Team Maverick's Diam 24 Team conclude the RORC Vice Admiral's Cup!

Team Maverick's Diam 24 Team conclude the RORC Vice Admiral's Cup!

The RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup has just concluded for the newly liveried Maverick SSR! We are really excited to be out there, representing the Maverick colours in what we think is a pretty awesome colour scheme. 

We are really excited to be out there, representing the Maverick colours in what we think is a pretty awesome colour scheme. 
— Piers Hugh-Smith

Events had slightly transpired against us before the regatta had even started- both myself and Ed had exams on the Friday of the event. Unfortunately this meant missing out on some champagne sailing conditions on Day 1, and also having to carry 3 DNC (did not compete) results for the regatta- effectively taking us out of the overall standings. It isn’t all about the result however- with the Tour Voile looming on the horizon, the VAC represented a good opportunity to test run some navigation techniques and systems, and focus on an area that is exceptionally difficult to train for by yourself- starting. 

Start of Day 2 all looked positive, with what we thought was a convincing lead in Race 1. It would have been, despite missing the gate 10 m before the line and being disqualified from the race- turns out the navigational practice objective was very much needed! Vowing not to make this mistake again, we managed to secure a pretty good start in the 2nd race to take the win with a 2 min margin on the second boat. The weather was getting better and better, with a now 18 knt. breeze channeling down the solent the boat was ripping at up to 21 knts, and we were very excited at the prospect of a third race, conditions were becoming more challenging and also a lot more fun! However, in light of a chartered boat’s capsize in race two the RC called in there for the day. 

A great regatta for us that gave us some confidence in our speed and boat handling whilst also outlining some key areas to focus on.
— Team Maverick SSR

Day 3- Starts were the name of the game here, and we didn’t really manage to play, scoring a disappointing 4th in the first race. Slightly lighter conditions than the day before but awesome fun all the same, we set out to make it right in race 2 and 3- showing a bit more competence and posting a 2nd and 1st. Race two was really down to the line, the final gybe into the line causing 1st to slip away from us by meters and Riccardo’s boat, Gaetana 3, blasted in on the lay line at 16 knts, pipping us to the finish in the final minute. 

A great regatta for us that gave us some confidence in our speed and boat handling but also outline some key areas to focus on. We have a great list together now of some areas to work on and we will be pushing hard as we take this into our 3 pre-tour training camps that are coming up. Starts will definitely be a feature- expect some videos of our two boats match racing it out in training, AC style- to sharpen each other’s skills ahead of what is sure to be a packed line at the Tour de France a la Voile. The next Diam UK event is on the 10th/11th June- hopefully here we will try and keep the scoreline a little more consistency close to 1! 

Piers Hugh-Smith - Team Maverick SSR

#BeAMaverick #FollowTheStory

Team Maverick support Diam fleet to form Team Maverick SSR Racing

Team Maverick support Diam fleet to form Team Maverick SSR Racing

SSR and Team Maverick are pleased to announce they are to combine forces to take on the Tour de France á la Voile as the only British team to ever compete in the event’s current format. Team Maverick’s support as a title sponsor of Sailsmith Racing now gives the SSR a new identity and vision; as Team Maverick SSR.

Team Principal of SSR, Piers Hugh Smith, is enthusiastic about joining Team Maverick’s vision, commenting,

“Having been a member of the Team Maverick program aboard the Infiniti 46 ‘Maverick’, and experienced first-hand the ground up, enthusiastic and supportive approach of the team, it’s a natural extension to bring Team Maverick into the Tour Voile fleet. We are doing something new and different as the only British team, involving young and upcoming sailors, so it seemed like a great fit to get involved in the #beamaverick ethos as Team Maverick SSR.”

Hannah Cotterell from Team Maverick commented,

“As the great Dr. Seuss stated, ‘why fit in when you were born to stand out?’ Team Maverick is all about trying something new in the hope of doing something different. Unorthodox, original and dedicated we leave egos at the door and tell it like it is. Supporting Team Maverick SSR will be an extension of this ethos, helping grow our approach to being a little different. Good luck to all our Diam24 sailors.

Stay foolish, stay hungry #BeaMaverick.”

The Team have now launched their new boat, ‘Raygun’ in its striking Team Maverick attire which will be seen at an array of international and local events for the coming season as well as practicing out on the solent!

