On board Mutua Madrilena/Mean Machine

Ray Davies shows us round and discusses the nuts and bolts of Peter de Ridder's TP 52

Wednesday September 27th 2006, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Peter de Ridder's Judel/Vrolijk-designed Mean Machine/Mutua Madrilena has been consistently the best performing TP52 on the Breitling MedCup circuit. Last week she concluded her season with a win in the circuit's final regatta of the season in Ibiza.

But what makes a TP 52 tick? Are they just another average white race boat? No a bit of it! In this series of video clips tactician Ray Davies, who with de Ridder and Dirk de Ridder has been instrumental in putting the Mean Machine/Mutua Madrilena project together gives us a guided tour to their race winner.

In clip one Ray starts us off at the pointy end. Mean Machine has a hydraulic ram on her forestay, but a multiple purchase system for her jib downhaul. We discuss sail variations and wardrobe on a TP 52 (and try to avoid being drowned out by planes overhead bringing fresh revellers to Ibiza). (NB: This is a 33MB download)

In the second clip Ray talks about the three spreader Southern Spars rig, their cute flip out jockey pole (above) and we try to pronounce the word 'athwartships'. Cabintops are genuinely an important variation between TP 52s and on Mutua Madrilena (as with many of the other boats) there is a large cutout enabling the jib car track to be moved further inboard. Ray starts his tour of of the cockpit, including a neat custom built lever for operating the forestay hydraulics. (26MB download)

In the final clip Ray demonstrates Mean Machine's unique (to the TP 52 fleet at least) tiller arrangement and the aft end of the cockpit and then takes us down below to show us the cunning magic wheel type system used for the jib downhaul. Ray also talks about the relative performance between the TP and the Farr 40. (27MB download)

NB: These clips are formatted to play in Windows Media Player and are BIG - therefore only suitable for those with broadband connections. Mac users can now view WMV files by downloading a suitable add on to Quicktime - we for example use Flip4Mac which works a treat. The only noticable difference is that while the clip will play out while downloading on a PC, on a Mac it must download first.

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