Geant in NZ
Hull has been a regular in domestic racing aboard his 52 foot keelboat V5. The boat, designed to excel in downwind conditions favoured by the famous Transpac race, arrived in New Zealand four years ago and has, with other members of the 50 foot fleet, continued to optimise and search for that elusive additional speed and great rides. Prior to that Hull campaigned the well known offshore racer, M1.
But the ORMA 60 tri takes performance to a new league all together and despite being tried and tested in Europe for many years, for both New Zealand and Australia, it’s a first proper look at the world of high intensity, ORMA 60 sailing down under.
"We chose this boat because despite being a challenge to sail, it has the power to weight ratio and seaworthiness to achieve things like nothing else in New Zealand and Australia," says Hull.
Average speed targets in the ORMA 60 class are 18 knots to windward in 25 knots of breeze, or 30 knots on a broad reach. ORMA 60s have averaged 25 knots for 24 hours, which means there are very few boats in Australasia capable of competing with it for line honours.
G3 was launched in France in 2002, and underwent a significant rebuild in 2005 – but has spent nearly two years in storage since then.
Now her Southern Hemisphere campaign will include rebranding for corporate sponsorship, and attendance at major events including the Round North Island Race (February 2010), Bay of Islands Regatta (January 2010) and most major offshore and coastal events, culminating in the epic Around Australia event at the end of 2011.
The only other Round Australia race ever held, was won by the two handed duo of Peter Blake and Mike Quilter, who were severely tested in their ORMA 60 trimaran Steinlager 1.
"We were excited to hear that this race is being revived. It’s the biggest challenge open to us, and will be an amazing opportunity," says Hull.
Hull’s crew at the commencement of the boat’s two-year campaign will include Paul ‘Casper’ Murray and Ryan Parkin, as well as boat manager Kevin Peet, and the members of the original V5 team.
[Ed: How long til they flip it???]