Dalton brother announces sponsor

'Turbo' Kingfisher was christened in Auckland earlier today

Wednesday February 20th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Australasia
At a low key launch party in Auckland earlier today the closely guarded secret of who the sponsor of Graham Dalton's new 'turbo' Kingfisher is. And the answer is...HSBC, the well known high street bank.

The boat for Grant Dalton's big brother was launched earlier this month in New Zealand to a design by Merfyn Owen and Allen Clarke of the Owen Clarke Design Group. Owen and Clarke were both part of the design team (although in name, only Owen) responsible for Kingfisher. It should be noted that HSBC is not the product of the same team that brought you Ellen MacArthur's Vendee Globe steed and significantly, Rob Humphreys has not been involved with the project.

Compared to Ellen MacArthur's Vendee Globe steed, the Dalton Open 60 has some significant differences such as a taller rig and more sail area, an articulating bowsprit and a single daggerboard ( Kingfisher has twin asymmetric boards). It also shows some similarities to a Volvo Ocean 60 such as having twin wheels and a trench-style cockpit that is open-ended at the transom. Both features are contrary to present Open 60 design thinking - wheel steering weighs more than a carbon fibre rudder attached to the top of each stock, while short-handed sailors usually prefer enclosed cockpits and an aft deck. If you fall overboard on Around Alone, the event for which the new boat has been built, there's no one to come pick you up...

Aside from the steering, Dalton is said to have taken a minimalist, weight-saving approach to the fit out of the boat, allowing himself no creature comforts. As a result the boat has a smaller coachroof, while presumably still complying with the Open 60 class' strict rules governing the ability to right from an inversion.

Prior to buildling the boat the Owen Clarke Design Group carried out some tank testing on the boat and as a result there have been some modifications made to the hull and there have also been some changes made to the configuration of the ballast system (although the boat has a swing keel, internal water ballast is used to trim the boat fore and aft).

A significant development with this boat as we mentioned in our interview with Graham Dalton some weeks ago, is that it is optimised for Around Alone and not the Vendee Globe. The Around Alone has stops, while the Vendee is non-stop and as a result the gear will be lighter. HSBC is said to have a lighter mast and PBO rigging (rather than rod used on Kingfisher).

It will be interesting to see how well Dalton gets on with the bigger more powerful rig. With short-handed boats there comes a time when having too much sail area works against you as it makes it hard to sail the boat efficiently. This was demonstrated last year in the Transat Jacques Vabre when Dominque Wavre's Open 60 Temenos failed to demolish the fleet, despite having 25% more sail than anyone else. At the end of the Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux said the same - the boats with the smaller rigs were the fastest...

For more photos see page 2....

Below - Graham Dalton's new HSBC

Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in


Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top