Over the past six weeks I have had my head down working hard on a new exciting project called Tritium Racing.
The aim is to race the Transpac from Los Angeles to Hawaii this coming July and hopefully beat the course record.
Our weapon of choice is…. a real weapon.
Originally built and raced as an ORMA 60 trimaran in 1998, the boat was raced under the name Bonduelle by Jean Le Cam and then as Gitana. After a few years ‘rest’ the boat was bought by the Artemis America’s Cup team and transformed to be used as a training boat in the initial stages of their 2013 campaign. They started by extending the outer hulls to 72ft and adding a 17ft bowsprit to the central hull. They changed the foil system, took out the central dagger board, took out the engine, changed the rudders, removed the classic rig and replaced it with a solid wing. The boat was brought from Europe to San Francisco in February and bought by a private owner with the intention of beating the Transpac record.
All of the above modifications were made to enhance performance for inshore racing so we had the task of making the boat into an offshore machine again. Major jobs included putting the engine back in, the classic rig back on and open up the hole to put the central dagger board back in again. We also retrofitted the new foil system to take the original foils.
After two days training in San Francisco Bay we passed underneath the Golden Gate Bridge on the 6th June for Tritium Racing’s first ocean passage.
Though we had moments of glory with speeds of 30 knots during the first night, we had less breeze than expected and were thankful for all the extra food the team had brought along. We made the most of the trip to go through the sail inventory and note sail trim, test all the electrics and electronics, go through modifications and improvements to the living area etc etc.
With a whole new joblist we arrived at Long Beach California and parked the boat at her new home.
I now have a month to get through the list and get the final items checked off.
Practice dates have been set and our multinational crew is poised and ready to train and perfect teamwork and maneuvers through June.
Its great to be a part of this exciting project. I am going to be sailing with a very talented team and I’m looking forward to attempting to break a record not touched since 2005 with this incredible boat.
Watch out Hawaii, here we come!
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