Doing the Wild Thing

News of Grant Wharington's brand new canting-keel maxi
Grant Wharington's green maxi Wild Thing has been active on the race circuit in both Europe and down in Wharington's native Australia. But now Wharington wants to up his game and has a new giant, state of the art maxi under construction. 30m (98.4ft) long, the new Wild Thing is designed to rate at 1.600, the largest permitted in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart. She will also take part in the Rolex Fastnet, Cape-Rio and Rolex Transatlantic as well as sailing in major regattas such as Skandia Life Cowes Week and the Maxi Rolex Cup in Sardinia. Some offshore records attempts, including the monohull 24 hour record, are also planned. The boat is very much a home town effort from Mornington, Victoria where Wharington lives and runs his property development business. Don Jones is the chief designer and structural engineer of this yacht, while construction has been underway for eight months at Mal Hart's Hart Marine. “The fundamental design philosophy of our chief designer and structural engineer has been to minimise wetted surface area," says Wharington of the concept for his new boat. "We have a low drag hull with very semi circular lines in section. We have the same upwind sail area as Neville Crichton’s maxi Alfa Romeo but more stability. She is going to be a very fast, narrow yacht. At 30 metres long she is less than 5 metres wide and will demonstrate all the latest design features including a canting keel and retractable engine drive.” Wharington says she will be the largest canting keel offshore race boat in the world. Unlike Open 60s she will have no water ballast to alter fore and aft trim. For engine propulsion she will use a Mercruiser leg - like a powerboat's - but it can be pulled into the hull to