Maverick retire from Caribbean 600 due to injury

Maverick retire from Caribbean 600 due to injury


Maverick has retired from the Royal Ocean Racing Club RORC Caribbean 600

"Maverick diverted to Nevis to drop Steve Taylor off at the hospital after suffering an injury to his right hand. As soon as the incident occurred the team retired from the race and made best speed to Nevis.

Piers has gone with Steve to the hospital in Nevis. The rest of the team are safe and well. We are on a mooring outside of Charlestown Nevis and will clear customs tomorrow morning.

Our thoughts are with Steve. His next of kin have been notified."

Oliver Cotterell, Skipper 


Olly Cotterell RORC Transatlantic race skipper blog: Day 14

Olly Cotterell RORC Transatlantic race skipper blog: Day 14

Dear Team Maveric Fans!

I am sure you have some questions.....

I left you on day 11 with the potential for having to go dead ship. The good news is that we managed to reset the alternator brain and put the spare blades in the hydro-generator. Good news.

Right I am going to talk about the "daisy chain" of events that has led to us beig slower than we hoped and really close to loosing out to Leopard for Class win. At one stage we thought that this would be reasonably straightforward. This is yacht racing however and nothing is ever easy and while this might be frustrating now it is why we love it.

Event 1. We lost the tack on the A2. This was not our fault, we are still not sure why it failed. The failure is so perfect it could havebeen done with scissors. The frustrating thing is I had been saving this kite for this event so it had only been flown a few times in trials and corporates. It had not been used out of range and when we lost it we were not abusing it!

Event 2. We lost the A1.5 TheA1.5 was meant to be a spare to the A2. However it had been used hugely out of its range in the Rolex Giralia Cup race and as a result I elected to used this kite in deliveries etc. It had done a lot more hours but was in good nick. Unfortunately just as a crew member had gone off deck to wake up the next watch we had a wave induced slow down followed by a large wave grabbing the stern and a 25kt gust.This induced a broach that I was not able to stop on the helm. Sean did his best to ease the kite sheet and the main sheet at the same time. One flog and it was all over the kite had a big rip in it. This was the first broach in a long long time and it just coincided with a watch change. Bad luck.

Event 3. Pinch in the (FRO). With the A2,A1.5 dead we elected to go to our FRO (Fractional Code 0) this deployed fine but after a furl gybe it developed a "pinch"

A "pinch"  is where a furling sail grabs a bit of the sail prematurely and furls one part in the opposite direction to the majority. This means that you cam't get the whole thing to unfurl. We have used this sail a lot and never had this problem. We are not sure whyit has started happening but we managed to clear relatively easily the first pinch but had th take the fro down on the deck to clear a double ?pinch" the next time.

Event 4: Missing bowsprit pin. While driving the yacht hard i felt that she was sailing a little bow down. I got Kees to go inspect the crash bulkhead. His first impression was "oh o did not know whe had a light in here" The 2 in stainless pin that attaches the bowsprit to the yacht was somehow missing. We immediately furled the FRO and set about a solution, both to help the structure and secondly to stop the water coming in. We improvised a fix with a winch handle and a shammy.

Event 5. The need for an A2. Unfortunately as I sit here and write this we are not getting the best out of Maverick. We are taking it a bit gingerly on STBD tack but also for thee past 48hrs we really have had some small gear up in the sky. She is underpowered. This is massive on this yacht because the step change from being on the foil or not is huge.

So all in all things are good on Maverick. The crew are welland while my shoreside "to do" list is now as long as a Harrods receipt after a visit by Paris Hilton we are still averaging a little over 10 kts VMC. It is going to be very tight with Leopard.

Regardless of the outcome I am very proud of my team. They have all worked incredibly hard in some physically and mentally taxing conditions. This is what makes Ocean Racing unique. It is a marathon and not a sprint. If you cannot keep the yacht together then you will not finish. As they say in order to win first you need to finish. Maverick has given us some of the best sailing experiences of my life during this race and I will always remember them. By signing up to the RORC Transatlantic Race we knew we would be put against some of the best teams out there. We would not turn up to a knife fight with a gun so to speak. We are going to push hard right to the end One thing this crossing has shown me is that this yacht with this team will e a force to be reckoned with in future events. Being our first ocean race we will go away and review the performance work on the reliability and be back for more. Sometimes I forget thatthis yacht has only been in the water for seven months...

Olly out

Oliver Cotterell RORC Transatlantic race skipper blog: Day 12

Oliver Cotterell RORC Transatlantic race skipper blog: Day 12

Hey Team Maverick Fans,

Firstly a massive HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Nikki Curwen who sadly could not be hear today. We are thinking of you and know you would have loved this sweat pit.

