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yacht maverick

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

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

Skipper Olly RORC Transatlantic blog: Day 6

Skipper Olly RORC Transatlantic blog: Day 6

Good Morning team Maverick Fans!

Welcome to day 6.Apologies that there was no blog on Day 5 but we had a bit on. The sailing went relatively to plan as per my blog on day 4. We continued to head west and the breeze built as the afternoon went on and veered onto our beam. We moved through the wardrobe untill we ended upon the Jib top Genoa Staysail combo (one of our favorites on the yacht) as the wind built so did the boat speeds until we were regularly sitting in the high teens low 20's of boat speed. It was still light but I was below trying toget some sleep. I knew that I would have to pilot the yacht in the pitch dark of night.

Just before dusk we played with a few sail settings (reefs etc) to try and find the optimum. Strangely we took too much sail off and the yacht lost her dynamic stability and we could not make good progress. This meant we returned to one reef and got ready.

I have never had an experience like this. Regardless of the outcome of this race (which I am still hopeful will be a good one) helming a 46 ft yacht at regular speeds in excess of 20 kts at night with no moon, no stars and no horizon in short sharp seas was a phenomenal experience. All I could see was the green and red hugh of the navlights as it light up the huge amounts of spray.

I must say thanks to Ocean Rodeo for the dry suits. They were fantastic in the supremely wet conditions and I have been living in mine for the last few days.

Too the now. We eventually (sooner than we hoped) had to stop foiling ad go into an upwind mode as the wind veered further ahead of the front. This was forcing us north but we held our nerve and in the early morning the front went through with 34 kts of wind as its peak wind speed. Soon after we tacked over onto the other board to start heading south. Initially we were again in an upwind mode but have been slowly freed (too slowly) as the wind continues to veer. Unfortunately the wind we are now experiencing is a bit less than we hoped for and we cant quite keep Maverick on the foil. It is ossilating between 10 and 14 kts. This is not ideal as we need to foil in order to compete with the much larger yachts. We also need to make good progress south before the large developing high pressure makes things too flat.

The likelihood is that we will need to work through a transition zone sometime tomorrow and we will finally be in the trades (although weak ones).

In other news Piers seems to be reacting well to the cocktail of medication I have given him (other than falling over on the bow a lot,). And this may seem funny but as theHydraulic oil levels are falling more slowly as we use the keel less and Sean had a nice birthday. We have another birthday soon with Mr. Kees Postma having his first birthday at sea.

Down below is in pretty good shape but I am looking forward to conditions that will allow us to dry down below out. The sails collect a huge amount of water and we have to live with them down below. I'm just about to go and help Kees bail. As this yacht has no bilges if you do not bail out the water you get to live in it. Not condusive to a comfortable crossing!

I have only just discovered the Expeditions foods Custard and Apple and Beef Strogonoff. They are fantastic.

Anyway that is all for now peeps....

"When I'm old, i plan to look back on my life and say, 'wow, that was an adventure,' not, 'wow, I sure felt safe," Tom preston-werner

Olly Out....

Kees Postma RORC Transatlantic Race blog: Day 5

Kees Postma RORC Transatlantic Race blog: Day 5

Hello world!

Kees here, bringing you the latest from rocketship Maverick. As I sit here in Eric's office, the guys on deck are foiling at 18 kts of boat speed in 16 knots of wind. Finally we get a chance to use this boat like it was meant to!

After a few days of straightforward sailing today has been an eventful day. We started the day with the Masthead Zero, then changed to the A2 for better downwind VMG. Now we are cycling through our sail wardrobe as the breeze is shifting forward and building. We've seen the Fractional Zero for a few hours, right now its the Jib Top and Genoa Staysail combination, and sometime tonight it will be the J2 which is ready to go on deck. Hopefully these conditions will allow us to make some gains on Aragon and Leopard before we're back to a bit of upwind sailing.

Today is also Sean McCarter's birthday! He failed to mention this to any of us but fortunately Skipper Olly got a reminder email. We all celebrated with a swig of rum and the birthday boy had a 1000 calorie Chicken Korma for his birthday lunch. What more can a man wish for!

Last night we saw an enormous piece of space junk that made its way into the atmosphere, we think no more than 50 miles away. It lit up the whole boat and lasted for a number of seconds. We concluded that in space terms this classifies as a near miss and we are now space junk survivors.

After so many days, weeks, months of working on this yacht it is nice to get the chance to enjoy and learn her for more than just two or three days at a time.

Thanks for reading, Kees out.

Maverick RORC Transat skipper blog: Day 3

Maverick RORC Transat skipper blog: Day 3

Good Morning Team Maverick Fans!

Day 3 08:40 UTC

Firstly let me apologies that this is the first time we are checking in. As you will gather from this blog the race has been reasonably challenging thus far.

Next we would like to send our love to Nikki Curwen who had to step off the boat at the last minute for medical reasons. She put in a huge amount of work shoreside to make this journey possible and we are all thinking of her.

Our start was good. We hit the line soon after the gun with our GS (Genoa Staysail) and JT (Jib top) we did think it strange that everyone else had elected for a J1. Things were to become a little clearer. Most of the fleet were pushing inshore... It soon became apparent why, there was a mark inshore off Puerto Del Carmen. Whoops somehow we missed this in our planning... Thus having having sailed lower than the rest of the fleet we had given them all a lot of time on the course and we made the long tack inshore to round the mark.

Mistakes happen its how you deal with them that counts. As a team we focused on working our way back through the fleet. Luckily the mistake was realised early enough so that the consequences were not too bad. We rounded the mark just after Pata Negra and soon were working our way back toward the head of the fleet.

