Like a racehorse so famous it has a nickname, the Australian supermaxi Wild Oats XI is known colloquially as WOXI, and in the last decade this big beast has successfully seen off successive contenders to line honours in the epic Sydney-Hobart. In making it a record eighth win this year, she outstripped one of the most interesting new yachts in a year or two: the 100ft über-lightweight, mega-widebodied Comanche, built for one of the US’s richest men.
Good story? You bet. This contest had all the right ingredients: technology, national pride – and money, of course. This month we look at the two yachts tricked out with every development and device that could make them faster, and get on board Comanche for the low-down. She didn’t win this time, but next?
Something else I recommend reading, because it is the stuff of your most adventurous dreams, is Skip Novak’s winter cruise and climbing expedition to South Georgia in his 72ft Pelagic Australis. The temperature was so cold on the voyage south that the furling gear and windlass were frozen into solid lumps of ice that had to be chipped off with a hammer, and curtains of sea spray formed on the sheets. And then there was the mission to conquer three unclimbed peaks. It’s a fabulous story and stirring stuff.
This last year saw a great crop of new boats, from aluminium go-anywhere cruisers to sporty cruiser-racers and one 44-footer we loved so much despite her craziness much we dubbed her ‘bonkers but fun’. Toby Hodges gives his summary of the best new yachts around, the five deserving winners of the European Yacht of the Year awards.
Imagine Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg handing over the keys of their race cars and only checking back before driving off. This is effectively what’s happening to the Volvo 65 one-designs, with a revolutionary centralised maintenance programme in port designed to cut costs and keep the playing field levels. Matthew Sheahan reports.
And remember to like the Yachting World Facebook page to keep up to date with news, great photos and all kinds of daft stuff we come across during the month, and see our new website at www.yachtingworld.com for the pick of blogs, practical articles and news.
And you can subscribe to our digital edition or get a copy of the March issue here
Contents of March 2015:
How the wreck of Team Vestas Wind was recovered from the Indian Ocean
J Class will race again in Britain
Rambler 88, a missile in the making?
New gear and yachts
On test: GT35
New yachts: Big names in the Brenta 80; Mylius 76 and Italia 9.98
New gear: Smartwatch that reads instruments. Tested: Iridium GO!
Southern winter: A voyage to South Georgia
Missing: The mysterious disappearance of Thomas Tangvald
ARC breakages: Chafe, jury rigs and a shark stuck on the rudder!
Bluewater Techniques: Anchoring in coral waters
In the pit lane: VOR crews hand keys over to central servicing area
Matt’s gear of the year: Racing kit tested by Matthew Sheahan
Boat of the month: VX One – could this class be the new Flying15?
5 tips: Taking a penalty
From the editor
Yachts for sale
One Amazing Day