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yacht racing

Team Maverick waves the flag for Britain in joint partnership deal with the GREAT Britain Campaign

Team Maverick waves the flag for Britain in joint partnership deal with the GREAT Britain Campaign

Date: 14th February 2018
Article by: Hannah Cotterell

Team Maverick has announced a partnership deal in collaboration with the GREAT Britain campaign. The agreement will see Team Maverick’s Infiniti 46R proudly representing Great Britain with prominent Union Jack designs on the yachts’ sails and crew kit at prestigious yacht racing events around the globe. Drawing attention with their radically innovative design yacht Maverick will provide an ideal platform to carry the British campaign message to global audiences.

The GREAT Britain campaign showcases the best of what the British nation has to offer, to inspire the world and encourage people to visit, invest, do business and study in the UK. It is the UK government’s most ambitious international campaign ever, uniting the efforts of the public and private sector to generate jobs and growth for Britain.

Conrad Bird CBE, Director, GREAT Britain campaign stated: “I’m delighted that from today Sailing Team Maverick will be flying the flag for Britain around the world. Designed in the UK with the most advanced engineering and precision craftsmanship, this yacht combines Britain’s proud sailing history with revolutionary technology and will serve to promote Britain’s strengths to over 30 countries during her 2018 race schedule.”

Team Maverick have collaborated with the GREAT Britain campaign to wave the flag for British industry using their technically innovative racing yacht as a platform for spreading the message around the globe. Maverick tends to draw attention during events as the only boat of its kind to incorporate unique Dynamic Stability System (DSS) foiling technology on a 46 ft. yacht, clearly visible by the unapologetically different bright orange foils protruding from the side of the hull. On the start line Maverick is often one of the smaller yachts in the line-up and yet with a first in class and second overall in the RORC 2016 Transatlantic race, along with a number of respectable results from events such as the Rolex Middle Sea Race and Palermo Montecarlo, it is clear this little yacht has a lot to say.

With great ambitions themselves Team Maverick plan to meet more open-minded businesses through this partnership, businesses that may also look to invest in the team as a commercial platform for growth.

This agreement will be made official as Team Maverick compete in this years’ 2018 Royal Ocean Racing Club Caribbean 600, a 600 nautical mile offshore yacht race which will see yacht Maverick and crew proudly displaying the Union Jack flag for the first time to this international fleet of competitors and event followers.

Be a part of the story and follow the latest updates at maverick49.com or via their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages!

To find out more about the GREAT Britain campaign visit their website here!

#BeaMaverick #FollowTheStory #lovegreatbritain

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

A Maverick Fastnet review

A Maverick Fastnet review

Author: Piers Hugh Smith

www.sailsmithracing.uk

The dust had barely settled from the Tour Voile before I was onto the next project… A 14hr drive back from Nice to Hamble saw me venturing across the Solent the following day to join Team Maverick, the title sponsors of the Tour Voile project, for the lead up to one of sailing’s most iconic and notorious races- The Rolex Fastnet. Despite the Fastnet race being the closest 600-mile race to home- it is the last on the list for me to tick off- so I was exceptionally excited to be racing with Maverick for this edition.

We had an excellent training day in the solent in 20knts of breeze, a good shake down for the boat after the team at SRM Marine have been putting in so much hard work to get the boat sorted. As the DSS foils have not been applied to any other medium size race boat before this, and very few others designed totally around the DSS- Maverick presents many engineering and technological challenges that take time and effort to work out. The boat has been sailing for around 18months and has continually been improving throughout that time.

I was lucky enough to be on the wheel for the start, it was pretty special starting such and iconic race with the view of hundreds of other yachts who had started in earlier starts beating out the Solent ahead of us. We were contesting our class with Rambler 88, the Volvo 65’s and the odd IMOCA so it was a star studded start. Following the advice of tactician Mike, we kept clear of the much taller rigs in the bunch, and held our own lane for the start. About halfway up the Solent I changed off the helm for Kees and got ready for the world’s longest windward leg!

It was Ocean Rodeo dry suit on pretty much from the beginning, beating into a tide that was turning against, and a meaty 20knts of breeze meant plenty of waves over the boat and I made a commitment to stay dry! It was cold too, so the suit didn’t really come off until the finish of the race. I was at risk of my planning having let me down but was okay in the end- I decided to only take one spare mid layer and one spare inner- these went on during the first night and stayed on until the finish. My kit bag, a 10ltr dry bag, stayed empty the entire race, so at the least I was confident I took the lightest set up possible!