As we left the lea of Lanzarote we changed to a J2 and full main combination for what would be a 200nm beat upwind. This was NOT in the brochure. This is the toughest point of sail for a crew just putting to sea and there were one or two who were suffering the effects of the green monster but pushing through.

Anyone who knows the yacht also knows that this is our least effective point of sail in terms of rating. We have a strong rating but a small waterline so upwind into a short sharp chop does not suit us at all. However as I write this our navigator Eric is happy with our position in the fleet and is confident we will see more of “our” conditions.

Another unexpected feature has been the squalls. I think it is fair to say that this race is not occurring in a “traditional” Atlantic weather pattern. Usually you get at least a few after leaving before you need to worry about squalls. We we have been getting them from day 1!

Usually I am used to having a RADAR. This is a very useful tool for plotting the movement of squalls and it gives you an idea of their size and potential intensity. Unfortunately as is the case of many yachts this size we do not have it so we rely on the Mark 1 eyeball. This is made all the more tricky at night as there will not be a good moon for this race.

Anyway we have been hit by numerous squalls. We have seen 36 kts of wind in the strongest what we call “givers” and 0 kts what we call “takers”. We have sat wallowing after one but went foiling at 17 kts during another., you really never can tell! One thing is for sure though. squalls mean crew work and as a result we have already used nearly every sail in our wardrobe already! The crew have been working really hard and I am certain I can count on that continuing.

Anyway I am due on watch. The crew are well and moral is good. We are currently in great conditions making good progress under our M0. We expect the wind to ease over the course of the morning as we push westwards.

“A climb to the top of a mountain no matter how large starts with the decision to take the first step”

Olly out...

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

The technical and human angle behind Maverick

The technical and human angle behind Maverick

In conceiving the yacht Maverick we set ourselves a very clear brief.  She was to be an offshore race boat designed to tackle the "600 mile classics".  As with most things in life thats where the clarity ended and the compromising started.

Our budget wouldn't stretch very far against a new 100ft maxi so that focused our attention on the handicap rather than the line honours.  The plethora of existing designs, TP's VOR's all offered something but by being excellent at what they were designed for they were not necessarily best suited to what we wanted.  We planned to run a global campaign, the boat had to be easy to ship and we wanted to keep operating costs to a minimum.  Length and people became the critical issues for us to optimise as we look to maximise the returns for our resources.

To achieve our goals it was clear we had to do something a little different, we had to embrace some newer ideas to see if we could make a smaller boat perform like a bigger boat.  In our view an effective offshore racer has to be a strong reaching boat, but given we weren't focused on ocean racing we had to be as good as possible "uphill" and very effective across a range of conditions but particularly in light air.

We sat down with Hugh Welbourn and Gordon Kay to discuss using DSS.  With Hugh's help we combined a number of ideas to help us punch above the physics of length as often as possible.  Hugh's narrow hull form design allows us to reduce drag in all modes.  DSS helps us to achieve reaching power, lift for planing and further reduces drag.  A canting keel helps to provide maximum righting moment to optimise uphill sailing.  These features combine to allow us to be both very light and powerful making the boat as quick as possible in displacement mode, early to transition and simply fast in planning mode.  The sail locker is reflective of an offshore boat.  By working with Doyle NZ from the start we have been careful to engineer the boat and spars to manage the high loads demanded by the sail makers to optimise the sail shapes and ranges on all sails but particularly fractional and mast head code sails.

Whilst there are some crossovers in appearance (foils and canting keel) the hull form design and sail locker means that Maverick is not just a short version of the new IMOCA 60.

Having decided on the concept, the team then worked hard on the minutiae to keep the weight off and to reduce the complexity.  The spotlight on detail was unrelenting with an ongoing dialogue to make sure that the best possible components were picked to achieve the right balance, for us, between performance and cost.

We race with 6 to 8 crew so "sail-ability" was a priority.  Being fast is one thing, maintaining speed consistently another.  The boat systems had to be refined to allow long periods of short handed sailing, constantly balancing the need to finish with the need for speed and the need to minimise the wear and tear on both vessel and people.  Many hours were spent on "string" layout and functionality, optimum sail plans and shapes, furling and reefing systems.

Accurate information is essential to optimising performance.  Following the adage "bad data in equals bad decisions out", we dedicated our efforts to making sure we can collect accurate information, particularly boat speed.  No mean challenge on a boat that spends a lot of time planing.  With the weight/performance trade off front of mind the need for power to drive hydraulic pressure, water, data and instruments required a series of fine judgements.  In the end we have opted for a hydro generator, batteries and water maker.  Light and environmentally friendly.

After taking a novel approach on the boat, we then took a slightly different tack to building the team.  We wanted a core group of experienced sailors but more importantly people who would come with an open mind, commit to the potential of the program and who were proven team players.  We needed good all rounders, there is no room for specialisation, and we would make no distinction between gender, or the oft misunderstood designation "professional or amateur".  In short we wanted a team that could collectively act as Maverick not a collection of Mavericks.

To round things out we have ongoing advice from Hugh, Gordon, and Justin Ferris at Doyle Sails NZ.  With the odd ringer thrown in to push the team to a higher level, be that a well known navigator or a member of the emerging talent program that we plan to run.

The genesis of Maverick, the ambition and ethos for the team, occurred on a grey day running up the Derwent to Hobart; a venue we hope to revisit in the next 2 years.  In the interim the plan is to race Maverick at regattas around the world showcasing the power of DSS, the technology from our carefully chosen suppliers and the talents of Team Maverick. 

Join us as we follow our path, which we have designed to be a little less ordinary.