Beau Geste takes on the maxis

Gavin Brady and Botin Partners Adolfo Carrau tell us about Karl Kwok's new 80 footer
The Rolex Sydney Hobart race is currently providing the best ever comparison between different genres of maxi boat. There are the four 100 footers – the Reichel Pugh-designed serial line honours winner (six times since 2005) Wild Oats XI, newly fitted with a DSS foil, the Juan K-designed former Speedboat/Rambler 100. Following her catastrophic keel loss and capsize in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race, she has been acquired by Anthony Bell and rebuilt by Cooksons as Perpetual Loyal. Grant Warrington’s Don Jones-Fred Barrett designed 2003 line honour winning Wild Thing is back, now extended to 100ft with a modified hull shape, while for the second year 86-year-old Syd Fischer is campaigning Ragamuffin 100, the Greg Elliott design originally launched as Maximus, that won Hobart line honours in 2011 as Investec Loyal. Then there are the two VO70s, the 2011-2 Volvo Ocean Race winner Groupama 4, now owned by New Zealand wine magnate Jim Delegat and Black Jack (ex-Telefonica) owned by Queenland investment guru Peter Harburg. But between the two groups is Karl Kwok’s latest Beau Geste. Those with keen memories will remember Kwok’s Farr 80 Beau Geste that following her launch in 2009 raced successfully in regattas around the world picking up silverware in races as far afield as the Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the RORC Caribbean 600, the Newport-Bermuda, Chicago-Mac, Pineapple Cup, etc. However in June 2012 the boat effectively snapped in two in the Auckland to Noumea Race. So with a broken 80 footer already in the team's possession, the new Beau Geste, this time a design from Botin Partners, has been built around the salvageable parts of the old boat – in particular the rig, sails and deck gear, as well as the retractable drive down to the bunks and the nav station. “The