For me the upwind was fairly featureless beyond the normal tariff of living offshore on Maverick. One major tactical decision for Eric, the navigator, as to either to head across the channel and hit the corner of the beat to lay land’s end, or whether to head up the shore line, short tacking up with English coast. For the rest of us, during the on-watch we pushed the get the most out of our upwind set up in a dying breeze. The drop in wind strength made for a more comfortable ride but unfortunatelya slightly slower one. During the off watch I committed to only eating Asian Beef with Noodles from the freeze dried selection and maximised my sleep time! As the bowman the upwind legs are often quieter than the downwind, and with a windy 200mile downwind leg coming up after rounding the iconic Fastnet rock, I focused on maximising my sleep so I was in the best possible shape.

We edged round Land’s End, entering the Irish Sea and not long after the psychological halfway mark of the rock came to the fore of our minds. Whilst not a literal halfway mark, as the rock sits 400mile into the 600mile race, mentally most of the guys see it that way. It’s a 180 degree turn and puts you onto the homeward stretch into Plymouth. A nice rounding for us, in the company of a media chopper and a class 40, we peeled onto our A2, the second biggest downwind sail. Coincidentally I clocked off watch at the end of this change, so hit the bunk for my 4 hours of rest.

I was awoken about 2.5/3 hrs into my off watch by the sound of the world ending. Maverick is a cacophony of noise when going downwind in breeze- the impact and rush of the water on the empty carbon hull echoes throughout the while structure, and the howl of sheets being eased accompanies a deafening roar as the keel pump drives the hydraulic sail controls. Underscored by the whirr of the pedestal gearbox by my head; there was not much stopping me from being awoken! The breeze had risen go 25knots +, so out of range of the A2, we leaped over and through waves with a cascade of water pouring into the cockpit every minute. Eric and Mike made the call for a change to the A3, so myself and Q, the mid-bowman, ventured to the front of the boat to get the sail ready to go. The change went pretty well despite a small bit of damage to the foot of the A2 from water pressure and a wobble I had on the front whilst releasing the tack line - the prospect of falling off the boat loomed and I decided it wasn’t for me; luckily holding my balance to stay on board!

The A3 was the prefect sail for the conditions- it was a lighting quick Irish Sea crossing as we hit up to 26-27 knts storming downwind. A few gybes for the Traffic Separation Scheme Exclusion Area and we rolled into a simple A2 to flatter and smaller Jib-top peel for the reach to Plymouth from the Scilly Isles.

A really simple but wet leg! Keep it lit up on the JT, more or less due East, and try and close the gap the more upwind oriented boats had got on us earlier in the race. A really quick leg again, up to 22/23 knts boat speed, waves carving over the boat at speed. Ski goggles went on so I could maintain visibility and we pushed hard to get the boat home.

A few of the guys had stayed up past their watch the previous night, we suffered a breakdown of the watch system at about 5am, as guys who were technically ‘ON’ had already been up all night pushing the boat downwind, and guys who were ‘OFF’ might have been off for a while. In my eyes this was a bit of a failing as I believe it’s really important to adhere to the structure of the watch in order to make sure everyone receives regular and efficient rest. Otherwise the burnout risk becomes too prevalent. We had a rest and decided to lease with each persons opposite number to work out what sleep levels they needed- we run a one hour rolling watch, so you have one buddy who wakes you up and you wake him up- this split allowed the guys who needed it to rest and the guys who didn’t kept on pushing. This did a pretty good job of keeping the pace up on the last stretch into Plymouth.

In the end we finished at around 1530hrs BST, an oddly civilised time for finishing an offshore as I am used to these races finishing in the dark! We rolled into the bar for some post race celebration and some much needed food- there is only so much freeze dried I can take! I feel we were a little unfortunate with the weather, a little too much upwind for Maverick, a downwind focused machine, we struggled to compete on IRC. However- we sailed a good race and ticking off the last Rolex offshore this year, plus the Trans-Atlantic race ticks off a bucket-list goal for me in getting all those done in 12months!

An incredible couple months of sailing and one of the busiest times of my life- it’s now time for a bit of R&R and to maybe not see another boat for a little while! Though who knows how long I can willingly stay away- the Diam 24 UK national Champs are approaching and you will see Team Maverick SSR back out on the water there.

Ciao!