Right and eventful 24hrs. Where to start.... Ah the first KITMARE... there we were going along at 16 kts or so in about 20 in the middle of the night (of course) when ping... the tack went. A bit strange as the kite is nearly new, has not been abused or used out of range. For once this was not self induced!

Now this was no big deal. At first I assumed that the tack release system had accidentally tripped however it soon became clear that a very neat tear had occurred and the tack was actually still at the end of the bowsprit. Very quickly we got the A1.5 on deck and set and were on our way.

Soon after this event it was reported to me that the engine would not charge the batteries. We deployed the hydrogenerator instead and charged on this. Unfortunately at some stage the hydraulic system inside the hydrogennerator that controls the pitch of the props failed and this would not work.

This morning Eric and I jury rigged/ magivered this so that it would work with a fixed pitch of blade. However I have just been informed that two blades have snapped off. We have two spare blades on board. I am currently trying to make as much water as possible while we still have power so that we have enough to get us comfortably to the finish. There is a high probability with both of our power generation capabilities downthat we are going to have to do the last part of the race "Dead Ship" All the power turned off... We need to save some power for Keel function and the odd comms.

We have passed five ARC yachts now. They must be a little in awe as we pass them at 16 kts to their7 or so. The Arc is fantastic but it is a rally for cruisers. They all had kites down as it was night etc. The nice thing about the RORC Transatlantic Race is that the yachts are form a racing stock and are pushed hard.

Anyway I have a lot to do... lets hope the words of Dr Seuss hold true

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."

Dr Seuss

Olly out...

Piers Hugh-Smith RORC Transatlantic blog: Day 11

Piers Hugh-Smith RORC Transatlantic blog: Day 11

1000miles broken!

Cause for brief celebration today as we broke the 1000nm to go barrier to the finish! we are positively hurtling to Grenada at 14-17 knts and have been posting the highest averages of the fleet, an achievement i'm pretty proud of considering we are up against 70-100ft competitors. i am weary of starting the countdown early but it does seem that the end is getting very close, and the potential for a race win has been discussed, which is making us push harder than ever.

in other news, my eye, whilst still infected and carrying more bacteria than some chewing gum on the floor of a public restroom, does seem to be improving steadily, maybe just in time for our arrival. it is also absolutely boiling here, the R in Infiniti 46R must stand for Roasting, as it is probably around 35-40degrees in this carbon machine as the sun from the clear blue skies beats down upon it.

thats all from me, and i daresay the next update you may hear from me will be at the finish, though only time will tell.



Oliver Cotterell RORC Transatlantic race skipper blog: Day 11

Oliver Cotterell RORC Transatlantic race skipper blog: Day 11

Good Morning team Maverick Fans!

Well today my story is about suicidal flying fish. As you may know we are not the largest yacht and we have a very low freeboard. I can tell you that getting hit by a flying fish while doing 17 kts hurts!

Progress is good and we are enjoying the fresh trade winds. Maverick is really doing very well looking after us and smashing down the distance to run. As I write this the only other vessel in our class "leopard" has only 300 nm to run so should be in within 24 hrs and take Monohull line honours. Well done to them! Hopefully we will not be too far behind!

As it is we are still hunting down Aragon. There is a little moon now on the early night watches and this is helping massively. We have been having some sat coms issues but they seem tobe ok at the moment.

Anyway thats all for now...

"Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have tea first? (we have no coffee or teas left!!!!)"

Alice in wonderland

Olly out

Eric Holden RORC Transatlantic blog: Day 10

Eric Holden RORC Transatlantic blog: Day 10

We are currently past the halfway mark by a couple of hundred miles but more importantly, back in good breeze with incredibly quick speeds pointed more or less at the finish in Grenada.

How quick? for the past 12hrs, we have been the fastest boat in the fleet. We have averaged 14.7 kts for the past 6hrs. Our top speed in this time was 21.2 kts. All this achieved with an average windspeed of only 17 kts true..!

The conditions we are experiencing now are what we had hoped to get for 80% of the race. Unfortunately it was not to be this year however it has been really testing and ultimately very rewarding so far. We are learning more about the boat each day and growing in confidence by the hour.

