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F-85SRs Do Well in Sydney Regatta

Both Phill Brander's and Clive Kennedy's F-85SRs did well in the Lock Crowther Regatta, held in Sydney over the weekend,
Phill's MAD HATTER shown above, and Phill writes:

Ian,
We just finished the Lock Crowther Memorial Regatta. This is the way racing unfolded as seen by Mad Hatter, a recently launched F85SR.

Being a new boat, we had not raced seriously before and had no idea what was ahead. Personally I just wanted to have fun, and
hoped someone would take a good pic of the boat over the weekend.

In a light breeze we started the first race in the pack with the fleet and soon pulled out a lead that made our jaws drop, working up
the eastern shore. We had noticed some boats started tacking to the other side, and figured they were looking for a fresher wind
line but they kept going. When we finally checked the map we found we had completely misjudged the position of the first mark.
Post race analysis of the tracker showed that we ran 6 mins past our lay line. Once the light was turned on, we pulled the screecher
up and kicked up our heels to get across from the eastern shore to the western shore where the mark was actually located. We
still rounded third boat just behind Quickstep (a 40ft racing cat) and a Dash 750 with Evil Gnome (F-85) very close behind, also
having overlayed the mark. As the breeze started to fill in a bit more we managed to pull away and kept building the lead as the
race progressed. This is where the 'but' usually comes into the conversation 'but' not this time. We finished 6 mins 22 secs ahead
of the second boat, also an F-85SR.

The second race was in a freshening breeze. We got boxed in at the start by some big boats, with both Quickstep and Evil Gnome
getting off the line much better. By the time we got to Lion Island we had managed to reel Evil Gnome in, but not Quickstep.

Rounding the island we hoisted the masthead A0 and even though Quickstep had several hundred metres on us we pulled her in and
flew past. Rounding the bottom mark well ahead, we started cranking everything on to work back towards Lion Island but the sound
of carbon cracking alerted us to the fact the main sheet pressure had started crushing the boom. (I had a long soft shackle wrapping
around the boom and twice through the clew of the main to keep the clew of the main hard up against the boom. This formed a loop
that constricts around the boom. The greater the mainsheet pressure, the more the loop constricts.) When we worked out what was
happening, the boom was in a state that was easy to repair so we decided to just nurse it to the finish. Without the required main
sheet tension, Quickstep started to pull some ground back on us and it looked like they were going to get us. As we rounded the
point to go back into Pittwater, we could come off the breeze enough to get the screecher up and honking. We held Quickstep off to
cross the line 43 secs ahead.

The sail maker Rob Meizer from Ullman Sails was good enough to sail with us to show what the boat should be able to do, and he
steered and called the shots. At the end of the day he said- "don't change anything, this thing goes like it's on rails."

No doubt the boat will be much slower if I'm steering, but I now know what is possible.

Ian, thanks for a really great design.

Regards,

Phill