Piers Hugh Smith

#BeAMaverick #FollowTheStory

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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!


 

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!

www.maverick49.com

Maverick retire from Caribbean 600 due to injury

Maverick retire from Caribbean 600 due to injury

ANNOUNCEMENT

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 

#rorcrc600

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.

Navigator Eric Holden's RORC Transat Blog: Day 3

Navigator Eric Holden's RORC Transat Blog: Day 3

Day 3 Blog

Conditions have been pretty gentle today with winds of 5-10 kts and a light northerly swell. This has allowed us to chase down some gremlins in the boat systems. We have an oil leak in the hydraulic system, air is getting into the watermaker plumbing, and we're getting about half the expected output from the hydrogenerator. Earlier we fixed an electrical fault in the bilge pumps and boat instruments. The watermaker is behaving again and we're monitoring the other problems which aren't critical at this stage.

With the weather as benign as it currently is, the team is asking when we might see the trade winds. I hesitate to answer as it looks like we're stuck with what we've got for the next few days. This is not really the conditions that suit us over the larger boats but as we're still making progress and sailing a couple knots above the wind speed we don't have much to complain about.

A nice perk in these conditions is that we're all getting plenty of rest while the boat glides along gently. This is a treat as when she gets moving she is noisy and rough, and sleep only gets easy once exhaustion sets in.

Until later....Eric

Sean McCarter RORC transat crew blog Day 3

Sean McCarter RORC transat crew blog Day 3

Good morning sports fans!

Team Maverick are well underway in this years RORC Transatlantic race. To be totally honest, it wasn't the start we were looking for with almost 24hrs upwind. Some of the bigger yachts are definitely better suited to punching through short, steep seas than our 5.5 tonne flyer.

At lunchtime today, we finally hoisted the first kite of the race and have been sitting comfortably between 12-17 kts (in similar wind speed) making good use of our DSS foil.

It's hard to complain; blasting into the sunset, impressive volcanic-backdrop of La Gomera to port and a delicious bag of Expeditions finest freeze-dried Spaghetti Bolognaise......

(big gap in typing...... as Sean gets called on-deck)

Sorry about that. As I was writing this I must have jinxed us as the wind shadow reached out from La Palma to grab us. We are all good after some quick crew work we are back in the gradient wind and making good boat speeds.

Anyway I have been up now for three watches so am going to sign off.

PS Can someone tell me how much Ireland beat Australia by?

Sean McCarter 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 November 18th

Skipper blog November 18th

Dear team Maverick fans,

I hope this blog finds you well. As I write this we are doing 16-17 kts in the Atlantic. We finally Got Maverick into her first ocean. This is what she was truly designed for.

Now I could tell you about lots of things, such as how in delivery mode we have hit 25 kts, or talk about the glorious sunsets we have had. But on this occasion I won't.

You see many back home think that this "yachting" job is all very glamorous. (This recently has not been helped by being based in St Tropez) it is not! Maverick is a stripped out race machine, so stripped out even that people from Volvo 70's have said "wow that is a very stripped out yacht".

This means all of our meals are freeze dried as we have no refrigeration. To cook these we have one "jet boil" that boils the water for us. There are no showers,  sinks or anything of the kind. We "hot bunk" apart from there are no bunks (that would be too heavy) so we use camping mats on the bare hull. To keep weight down there are no floor boards so keeping anything dry is a challenge.....etc. etc. I hope you get the idea.

The day to day business of "doing your business" is extremely difficult on board. So much so that in all of our racing and deliveries this is the first time that I have had to use Maverick'sfacilities. These extensive facilities consist of a bucket and a biodegradable bag. I can assume you get the idea from here? However to make matters more interesting the only real place on board for any "privacy" is the bow near the foil cases. I now imagine the vessel is doing 15-20 kts over an Atlantic swell. The experience is akin to getting drunk on tequila then being dared by a mate to sit on a bucket that is placed on top of the bar's mechanical rodeo machine. A challenge that has potentially disastrous repercussions if it goes wrong. Well on this trip we managed to make the challenge even harder, you see as with any yacht that goes this quickly she puts a lot of water over the deck. Some of this water inevitably ends up down below. This means that anything of importance that needs to be kept dry is kept in a dry bag. I bought a very bright blue dry bag for a very specific purpose (it had a very important job) it was to keep the toilet paper and associated supplies dry. This dry bag was carefully labeled and stored in a dry area of the yacht. it turns out however that a dry bag is only as dry as the huge hole that is left in it when it is left open! Yes ladies and gentlemen the yacht's supply of essential sanitary supplies are gone because SOMEONE left the bag open and and on the floor... Its a good thing Team Maverick run a no blame culture!

