Saturday, January 4, 2014

Back in Russell

There is a tall ships race in Russell each year and this year everyone was allowed to race. I tagged along on the side lines and took a couple of pictures. Fantail is Annie Hill's little junk rigged boat and she was neck and neck with Dolphin of Leith, a tiny century old gaff cutter that just crossed the Pacific. For those of you thinking of sailing off across oceans but a little short on cash - Annie Hill's book, Voyaging on a Small Income, although a little dated is good reading. You can find out more at her blog. For info on Dolphin of Leith, another inspiring story of voyaging on a shoestring, you can visit their facebook page. Dolphin was on passage from Tonga while we were crossing from Fiji but had a more benign crossing. And yes - she could do with, and is going to get, a new mainsail in New Zealand.

Fantail and Dolphin beat into a choppy sea off Russell

I was interested to watch the junk rigged boats in this race because I am attracted by the rig's practicality and have considered using this rig on a future boat. Less than stellar upwind performance is something often mentioned by critics and I am afraid that this is a legitimate issue based on watching the three junk rigged boats in this race. However, they seemed to be able to hold their own with the traditional gaff rigged boats and are good performers off the wind.

Our friend Mike from Picara has spent the last several months working on the classic motor cruiser - Lady Crossley. She was one of the finish line vessels for the race and is shown below getting in position as the first boats approach.

Lady Crossley - acres of gleaming varnish and a mirror finish on her hull.

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