F-25C Wins 750 mile Race To Alaska By over 100 miles!

Farrier designs took the top two places in the 750 mile “Race to Alaska” with the F-25C ‘Elsie Piddock’ (ex Makika) winning easily by well over 100 miles, in what turned out to be a 700 mile upwind bash. It was fantastic effort by Skipper Al Hughes, and crew Graeme Esarey, and Matt Steverson who are to be congratulated. Not to forget also Alan Trimble who owns the boat and bravely loaned it for the race!

Photo by Nick Reid © 2015

Skipper Al Hughes wrote:

The most critical part was the boat, and credit to Ian for the design, and Colorado Composites and Jude Stoeller for the build.  ‘Elsie Piddock’ is extremely solid and light.  We spent a lot of time on preparing the boat, new standing rigging, running rigging, deck hardware,  sealing hatches, building spare cassette and rudder.  We should have spent more time sailing the boat but sometimes that is how it goes.   The crew have a lot of monohull experience in those waters so that was not an issue. Critical decisions in the race were made on the fly, but most crucial I believe was stopping just before entering Johnstone Straits.  It allowed us to be well rested, alert and basically mistake free for the next taxing 24 hrs.
Rowing was done with two oarlocks mounted on the amas and large sweep.oars from a racing shell.  We could maintain 2.5 knots for  about 4 hrs.  There were no sliding seats, we just sat on the netting. We thought weight and simplicity were key.  Al

Second across the line was the F-85SR, “Mail Order Bride” skippered by Wayne Gorrie, in spite of several overnight stops along the way. Congratulations are thus also due to Wayne and his crew for an excellent effort. Wayne commented:

These are super tough boats. We beat the hell out of MOB in some of the most extreme conditions any of us on the crew had ever seen and nothing went wrong. Kudos to Mike Mallory and his team at Multihulls Direct for the excellent build.

Commiserations and congratulations also to Por Favor, a Hobie 33, and best of the monohulls, who put up a great fight only to be pipped right at the finish line. The Hobie 33 was designed more for the downwind Newport Ensenada, so is not the easiest or most comfortable boat to sail to weather in such conditions, as shown above, but they did extremely well. They also only stopped once, which enabled them to keep in touch with MOB, which had to play catchup most of the race.

F-boats proved themselves as tough, fast boats for this event, and able to provide sufficient cover and “comfort” to enable a crew of 3 to endure the week of beating into 30 to 40 knot winds. Some links to other reports on the race are as follows:

Scuttlebutt Report

I visited both ‘Elsie Piddock’ (ex Makika) and MOB (ex KatRat) during their respective builds and it was great to see them both do so well.