Zana explained


 
Designer Brett Bakewell-White on the nuts and bolts of his latest maxi
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, organisers of the Rolex Sydney-Hobart, have come in for criticism from the owners of boats like Mari Cha, Bols and particularly Alfa Romeo's Neville Crichton for placing a size limit on their race fleet of 100ft and 1.61 under IRC. While there is a strong argument that the rating limit is too low and doesn't reflect the type of high performance maxis that are capable of being built (and that most owners want to build) today, there is no denying that without this limit there would not have been the cut throat battle between Grant Wharington's Skandia and Stewart Thwaites' Zana in this last Rolex Sydney-Hobart. Both these maxis are bang on the maximum rating and length limits, but otherwise they could not be more different: While Skandia has a canting keel (albeit only swinging by 12degrees) and an adventurous beefcake of a rig with two giant spreaders, Zana has a fixed keel with a trim tab and a five spreader rig. Prior to the start of the Hobart race it seemed probable that Zana would be the better on or off the breeze, while the canting keel Skandia would prefer reaching. Post race none of the crew we spoke to on either boat revealed there being much to choose between the two boats on any point of sail, perhaps indicating what an effective leveller of the playing field the IRC rule is. Designer Brett Bakewell-White and Zana Last week we spoke to Don Jones about the radical Skandia , today we look at the more conventional Zana, a design by Auckland-based architect Brett Bakewell-White (to read more about the background to the Bakewell-White design team - click here). Bakewell-White explains the rationale behind the design of Zana: "Stewart [Thwaites] came to us and said that he

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