So at the moment there is a strong incentive for the delivery to happen quickly. Light winds are forecast further down the track so we will be using the motor. ETA at the moment looks like the evening of the 19th early on the 20th.

"Don't leave the toilet paper dry bag open!!!" Oliver Cotterell 2016

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

Maverick skipper blog update 15th November

Maverick skipper blog update 15th November

Good Morning Team Maverick Fans,

We are making good progress under "Iron Mainsail tonight" the moon is very large making the evening watch pleasant in the cool Mediterranean  air. Turns out with world events there is plenty to talk about.... I dropped the "Trump........... discuss" early doors in the watch.

The Palma stopover has been hectic. There was a lot to get done and the repair to the "Universal Joint" in the prop shaft was an unexpected occurrence from the Malta Palma delivery. Unfortunately this cost the team approximately three days of work.

The good news is that most of the important parts of "the list" have been dealt with and if the delivery proves to be fast we should get into Lanzarote (or Lanza as Nikki likes to call it) in good time. We aim to have Maverick at her best for the RORC Transatlantic Race but still have some work to do.

We have a good delivery crew on board with Archie Willis (normally full time on Ranger), Eric Holden, the wonderful Katherine Knight, Edoardo Bianchi (normally the Mate for Sean MCcarter) the delectable Nikki Curwen and myself.

We sent Kees ashore to be shore support and make sure that he arrives in Lanza with all the bits and bobs we might need!

It looks like the wind is going to fill in from the NE around midday tomorrow. We should be well past Ibiza and are hoping that this will give us a good push.

The Med rightly has a reputation for having too much wind or not enough. We are trying to get west as it is likely to be a bit less windy when it does arrive. We are all hoping that the GRIBS are accurate and we don't have one last big Med blow. It will be nice to turn off the engine as there is no insulation in the boat (too heavy) so it is very loud and hot!

Thanks as ever for all the support. I am heading back up on deck away from the racket of the engine to enjoy the rest of my watch.

Tonight I'd like to give a shout out to my Aunty Lindy and Aunty Sandy who will be watching our progress on the Yellow Brick!!

"Just keep swimming" Dory Finding Nemo....

Oliver Cotterell (Skipper)

Experiencing foiling for the first time...

Experiencing foiling for the first time...

Joining us for a delivery Hannah Diamond talks foiling for the first time and all things Maverick!

A few hours after landing from my own Middle Sea Race Experience I was hurriedly re-packing my bag to head back out to Malta to deliver Maverick to Palma en route to the RORC Transatlantic start. I had been following the boat as I knew a couple of the team and saw their great result in the Middle Sea Race and jumped at the chance to have a go with the DSS foils - there’s not too many boats out there yet with these revolutionary appendages so it was definitely an experience to go for!

Fortunately all of the boats from the race had finished when the storm hit Malta with up to 50 knots which delayed the departure of many boats back to their home ports but it meant that I had a chance to fly out and jump on board literally as the boat was leaving the dock on its way to Palma. After a quick run through from Nikki, she threw us our lines and we headed off into the sunset for 750 nm of sailing North. The first night was pretty light winds with a bit of swell which was perfect for getting used to where everything was led to on the boat - no sail changes in the dark! From there we had a bit of everything weather wise, I woke up during my off watch to water screaming past the hull and footsteps up and down the deck as a second reef was put in, it sounded very wet but I jumped into my kit for my watch and had 4 awesome hours sailing between 12 and 14 knots of boat speed in ‘throttle back’ mode - it would definitely be cool to see what the boat can do in race mode! The foils made it so easy to just sit on the back of a wave and hold speed for miles and miles!

After a quick pit stop in Sardinia to refuel ourselves and the boat we headed back out and onwards to Palma, enjoying some awesome sunrises on my watch, a few dolphins as well as the amazing 3 in 1 coffee sachets which have revolutionised my offshore coffee drinking!

We arrived in Palma and it was straight into mini-refit mode for the boat, Kees and Eric had been compiling a jobs list throughout the delivery and the four of us got to work. It was really cool to be part of Team Maverick for the week and see how much effort everyone is putting in to make sure the boat is in the best possible place to put in a good result in the Transat!

Hannah Diamond

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