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A Maverick Refit in Palma

A Maverick Refit in Palma

Mav 3.jpeg

The Rolex Middle Sea race had 104 starters of which Maverick was one of only 35 to finish.

Smashing upwind in 25 kts. with 4 m swells followed by a blisteringly quick run back in squalls exceeding 40 kts. pushed both boat and crew to the limit.

Our initial feeling of how bullet proof the Infinity 46 was, gradually gave way to the realisation that we had a lot of maintenance to do before our next race. As is often the case, we found more as we went and few specific issues soon mushroomed into a full-blown refit.

On arrival in Palma, we hauled out in STP shipyard and our new engineer Jack Carter (ex-MOMO and Cornish Big wave surf champion) began work on the most pressing issue, a full inspection and service of the canting keel system.

We removed our DSS foils for a thorough inspection and service. Bearings were removed, serviced and resealed while various measures were taken by the design and carbon team (Andrea Crocellà and Jose Rius ) to make  the foil cases more waterproof. They also removed the rudder and went to work improving its alignment and articulation whilst Jack serviced and repaired the two custom made bearings.

With most of our foils out of the boat, we decided to go ahead and remove the dagger board and have specialist painter and local legend Ed Wheelhouse paint it all in bright orange Durapox.

While all this was happening, our new rigger Jorge was busily servicing deck gear, splicing lines and replacing damaged lines. In between which he and wife Yana found time to give birth to their first born son Leo, congratulations guys!

Down below was also a hive of activity with marine electrical specialists, Wavelength, undertaking a complete electric overhaul. As well as replacing and re-running every cable and remaking every connection, Andy Walker and his team also renewed the main switch board, upgraded helm controls, installed a new set of Lithium Ion Mastervolt batteries with complete battery management system resulting in a more powerful and more robust end product.

To say the last 10 weeks have been busy is an understatement and totally unfair to all those involved. A massive thanks to everyone for their effort and commitment, early mornings and late nights, Christmas and new year spent working away in an unusually quiet STP shipyard.

Now we can look forward to the Caribbean 600 and Newport-Bermuda and translate all the hard work and improvements into some more race results for Team Maverick.

That's all for now!

Sean McCarter

#BeaMaverick #FollowTheStory

Libby Greenhalgh reviews the Rolex Middle Sea race on Maverick

Libby Greenhalgh reviews the Rolex Middle Sea race on Maverick

Just over a month ago I joined Team Maverick on their Infiniti 46 with DSS Foils for the Middle Sea Race. This 600 mile race typically provides all weather conditions and as always an absolutely stunning backdrop to the race.

This year was no exception the forecast was for a strong NNW winds, in the region of 35+KT from a little over 24hours into the race, it was enough or  some to consider not starting and overall resulted in a war of attrition during the race with roughly only half the fleet finishing.

We had a couple of days of light to moderate wind training before the start. Allowing me to get up to speed with the boat and understand how and where the performance of the boat changes with the deployment of the foils.

We started amongst all the big boats in the small and beautiful Valletta harbour looking like a fly buzzing around the bigger animals. A short sprint downwind and we are all heading off to Sicily just cracked off the wind. As the breeze pushes above 8-10 KT and the boat reaches maximum power the foils can be deployed on both sides, to act as righting moment to windward and to provide lift and stability this is particularly beneficial as the sea state worsens.

With the bright orange aeroplane wing foils deployed the boat sits at an optimal heel angle of about 10 degrees and sounds like a rocket trying to take off.
— Libby Greenhalgh

The boat is responsive and light on the helm and with the foils deployed we powered upwind in the building breeze once past Stromoboli. The effect of the foils on the stability and reducing the pitching of the boat in a big sea state makes going upwind almost a pleasure.  As you gradually bear off as always you eventually hit the power zone and from a True Wind Angle of 070 or wider you feel the boat accelerate and you need to level her off to keep her quick, it can be fairly easy to over trim in this situation.

The real fun with the boat started when we turned the corner and headed downwind and the boat lit up. With the bright orange aeroplane wing foils deployed the boat sits at an optimal heel angle of about 10 degrees and sounds like a rocket trying to take off. The aeroplane like foils self adjust the lift, as the boat lifts and the foil comes to the surface then the lift reduces which means despite it being howling winds the  foils can still be used. The water piles over the deck like fireman’s hose blasting at you which does at times make it pretty hard to stay on the side of the boat, but with boat speeds in excess of 20 KT an peaking a 27+KT is pretty impressive for a 46 footer.

