The first 12m offshore race boat designed by Rob Shaw, build by Craig Partridge Yachts.

Design Objective: to maximise the performance potential of a 12m offshore monohull, with the capacity to sleep a full crew and with a usable interior. This is a versatile boat, set up for high performance racing either short-handed or fully crewed, both harbour and offshore. Blink is built with racing in the infamous Cook Strait in mind, with robust construction and systems, foam core, and options chosen with the wisdom that 'to win you must first finish' in mind: twin rudders, twin hydraulic rams, and dual hydraulic keel power sources (electric and engine pumps).

These numbers are from before the extra 90kg added to bulb in 2019
Length: 12m / Sailing Displ: 4.1T (8 crew) / Empty Displ 3.6T / Draft: 3m / Keel Cant Angle: 50° / RM (max): 7,687 kg/m / Mast: 19.8m
Fixed prod: 1m / Retractable prod: 2.5m / SA up: 110m2, down: 268m2

Sail Number: 110011 / VHF Call Sign: ZMU2211
More details, interior pics, plans at bottom of page.

Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship

Race Results

Blink race results highlights
1st on elapsed time, Round North Island 2-handed 2014 (Rob Shaw and TW) and 2017 (VW and TW)
1st on Line, Round North Island 2-handed 2014 and 2017
1st PHRF Division 1, and 2nd IRC Division 1, Round North Island 2-handed 2017
1st in RPNYC 2014-2015 Offshore Series on Club, PHRF, and IRC
Season Champions RPNYC 2015-2016 PHRF and Line
New Zealand Design/Build Trophy (Muir Vonu Trophy) Auckland-Fiji Race 2016
Race record Kapiti-Chetwodes-Ship Cove 2015
Race record Cook Strait Classic 2015
Race record 2016 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race
Race record 2018 Catherine Cove Race

First on Line:
Island Bay race Nov 2013*, Brothers Race Nov 2013*, Cook Strait Classic Dec 2013* (*beating Elliot 50 canter Ran Tan in all 3 of these races), Brothers Race 2014, Kapiti-Chetwodes 2015, Port Nich Regatta 2015 overall line honours, Alan Martin Series 2015, Cook Strait Classic 2015, Nelson Race 2016, RPNYC 2016 Season Div 1, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race 2016, Mana-Ship Cove 2016, Brothers Islands Race 2016, Round North Island 2-handed 2014 and 2017,
Brothers Islands Race 2017, Catherine Cove Race 2018, Wellington-Lyttleton 2018

23 February 2015

Port Nich Regatta - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th ...

Blink hasn't done so well recently around the cans.  Firstly there's quite a lot of boat to get right for a relatively inexperienced crew, and things typically happen pretty quickly.    Secondly, she is fabulously responsive to the right sails and trim, but with wrong sails up or not properly set up the performance hit is significant.

We'd also lost all of our regular trimmers in recent weeks and found replacements at short notice.  Plus there was some serious competition for line honours as well as handicap results: Wedgetail (Welbourne 42), St Laurence (trimaran), Crusader (Elliot 35ss), Revs (Ross 40), Satellite Spy (Ross 40) ... and some properly good sailors distributed through the rest of the Div A fleet.  So I went into this regatta not expecting too much...  a chance for some intensive boat handling practice, in mostly short windward-leeward races, and let's see how much we improve as the regatta progresses.

I was surprised on both counts.  We had Pete Geary (from Hall Spars) join us from Auckland and he taught us in the first race that the slightly higher upwind mode that we'd been trying still wasn't high enough.  So we reset out targets to his suggestions and suddenly we're pretty good upwind, able to hold and sometimes even climb off the benchmark Wedgetail.

The other great thing that happened was our crew have started getting most of our short-course boat handling right.  The team has started to click and we are able now to start thinking outside the boat a bit.  Of course we had plenty stuff-ups, a couple of the larger ones probably cost us the regatta (no doubt other contenders could say the same) but the improvement was noticeable.

There were some epic moments, especially during the windiest day (Saturday)

Eventually, we far surpassed expectations.  1st overall on line, second overall on PHRF, 3rd overall on IRC, 4th overall on club handicap.  Not bad at all against good competition.

Thanks to the Blink crew, for a most enjoyable regatta, ditto for the regatta organisers, race officer Paulie and the on-water regatta support.  Big thank you to Pete G for contributing to our big step up in performance.

Results here:

Here's a mashup of some video clips from someone kind and enthused enough to spend hours standing with a camera and tripod in roaring wind on Satuday, and much less action on Sunday.  

Photos from Chis Coad (link here)

And some from LiveSailDie 

14 February 2015

A little bit of silver

First on General and on PHRF for the Kapiti Chetwodes Ship Cove record breaking race.

8 February 2015

New Record for 120nm Kapiti-Chetwodes

Previous Record: Starlight Express (Davidson 55) 11h 51m 43s, 1999-2000 season.

After the CSC we had out rudder alignment returned to where it should have been (thanks Rob, Matt G, Matt S, Craig, Gordie and all who helped). Soooo much better.

The Forecast for Kapiti-Chetwodes starting at 6am Waitangi Day was for a southerly front dying out.  We'd anticipated a nasty harbour exit in the rain, against tide, 30 knots southerly, and swell, in about 12 degrees. It came through right on schedule with some force just after 4am as we all left home for the marina, gusts of up to 50 knots along the south coast and rain showers.  Start was to be at 6am but delayed due to a berthing container ship to 6.30.

