My ride on Zephyrus V

madforsailing spoke to watch leader Gordon Maguire about his ride during the Pacific Cup
The West Marine Pacific Cup which concluded last weekend saw a David v Goliath contest for line honours between Bob Miller's ketch Mari Cha III and the brand new maxi of Bob McNeil, Zephyrus V. Impressively the new Zephyrus, at a mere 86ft compared to the giant Mari Cha at 147ft, won the contest over the course between San Francisco and Hawaii. However the outing was also significant for being the first real outing for an example of the new maxZ86 class of which Zephyrus V is the very first example. Zephyrus V is a design by Reichel-Pugh, who aside from being the gentlemen behind Dennis Conner's new Stars & Stripes ACC boats (something of a mixed endorsement considering recent events) are rapidly getting to the stage where they are the firm of the moment when it comes to frighteningly quick offshore maxis. Inspired by the west coast turbo sleds like Pyewacket and Zephyrus IV, the aim of the maxZ86 class is to create a boat without the constraints of class rules and so the rule allows huge stability, not only from their deep, heavy keels, but also from movable water ballast and all this combined with a sail plan bigger than an ACC boat. They are also around 10ft longer than the previous generation of west coast Turbo sleds - all told they are the embodiment of 'an exciting ride'. So Zephyrus V is 86ft long and weighs just under 20 tons of which almost half is carried in the bulb and this is before the additional 5 tonnes of water ballast is brought into effect. Irish offshore veteran Gordon Maguire was a watch leader on board McNeal's new boat for the Pacific and gave madfor sailing his verdict on what the new boat was like and how the Pacific