Under three days to complete and we drying out back ashore as the 4th boat to cross the line behind largely 100 FT boats. All in all a boat that is a lot of fun, a team that is a lot fun and I am looking forward to sailing this boat again in 2018.

Libby Greenhalgh

#BeaMaverick #FollowTheStory

Rolex Middle Sea - A Maverick race review

Rolex Middle Sea - A Maverick race review

Author: Piers Hugh Smith
Course: Valetta-Messina Straits (Italy/Sicily) - Stromboli - Pantaleria - Lampadusa - Valetta.

The odometer on the past 12-months of racing clicks over to around 6,500 nm after a busy season with Maverick! Out of the previous five major offshore races, Maverick has been the boat for four of them, a total of 5,900 nm - I certainly had never seen this coming and am forever counting my lucky stars for being part of such a great and continuous program. Always learning and always finding new areas to improve.

This Rolex Middle Sea Race, my second, shaped up to be a lot more interesting than the first! The first, 2016, characterised by a steady drift round the scenic Mediterranean islands with little more than 12-14 knts boat speed at best, could not be further from what was in store for us this time. ‘Finally!’, a few of us thought, there has previously been an uncanny lack of conventional weather for the Maverick program,  it would be nice to see some weather. Being careful what you wish for might just be the motto here!

I can never get over the start of this race, amongst the striking sandstone scenery of the Grand Harbour in Valetta, the narrow beat through the harbour walls and then and ultra short kite leg at the start gets the blood pumping and tests our quick fire/inshore manoeuvres. A pretty gradual beat followed up the Messina straits, a mix of light wind park ups with changes from the J1 (our biggest headsail), to the MHO (our biggest masthead reaching sail), and the occasional spinnaker thrown in for good measure. Although placid, these are often pretty testing conditions for a bowman, loads of quick-fire changes, often in the dark, and it’s a real test to make sure you can consistently deliver these without locking out your halyards or, at worst, tangling them up making a change impossible. I’ve been away from the boat for a while and I think this showed here, a couple of the changes going a little awry with some halyard issues, certainly time to be gained there. However it was great to have an understanding team backing me up and focusing their energies on solving issues, rather than dwelling on errors. This has been a hallmark feature of the program and something I believe is a key ingredient of our successes. Every day is a school day, after all.

Apart from the numerous sail changes the first part of this race was somewhat uneventful, however near Palermo our test began, building breeze into a 135 nm beat, this was a good chance for some drysuit action with testing upwind sailing which is pretty tough on a skinny, 46 ft boat. It’s hard to find the groove in waves that stacked up pretty quick to a hefty swell the height of a transit van. This is where my be careful what you wish for comment earlier comes in. We soon cracked off onto a jib reach, followed by a punchy FR0 (smaller than the MHO, but a power reaching weapon of a sail) passage and a technical peel to an A3, our smallest reaching spinnaker. Change complete and trucking along at a steady 17-22 knts of boat speed I headed down for some rest, thinking how our speedy averages would see me with a pint and a burger in Valetta in no time. However from inside the boat it sounded like the world was beginning to end! A constant rush of water and huge crashes and the boat charges through waves, arcing spray over the decks with a deluge of water threatening to wash anything not lashed down into the sea behind. Our speed crept up towards 27-28 knts here as we pushed the boundaries of what the sail was capable of. Earlier in this day myself and Jorge, the mid-bowman, had been thrown back 15 ft along the foredeck, along with the 60 kg sail we were carrying, with the sheer force of water travelling along the deck- thankfully we always clip on the safety harnesses in these conditions.