Running a three hour, rolling watch system is working very well. Off watch down below is quite hot and sticky, with an odour I'd rather not describe. My greatest luxury at the moment is a pair of noise cancelling head-phones. Lying in my bunk, it sounds like we are in the midst of Armageddon until I pull them on and all of a sudden its like we are cruising at a sedate 7 kts..!

1200nm to go with similar conditions,

Roll on...


Olly Cotterell RORC Transatlantic race skipper blog: Day 10

Olly Cotterell RORC Transatlantic race skipper blog: Day 10

Good morning Team Maverick Fans,

What a difference a day makes. I believe looking at the last Sked that we are currently the fastest yacht in the fleet, even faster than the mighty Leopard at this time.

From just before dawn the wind had been building and as a result so have the boat speeds. Currently as I look at the nav screen we are dong 14-15 kts in 17kts of trades. With the boat speeds going up as has the mood on board. It is a tall ask but everyone on-board is pushing the yacht hard in the hope of clawing back a position or two. We are firmly focused on Aragon at this point in time.

While spirits are up it does not mean life is easy. While the weather is warm and pleasant the deck is currently a car wash and you get absolutely soaked. There are two ways of dealing with this get wet and accept it or put on foulies and get wet sweating! I have elected for the former while other crew are electing for the latter. Good thing we brought the sudacream!

Down below is not much better with a cacophony of noise as th yacht leaps from wave to wave. Sleeping is very difficult as there is little ventilation possible (so much water over the deck) so you are nearly as wet with sweat down below than as you are on deck!

On the boat fixing front, thankfully all seems to be OK at the moment. We had a thru deck fitting leaking above the Nav station after it had to work hard for 1500nm so I managed to seal it with some sickaflex this morning. I am a big fan of keeping water outside of the yacht, especially near the nav PC...

Still life goes on...... sail, eat, sleep, repeat.... go big or go home.... A wave just washed over the entire deck the deceleration was awesome....

As I write this we have 1250nm to go to Grenada and talk has turned to what we are going to do when we arrive.... beer, jerk chicken, a shower!

Anyway Sean is making me some delicious Expedition Foods Custard and Apple so I'm off to get some.

Olly out!

Given that we are on and Infiniti 46R

"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities"

John Green

Bring on the 65R!!!

Olly and Eric RORC Transatlantic blog: Day 9

Olly and Eric RORC Transatlantic blog: Day 9

Blog Day 9

Good Morning Team Maverick Fans,

Welcome to day 9. Well we are over half way in terms of distance but we are hoping that the second half of the track is a lot faster than their first half of the track.

We are currently lying in 4th on the preliminary leader board but are hoping that with a bit more wind we will be able to claw our way back up a few spaces. It was nice to get to meet the crew of "Stay Calm" we were berthed next to them in Marina Lanzarote. They are currently our closest competitor on the water but we are hoping that maybe we can start to pull awaay from them.

We had our first wildlife encounter in a few days with playfull dolphins playing on the bow. I always love to watch their displays as they surf on the aquatic ridge pushed frward by the yacht.

This evening in a "Classic Piers" moment he was hit in the face by aflying fish. This is our first fish strike but having seen a few fly over the yacht in the night I am quite sure it will not be our last.

As the wind has built so have our speeds and a nie benefit of this is that we can use our "Watt and Sea" Hydrogenerator again. With temperatures on the increase it is getting increasingly uncomfortable down below and running the main engine to charge the batteries only makes this worse. The increasing temperatures also make choosing the right kit harder. Really you want to be in shorts and a T-shirt but it gets very wet on this yacht...

It is another increadably dark night. The nav lights light up the kite and there is nothing else to see. No moon, no stars, no lights on the horizon, just an eritheral darkness that hides "that wave"

Congradulations to Phaedo for their win in this event.

best get back up on deck now..

Olly out

'If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary."

Jim Rohn


"And we have finally crossed the halfway point. This took a lot longer than we had all envisaged when planning this trip. We are all eager to get into some more steady Trade winds tomorrow and do the second half of this trip faster than the first. This is something that we are counting on as yesterday we did an audit on our remaining food and made a decision to voluntarily preemptively cut down on our consumption so we'll not be forced to later.

The weather conditions remain quite interesting here with a high overcast cloud cover and a few drops of rain. We had a brief glimpse of the sun this afternoon but it has been otherwise very grey. The temperature has begun toincrease after a cool and pleasant day yesterday.

Tonight will be another dark night with the cloud cover blocking out the little moon there is. The sea state is stil lumpy with a few different swell sets coming from various different directions."

Eric Holden, Navigator