had by then been taken to investigate the best way of remedying this, with the initial suggestion being two-fold – taking weight out of the bulb and deepening the draft (again).

new bulb 2015We were fortunate to have Nick Holroyd available to us for this task.  Nick was and had been for many years head of the Design Team at Team New Zealand and, particularly before America’s Cup moved to multihulls, had played the lead role in keel design for the AC monohulls.  Timing was perfect as Nick had just left Team New Zealand and was not at that point yet with Dean Barker’s Softbank AC team and so had a little time on his hands. 

New fin 2015After a considerable amount of computer trialling and discussion, the decision was taken to stay with the existing draft (at 3.5 metres, down in any event from the 3.2 metres at the boat’s launch date).   However, the bulb was redesigned in shape and about 400 kilos taken out of it.   Just as importantly, the fin was also re-designed to reduce drag.The build process was not without its frustrations but George Hendy patiently saw it through and the various contractors with whom he dealt were excellent. Many thanks to all concerned.

The boat was finally put back into the water at the beginning of November – too late for the Coastal Classic, not an outcome that too many of the crew lamented given the unpleasant conditions of this year’s race.Boat completed 2015 The boat was finally put back into the water at the beginning of November – too late for the Coastal Classic, not an outcome that too many of the crew lamented given the unpleasant conditions of this year’s race.

We ventured out for the first time in the boat’s modified form in the Rum Race of 13 November.  The start was seriously hampered by not being able to get the main up in time and so we ventured down the harbour in last place.  However, on a reaching course, we steadily moved through the fleet and on the last leg we passed V5 and former Round the World Winner Steinlager to finish 2nd.  We were reasonably happy with that.

It was not possible on that limited experience and in that kind of race to draw any conclusions about the changes to the boat.  However, there was certainly nothing to suggest to us that the performance was likely to be worse!

It is planned to get a couple of Wednesday night races behind us before Christmas in preparation for Bay Week at the end of January.  We are once again most fortunate to have Brad Butterworth doing our tactics at that event and we are all looking forward to it very much.  The competition will be tougher than ever because, apart from last year’s fleet (which had 3 TP52s which were new to New Zealand waters), there are 2 more brand new boats built by Cookson which will be competing.  Finishing in the first 5 this year will be a real achievement.

One complication about the 2016 Bay Week is that, although all the 52s will be racing together off the same start line and on the same course, some of them will be racing under IRC and some under PHRF.   The PHRF rating does allow for larger sail area than IRC and so finishing place on line may be distorted in the fleet as a whole.  We have elected for the first time for a couple of years to race under IRC and so smaller downwind sails and jibs will be required.   No big Code zeros either! Jim Farmer 23 November 2015