But back to the A3, downstairs I hear an almighty crash followed by my body being thrown forward down the bunk, knees in my chest as I press against the keel bulkhead in front. There is a reason we always say sleep feet first in this boat, it is better to break your legs rather than your neck when this thing flies off a wave! The boat pivoted around its axis and lay flat on its side with the sound of an ‘All Hands!’ cry and all hell breaking loose on deck. This was when our much loved and little used A3 decided to part company with itself, having been torn into many, many pieces after a 40 knt gust knocked us over after pitching into a wave at 25+ knts. Halyards were cut and what little remained of the sail recovered on board before the FR0 was speedily hoisted again, this was a pretty harrowing moment with a lot of stress on the rig, the decision to cut the halyard was made to preserve the mast and stop the A3 now Sea Anchor ripping the top of our carbon mast off.

It was almost fortuitous however the breeze had continued to build and our forced change to the FR0 was the right call. The A3 would have done the same three times over as we launched off waves, our DSS foils provided immense amounts of grip that launched the boat forward at speeds more akin to an 80 ft yacht, rather than our 46 ft surfboard! Some of the wave impacts were similar to being in a car crash as the boat tore through walls of water, it was all you could do to hold on at times, your visions reduced to nothing in a ball of spray with the boat seemingly airborne beneath you. The speedo only read 6 knts as it was out the water! The highest I saw was 27, but we reportedly logged speeds in the early 30 knts if the GPS is to be believed. We dropped into preservation mode, dropping the watches from four hours on to one hour on as it’s key to keep everyone fresh and alert as mistakes at this speed could potential be seriously damaging to more than just the boat and race. It was certainly one of my most intense nights offshore. The Infinit 46R can certainly take one hell of a beating! I don’t know many other boats that could shake off such an aggressive punishment so easily.

Windspeed hung around the 20-30 knt range for the rest of the race, the occasional 40 knts in the squalls as we concluded the reaching round Lampadusa island, but in a slightly more gentle fashion on a tighter angle with lighter breeze. Dawn broke as we approached the Malta/Gozo channel, still maintaining our reduced watch and keeping the boat pushed all the way in.

We were certainly pleased to finish this one in (almost) one piece! The whole team worked really hard, pressure was kept on us and it is always great to sail with such a pedigree bunch, it really encourages you to up your game, and I am certainly looking forward to seeing them onboard again in the future.

At the time of writing we have won IRC class 1, 4th overall on IRC, 1st overall on ORC and 6th on line honours, a results I’m pretty happy with given such a tough heavy air session. Not bad for a little 46 ft boat, taking on some big teams!

So another awesome race with Team Maverick, and I’m left excited for the next adventure that comes round…

Piers

#BeaMaverick #FollowTheStory

 

Rolex Middle Sea race preparation update!

Rolex Middle Sea race preparation update!

Fastnet to Malta; time flies when you're having fun!

After the Rolex Fastnet, our last major race in the U.K. for some time, Maverick went back to the Solent for a great Corporate day with Deloitte!

Stuart Miller then packed her up and put her on a Peter's and May ship to Palma.

We launched off the ship and a glorious morning gave way to driving, torrential rain for the 10min delivery to STP shipyard! 

Maverick was hauled out the following morning for some minor fairing and paint repairs by DeCabo. We also sent a number of sails off to Doyle to be remeasured for our ratings.

We launched last Monday and had a busy few days getting fuel, water, provisions and sails on, as well as a hydraulic overhaul.

Eric (our navigator) then stepped on like the rockstar he is and took off on the 620 nm delivery to Malta! A leap of faith but well placed thanks to the shore team/delivery crew of Cathrine Jack and Jorge.

As I type from the cramped seat of Veuling's Airbus 320, some of the team are already on the ground in Valletta, Malta's historic capital. Newport's Dan Morris and I arrive in a couple of hours behind Gordon Kay, Luke and Libby Greenhalgh from Team SCA.

We're all looking forward to a couple of good days training before taking on what Ted Turner once famously described as 'the most beautiful race course in the world'.

Stay tuned Mavericks...

Sean McCarter (aka Chicken Joe...)

Find out more about Sean and his Vendee 2020 ambitions here.

#BeAMaverick #FollowTheStory

Photo credit: Hannah Cotterell Media

TEAM MAVERICK HOST A PARTY

TEAM MAVERICK HOST A PARTY

 

AND YOU'RE INVITED!

Doors open: 19:30
Free Rock Rose Gin & Tonic on arrival
Live band & DJ
Hog roast from 20:30
Venue: The Loft, Barbican in Plymouth
Future Fibres prizes to be won!


