Catching Club Med
Well...its been just under 12 months since I've been on the water, and over 18 months since I've been racing.
After 11 years of racing on 18 foot skiffs, it's been difficult to find something comparable to race on...a 'black nor-easter' on Sydney Harbour,
three on the wire, absolutely flying down the harbour, hitting 25-30 knots, with the punters on the ferries putting down a few bucks on the first skiff to capsize, the first to round the top mark, and the first across the line, eating Big Ben pies and the drinking the odd VB or two.
But I haven't been idle...I've been off snow boarding, or more specifically instructing, coaching and training 'rookie' instructors, both in the south island of New Zealand and at the Vail and Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School in Colorado, USA. But I've also been restless, wanting to get back on the water, but not on anything, but on something that would re-ignite my passion for absolute speed and power.
So when this ride came up, I couldn't wait to get back on the water. It's not the first time I've been on a maxi-cat, the first time was with Bruno Peyron on the old Explorer (latterly the Polish boat Polpharma Warta) when it was on the east coast of Australia, and ever since then I've been itching to get back on one.
As a kid, sitting at home in the evening after a day of sailing, there were three boats that always inspired me - the Australian 18 Foot Skiff, the French multihulls and the Open 60s. So far, two out of three.
If you ever get a chance to sail on a maxicat, do everything you can to do it, and you won't be disappointed. The speed, sheer size and real power is unbelievable. Really, there isn't anything on the water that is comparable, well, maybe a skiff in a "'lack nor-easter'.