How to put your foot in it!!!
I was at the Sydney Boat Show today, admiring "Team Australia" a French trimaran built to a simple "box" formula, 18 metres wide, 18 metres long and 30 metre mast yet weighing only about 10,000 pounds (CRIPES!). This used to race successfully as "Banque Populaire", but the particular class of tri has been replaced by another rule, as the originals priced themselves out of existence. So secondhand ones are available for a small fraction of the Million+ Euro initial cost.
I was talking to this bloke and said, "yeah, but those America's Cup cats make this look like a tugboat by comparison".
Several hours later, I was sitting in on one of the 30 minute talks that were part of the show, and lo and behold, the same guy had the mike. His name is Sean Langman, the owner of the trimaran!
He included in his talk the record breaking trip when he made Sydney to Hobart in under 30 hours (he had been aiming for 36, but discovered that it went so well at 30 knots, he approved them taking it up to sustained speeds of 40 knots!) Some tugboat eh?!
Hey, it's a trimaran just like our Islands!
PS. I suspect that Sean got this incredible raceboat (plus 3 masts) for a total cost including shipping, equal to maybe a single sail on the AC cats! He said that when he was in France word got out that he was in the market for one, and a Dutch auction ensued, with other owners approaching him with ever cheaper offers. Eventually the sellers, Banque Populaire, were able to swing a fantastic freight deal with a bank customer, so Sean got it from France to Noumea gratis, and he sailed it to Australia from there.
The first time he got it up on one hull, the two frenchmen (lent to him to teach the technique of such a high performance race boat) were frsntically running around the boat, and he asked them what was wrong.. Their answer totally floored him:- "We can't work out why it is going so slowly" !!!