Ever wondered what it's like to be a Maverick? Now's your chance to find out as this year Team Maverick are hosting a party at The Loft, Barbican in Plymouth. Team Maverick would like to invite you, if you dare, to embrace your inner bull and spend the evening eating, drinking and dancing like a Maverick!

GET YOUR WRIST BANDS TO GET IN!

You'll need an orange Maverick wristband to get in, which you can get from a member of the crew or on the door!

INSTAGRAM & TWITTER COMPETITION

Got a good photo of you being a Maverick? Please post it to your Instagram or Twitter account tagging us in via the details below WITH #BeAMaverick for your chance to WIN a Maverick t-shirt!

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
— Dr. Seuss

Instagram: @team_maverick
Twitter: @yachtmaverick
#BeAMaverick



DETAILS

Date: Thursday 10th August 2017
Doors open: from 19:30 until you fall over
Venue: The Loft, Barbican, Plymouth

Lets get this party started!
#BeAMaverick #FollowTheStory


Thank you to our sponsor!


 

Skipper blog update 17th November

Skipper blog update 17th November

Hello Team Maverick fans!

Well we are making good progress. Things are going well. We are in the Atlantic!!

It is starting to warm up which is nice as a few of the crew myself included had everything we owned on and were getting cold after a watch. Efficient packing I say!

Last night we passed though the straits of Gibraltar. We pulled the foils in as we were afraid of debris which we would not be able to see.  We ran under a reefed main and GS (Genoa Staysail). The conservative sail plan meant we navigated the strait with ease, known for its orographic channeling of the wind. However our premonition of the debris was correct. We had at least three rudder strikes and a keel strike.

There has been some minor damage to the rudder top plate but we will know more when we can inspect the underside of the yacht in Lanza. If the weather permits I might dive on the hull later in the trip.

Other than that all is well on board with he watches ticking through and the miles falling. We will have lots to do in Lanza so getting in a few days early is going to be welcome..

Oh yeah last night we had a GREEN FLASH!!!

"The regrets a person most has are those they did not commit when they had the opportunity"

Olly Out

Rolex Middle Sea Race report: As ready as we've ever been

Rolex Middle Sea Race report: As ready as we've ever been

By Piers Hugh-Smith

As ready as we’ve ever been was a phrase that was thrown around a lot before we left the dock in Malta, and it’s meaning is more than skin deep. With a boat like Maverick, we are incredibly fortunate to be developing all the time, using new technology, from Voltsport’s innovative and cutting edge battery system to our real ‘showstopper’ (Hopefully that rings with you GBBO fans), our DSS foils- However, with development comes trial and error, hard work and an expectation for nothing to work ‘out of the box’. Olly, the skipper, and all the guys working on-shore have put in reams of hard work to make sure we are as developed as possible for each race, and to put it simply, the Maverick that started the Middle Sea was a few steps along from the Maverick before that started in Palermo. The atmosphere was palpably optimistic, and everyone, including myself, was itching to unleash the best Maverick we’ve had yet on the racecourse in Malta.

But before I get into the race, I’ll introduce myself if you didn’t catch my Palermo interview or my ill-fated backflip off the DSS foil! (Proud holder of highest number of Facebook hits). My name is Piers, I’m 21, sailing Maverick and campaigning a Diam24 Trimaran and in my spare time I’m an Economics undergraduate at the University of Portsmouth. On Maverick, I’m the bowman- dealing with the pointy end, the sail changes and if there’s every any reason to go up the rig, it’s me that goes! However offshore, I switch into a bit of an all-rounder mode, and can often be found behind the wheel or with a sheet in my hand in addition to my duties on the bow.

If I was going to go through the race turn by turn, not only would this blog seem more like a novel, but by the end of it the only person left reading would be my mum! So in the interests of your interests, I’m going to pick a few highs, lows and lessons and see how that goes for length.

