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A Wild Ride On An F-25C

Dave Thomas sailing his F-25C WILDTHING very hard in the 135 mile Antipolis race
in the Mediterranean

Dave writes:

Ian, here in the Med the Farrier fleet just completed a couple of interesting races.

1) The Croisiere Bleue from Antibes to Calvi (Corsica) and then the return a day later. After 10 years of trying to win the outward leg of this race against some of the largest boats in the area, I finally managed this year to take line honours in real time with my F25C WildThing. The second boat was the 76 ft, professionally crewed, custom mono hull Red Pearl. The third boat was the F-27 Formula Shadowfax, which had an outstanding race beating us on handicap and coming in ahead of a F40 trimaran which was in 4th place.

On the return we again managed to take line honours in very light upwind conditions..... beating a number 45-50 ft monos and would you believe it Red Pearl. As you can imagine the results were viewed by all as being comparable to the David and Goliath scenario !!!

2) We then entered the 135 mile Antipolis race along the Mediterranean Coast from Antibes West to the Isles of Port Cross and then back East to Sanremo Italy. Unfortunately we had extreme weather conditions resulting in all but 13 of the 47 boat in the race retiring. After 100 miles of overnight racing the conditions were somewhat difficult for WildThing (with 3-4 meter waves and 30 knot winds). As the forecast was for conditions to get worst as the day progressed we took the decision at 10.00 a.m. to pull into our home port of Antibes, and not proceed to the finish line in Sanremo Italy. At the time we abandoned, the boat was performing very well, negotiating the waves with the leeward float submerged approx 10% of the time, but not digging in.

Earlier in the morning at 6 a.m. we had the attached photographs taken of the boat beating into waves further down the coastline. The waves at the time were approx 4 meters and the wind speed approx 25 knots.... believe it or not at the time we were fully in control of the boat.

Thanks for designing such versatile, safe and strong trimarans.

Regards
Dave

Note that the sailing depicted in the above pictures is racing on the edge, and not something to be taken lightly. It is the same as taking a race car right to the limit, where the risk of a 'crash and burn' is much higher. Such sailing should only be attempted with a skilled racing crew on board, as in this case, along with the correct safety gear in place.

Fortunately the weather is usually more mild in the Mediterranean, and the below photo was taken at the start of the return journey from Calvi, Corsica to Antibes. The backdrop is the Citadel, which is a fortified town built by Napoleon.

Dave writes again:

During the 93 mile return journey we had very light winds on the nose for about 95% of the time. It took us 24 hours of focused sailing to cross the line first. Only 8 out of 127 boats managed to complete the return journey without assistance. The others that completed the course were all upwind specialist mono hulls ranging from 40 to 76 ft.

Regards
Dave

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