Rob did an outstanding effort in this years race, winning the Performance Handicap, and second in the OMR (Offshore Multihull Rule). WILPARINA II had to stop during the race to rescue the crew of the capsized Grainger racing cat APC MAX, and this may have cost them from taking out the OMR overall result as well. Rob writes:
WILPARINA 11 was the only tri in the race and led the fleet out of the start in light upwind work for the first 2 marks. We were gradually run down by the more powerful boats but still in front of Joel Berg's Grainger RAIDER (another racing cat) at the Caloundra Fairway.
Running up the coast showed the Farrier advantage as in the seaway we could safely carry the masthead spinnaker where Joel could only carry his fractional and had to sail further. As dark fell we changed to the fractional for safety but still made good speed and at the 11.35 pm sked we were seven miles in front of Joel. Following the rescue of APC MAX's crew, and tearing the masthead we finished 2 hours behind him.
The rescue was interesting as we backed up to the inverted boat and ran a line to them which was secured over the float enabling two of us to pull the four crew on one at a time as they slid along the line, but were well clear of our prop and we didn't get our prop fouled by their lines in the water.
As you can imagine having 9 people on board after the rescue, and all the required safety equipment on board, made the boat incredibly heavy and wet, but it was still safe to sail and made good time. The crew also lost their focus following the rescue and an hour after resuming sailing when the wind freed we hoisted the masthead spinnaker and didn't get it right up. We winched the halyard the last metre which broke the halyard and the kite was torn before we could get it back on board so we sailed the last 12 hours downwind with the fractional spinnaker.
We now only sail with the foils half down at speeds over 15 knots and this keeps the bows nicely balanced without going too high, so we can sail with good speed safely. Also for this event the boat was the best prepared and we had polished the bottom prior to leaving home and washed it in Brisbane after two long travelling days, 2200 km with three drivers, and had a new mainsail for the race. We packed the boat on it's trailer in Gladstone and trailed it North and have left it in the Whitsundays ready for the Multihull Rendezvous later in the year.
Farrier F9R WILPARINA 11
It was a pity that WILPARINA's race was interrupted by an overpowered racer that could not stay sunny side up, but this is one of the hazards of such boats in offshore racing, as covered in an earlier article A Matter Of Safety
Note that WILPARINA has the same lifting foil setup in the floats as developed for the F-31 CHEEKEE MONKEE, but be aware that such foils can be expensive. I first used retractable lifting foils back in 1985 but while they have advantages on a racing boat, I would still not recommend them for a cruising boat, due to the high expense and various practical issues.