The High's

The big one, having Volvo Ocean Race legend Stu Bannatyne on board. Stu was a real example on how to do things, and the attitude to performance was one of my key take-outs. The pace was relentless, always making adjustments, always thinking about that nth percent. I get the impression that ‘that’ll be good enough’ is not a phrase that features heavily in Stu’s vocab. This had big implications for me too with lots, and lots of sail changes, at one point we would have 3 sails up, 2 ready to go on the foredeck, and in the space of an hour would of changed to the 2 on the deck, and back again! The light transitional zones off the Mediterranean islands (Think Stromboli and Pantaleria etc you tracker watchers), really reward pushing through and always having the correct sail up, even if it’s only up for 20 minutes before a change to something else. I’m always learning on the bow, and the multiple sail changes, day and night, have really accelerated my confidence in manoeuvres. Other highs; foils! We got to use the foils a little more this race, a few hours. They are incredible, make a huge difference to speed and stability, and are worth all the hype. It was a real tease for what I hope the transatlantic will be like next month. Lastly, there was some other cool little sights on the way, having never seen an active Volcano, Stromboli was a peak (pun intended) and we were fortunate enough to see 2 sea turtles amongst the usual hordes of dolphins,

The Low's

At risk of sounding like a cliché, there weren’t really any. Not apart from the usual offshore gripes - being woken up in the off-watch, being covered by a film of salt for 3 days and whilst Expedition’s freeze dried is actually quite tasty, the 1000 kcal Extreme’ chicken korma was not quite like a Friday night curry and pint at my local, Dil Raj. (Tariq if you’re reading this I hope you’re happy for the shout-out). Maybe there was one jib-peel, involving some obscenities, a detonated lifejacket, a self-unfurling staysail and being very, very wet, (however my stellar Ocean Rodeo drysuit kept me bone dry underneath) where some team-mates may recall I found potentially less than ideal, but it’s all part of the fun.

To finish off

To come away from this event, the boat’s 3rd ever race, with a 3rd overall is just simply an honour. I don’t think any of us were expecting it, and coupled with a Class win in IRC 1, I’m immensely proud to be part of the team, and it’s a real testament to all the hard work that’s gone into the project so far. There’s a huge amount to learn still, but the boat is yet to unleash it’s full potential, and I cannot wait to see it!

Next stop Lanzarote for the RORC Transatlantic Race! 

#beamaverick #FollowTheStory

"Can we foil yet?" asks Sean McCarter

"Can we foil yet?" asks Sean McCarter

"Can we foil yet" asks Sean McCarter...

Round the world yacht race skipper Sean McCarter joins Team Maverick for the first time to compete in the Palermo-Montecarlo race. Here he documents his experience as he foils with us for the first time and gets a taste for DSS speed!

Sean...

This was the question I pestered Team Maverick with for the two days of training in Palermo before race start to Monte Carlo. The incessant questioning continued for a further 240 nm of light, upwind racing to Porto Cervo, the first mark of the race, then something special happened...

Sean McCarter: crew

Sean McCarter: crew

Becoming a 'Maverick' was a no-brainer; my good friend and old competitor on the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race called me up and asked if I was keen to sail the new, light weight, state of the art, Infiniti 46R with DSS, newly commissioned and launching in San Tropez. Olly explained the goal of building a team eager to push leading edge technology in many of the world’s classic offshore races. Sign me up! 

Arriving in Palermo and meeting a post-delivery exhausted crew, it was refreshing to see a wide variety of experience, enthusiasm, good humor and positivity. Olly is an intelligent skipper with an eye for detail and a knack for delegating second-to-none. 

At first sight, Maverick is a mean-looking machine with numerous standout features, a huge bowsprit, massive rig, hard chines and the orange tips of the Dynamic Stability System (DSS) foils peaking out menacingly from each side. It is a relatively small boat utilising technology common to boats twice its size. A canting keel and dagger board help turbo charge the boat when conditions don't allow for foiling. A huge amount of effort went into weight saving; 5.5 tonnes most of which is in the keel bulb says job well done. My favourite example is the throttle; unlike most race boats who use an 'off-the-shelf' brand, Team Maverick have made a 1 mm dyneema line and pulley system to engage gears and another into a cam cleat to select RPMs depending on how hard you hard you pull! 

After rounding our mark off Porto Cervo, we bore away into the Maddalena channel and finally we got the elusive call, 'Deploy the foil!' We hoisted a jib-top and started shaking reefs. For the following two hours, we blasted through one of the most spectacular racecourses in the world, affectionately known as 'Bomb Alley', with the sun rising in a perfect background. We topped out at 21.8 kts and the boat felt stable and capable of more. We later heard that Rambler 88's max speed was 22 kts...say no more.

