We ask top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times. Chris Tibbs nominates Mariquita
“Built in 1911 as a 19 Metre, Mariquita is one of the most beautiful yachts afloat, and I’ve had the privilege to be race navigator on board for most of the time since her restoration in 2004,” says weather guru Chris Tibbs.
“It takes approximately six minutes to gybe from set to set as it requires the balloon jib to be dropped, the boat gybed, and the balloon jib re-hoisted – not a great feeling if you get the layline wrong!
“With everything set downwind, Mariquita is wider than she is long (about 125ft) and as the pole is launched from up the mast there is always one crew in the rigging.
“Sailing without winches, the whole crew is needed to hoist the sails or pull in the main for a gybe, taking a great deal of teamwork.
“Start lines are particularly spectacular with large classic yachts vying for position – this is no gentleman’s racing but full-on competition.
“It is usually only after the race is over and you see the pictures that you realise what an honour it is to sail on such a beautiful yacht.”
Mariquita stats rating:
Top speed: 12 knots
Adrenalin factor: 50%
Chris Tibbs is a meteorologist and sailor. He has competed in three round the world races including as skipper of Concert in the BT Global Challenge.
He recently sailed with his wife, Helen, to Australia on their own yacht.
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