Things started getting better.  The rain stopped.  We got a good start and unwrapped the Fractional Zero off the line, worked really nicely for us and we led across Evans Bay.
Like many of the boats we liked the pin end, Wedgetail and others nearer the middle, not in this pic

Then the FR0 took us a bit low, so we lost a bit of our lead in height and Wedgetail made good use of that, leading us out of the harbour - which wasn't as rough as we'd anticipated - by about a minute

Unfortunately for us the next leg was almost hard on the wind, so we couldn't crack off much as we'd have liked, but that angle suited us slightly better than Wedgetail and we regained the lead.  Not as fast as usual across the south coast, only about 8-9 knots, but current was with us so SOG was usually over 10.  Next were the rips, Sinclair was again less than we had anticipated,

but the Karori rip was bigger, which had bowman Matt alternately airborne and submerged while he prepared a downwind sail for the ride north to Kapiti. Matt was probably the wettest of us, but we were all a tad damp.

At Terawhiti we were lulled by the strong current (5-7 knots) going our way to think that the breeze was only in the upper teens or low 20s. So we went for the A2.

Which was awesome until we crossed a tide line out of our nice stream.  Both the true and the apparent wind increased significantly, now high 20s, and suddenly it was clear we had too much kite on.  After a couple of very restful lie-downs we got the A2 below, granny-tacked, and changed to the A6.  Which was great...

  we cruised along with boat speeds consistently between 17 and 20 (well, that's what the speedo said, although it may not have been in the water all the time!) and extended on the fleet.  We had got the layline just right, gybed the A6 next to Kapiti island after 4 hours of sailing (52 nm rhumb line to here), and then dropped it for the 40 nm reach to the Chetwodes   This started windy and rough, 25+ knots on our beam with waves to match,
but got progressively lighter as we got further west.

We'd been trying to get height to get around the Chetwodes clockwise, like we always had.  As we started to get close, Craig actually read the SIs carefully and noted that we were supposed to round *anticlockwise*  Oops.  We'd been sailing too high and too slow for several miles, should have had a bigger sail on. Never mind the disturbing realisation that it would have been a much more costly mistake had we actually gone around the wrong way.

Just after this, we realised we'd thrown our belts of the canting motor / 24V alternator and they'd need to be replaced before we next had to cant.  i.e., very soon.  So there was a not very pleasant, messy, hot, rushed, knuckle-skinning engine-bay job to do.  Some expletives were utilised.

Then we just had to ghost through the horrid Chetwodes wind shadow which seems to last forever, before tacking upwind towards Point Jackson and the finish line.  Near Jackson, with a 10-15 knot breeze, lots of daylight left, and a little over 6 miles to go, we thought we'd have a good chance of taking a big chunk off the record time.

Yeah, right -- not long after rounding Jackson, with the finish line in sight, we starting running out of wind.  We spent a long time going very slowly, often in the wrong direction, and getting generally frustrated.   We were saved by a few knots of wind on the beam which got us the last mile or so with our masthead zero.

We crossed the line at 11 minutes past 6pm, setting a new record: 11h 41m 42s.

Team pic a few minutes after finishing, finish line in background ... note lack of wind

The rest of the fleet suffered more from the wind dropping out than us.  Wedgetail had emerged around Jackson, didn't look very far away, and seemed to be sailing straight for the line instead of having to tack up. We thought that a little unfair.  But they ended up running out of wind too, and finished about 1.5 hours after us.  The Revs team described several slow and frustrating attempts to get around Jackson against the tide before giving up and withdrawing.  The Guarantee apparently sailed past Titi island 3 times, being knocked back by tide repeatedly before withdrawing.  With no breeze available or looking likely, darkness approaching and no favourable tide for 6 hours, several other boats withdrew also.

We had a great evening in the Furneaux Lodge bar, and decided to use the crew fund to buy some warm dry comfy beds there instead of wet sails.  Matt S was so pleased with this arrangement he even went back into bed for his post-brekky cup of tea.

The trip back was very pleasant, Vesna and Jono doing most of the steering, perfect conditions and masthead zero to the south coast, and then a typical 'welcome back to Wellington' 25-30 headwind to get back around the south coast and into the harbour.

Should be some silverware and an official record after this race...

7 February 2015

Cook Strait Classic 2014

Not one of our best races - we had a very slow light air start out of the harbour, and had a very costly sail change to the heavy jib. so we got a bit of a sailing lesson from the Crusader team who led us out of the harbour by a healthy margin.

Once we got going in decent breeze we started to get back into the race, but were not able to catch Crusader on the downwind run to Tory Channel Entrance.
Tory Channel Entrance, finish line drawn in

We were surprised at not being able to hold our A2 kite in a little over 20 knots - had a few round-ups so were forced to sail low and slow to keep upright.

Eventually we worked out the problem ... our rudder angles didn't end up right after Blink's Birthday earlier this year, had a toe-in angle of about 4° instead of 1.5° ... so the inner sides of the rudder blades were spending much of their time stalled and at the very least dragging.

Great raft-up after the race, Blink even had her mirror-ball ...

Then off for a few weeks fast cruising. Should be much more salubrious than previous years ... lots more room, hot shower, fridge, freezer (ice cream!! Woohoo!!) etc..