Sean McCarter

#beamaverick #followthestory

Skipper race report: Palermo-Montecarlo

Skipper race report: Palermo-Montecarlo

Event: Palermo Monte Carlo

Start Date: 21st August 2016

Course: Mondello Bay (Sicily)to Porto Chervo Gate to Monte Carlo

Team Sheet:

Skipper: Oliver Cotterell

Navigator: Eric Holden

Crew: Kees Postma, Nikki Curwen, Quentin Stewart, Piers Hugh Smith, John Milsom, Sean McCarter

Weather summary

The forecast was for light winds throughout the race. We left at 12:00 local time on the 21st, a Mistral was forecast to grow in the north. However it was not forecast to come as far south or be as prevalent a feature as it turned out to be. The Mistral had more force to it and pushed further south more quickly than initial models anticipated.

We departed in what I am told are classic Palermo conditions with a weak sea breeze developing just in time to get everyone over the line and safely away down the course.

As the day drew on and we got further from Sicily the sea breeze wore off and light fluky conditions took over through the night.

On the morning of the 22nd as the fleet pushed north and the effect of the Mistral pushed south the wind built from the N/NNE so that the fleet were pushing into 20-30 kts on the bow I think we saw 35 kts true wind as our highest gust. This wind held at between 15-25 kts maybe veering a little further to the east as we were approaching the Porto Chervo gate.

Corsica caused a wind shadow and while this was a difficult transition zone it also provided some time to get on top of our systems and dry the boat out a bit!

Once out of the lea of Corsica we were back into close-hauled conditions in 20-25 kts of wind. This lasted approximately two to three hours before light fluky conditions saw us all the way home to Monaco.

The report

Firstly I would like to sing the praises of the Palermo Monte Carlo Race. The race was a fun, challenging offshore race and I am sure the event will go from strength to strength and continue to grow. I found the organisation of the event to be excellent, the people friendly, the hospitality superb and the race itself exhilarating throwing in some interesting conditions.

This was Maverick’s second race and the first with this crew and as such achieving a 4th over the line is a result we are proud of. I must say a massive thank you to all the crew who have worked tirelessly on the yacht to make this all possible. We are a very small team and everyone has to contribute in multiple areas to make the program a success.

The event was exactly what we hoped it would be. With the relatively strong head winds we encountered the crew really got to stress test the yacht and learn more about how her systems would operate over prolonged periods in race conditions. As a result of this there is still a lot of work to do but all the time we are learning and moving forward.

Most of the race was either sailing in very light variable conditions or sailing close-hauled into strong winds. In total we were only foiling for probably an hour, in this time, while reaching under a “Jib Top” and “Main,” we managed a top speed of 22.5 kts with sustained averages in the high teens. The speed and stability of the yacht when she is foiling continues to impress me. I have never experienced acceleration on a sailing yacht like this. I was very impressed with how stiff and strong the yacht was. We really threw her off some waves at very high speeds and not only did she take it all in her stride but she behaved very well while doing it!

Certainly, as a skipper, my confidence in here strength has been galvanised after this event.

We had a lot of challenges with various systems during the race and we will be working hard to improve the resilience and reliability of these systems before our next event. As with any race, in hindsight, there are areas I feel that we could have done better. The important thing, indeed what we aim to do as a team, is learn from each event and try and improve in all areas so that better performance results. The yacht is definitely fast, but it is not enough to be fast to do well in these events. Holistically everything must come together and be correct, from sail trim and tactics to rule compliance and the inevitable dreaded “admin”. We are proud that we achieved 4th over the line in the Palermo Monte Carlo Race and are confident that as our time on the water and experience improves so will the performance we can extract out of our yacht.

Finally I would like to congratulate the crew of Rambler 88 on their Line Honours Victory. The crew of Scricca for coming first in ORC and the crew of Desperado for coming first in IRC. They all sailed great races and earned well deserved results.

That's all for now...

"Creativity is contagious, pass it on," Albert Einstein

#BeAMaverick

Olly

(Skipper, Team Maverick)