F-82 In Coastal Classic
The HSBC Premier Coastal Classic is now one of New Zealand's most popular coastal races, and can also be one of the toughest. This year less than 50% of the 229 boat fleet finished, with the rest withdrawing due to gear failure, or either not starting due to the weather forecast, or conditions at the start (30 knot gusts on the nose).
Of the 19 multihulls entered, only three finished, taking 1st (44' catamaran), 5th (F-82R) and 8th (8.5m cat) over the line.
To everyone's surprise Jon Bilger's all carbon F-82R (same as F-25C) PREDICTWIND.COM (formerly NeedForSpeed) led the fleet to Flat Rock, 26 miles out into the Hauraki Gulf, before being slowly overtaken by the 50ft keelboats and the 44' cat TAEPING.
PREDICTWIND.COM then finished 5th over the line, right amongst the 50 and 60 foot monohulls, between RAGTIME (Spencer 65) and SABABA (Farr 50). Not too bad for just a 26 footer, and one set up to comply with the NZ 8.5 Class Rule, which limits rig size!
(thanks to Sail-World.com/NZ who also supplied the photos)
PredictWind.com leading the TP52, V5 at the start
The BW52 WIRED with PredictWind.com in pursuit
The Elliot 50 footer SPORTIVO and PredictWind.com - David and Goliath!
Jon Bilger writes:
It was my first race in tough coastal conditions. Have been sailing the boat pretty hard for a year, but not sure how it she would handle 30 knots and 2m swells. One word describes her...Exceptional !! Had a new crew member onboard who owns a 38ft Tri. He looked pretty aprehensive as we left the dock, unfolded her, and screwed up the 4 bolts ! :-) He was amazed at how little the hulls moved relative to each other over the 2m swells. The structural design is impressive!
PredictWind.com at initial launching in Nelson, where conditions were a little better!