Bullimore ready to take on the high seas again

Team Daedalus is launched in Avonmouth

Thursday December 9th 2004, Author: Barry Pickthall, Location: United Kingdom
Tony Bullimore today re-launched his famous 102ft racing catamaran at Avonmouth Docks in his home town of Bristol, UK. His boat Daedalus will compete in Tracy Edwards' Oryx Quest 2005 around the world race, starting and finishing in Doha, Qatar, on 5 February. Deadalus will be one of supposedly four boats competing for the $1 million first prize in this HSBC-sponsored non-stop round the world race.

Over the past weeks Bullimore and his seven-man crew have given the 102ft catamaran an exhaustive re-fit, renewing sails and rigging, and equipped her with the latest navigation and communication aids.

The crew are due to set sail from Avonmouth early next week on the 4,000 mile shake-down trip to Doha.

“The whole team has done a remarkable job,” said Bullimore. “The ‘Big Cat’ has never been this well prepared before. We have reduced the boat’s overall weight by a massive 1.2 tons which will make her much more competitive, especially in lighter winds. We have put together a top-class crew and all believe that we stand a better than ever chance of winning the $1million prize money.”

Daedalus is scheduled to reach the Qatar Capital in early January, a month before the race start when her engines will be removed, further reducing her overall weight.

“Tony is a household name in sailing circles and we are delighted to have him and his crew on board for the Oryx Quest 2005,” said Alan Green, Race Director at Quest International Sports Events (QISE). “He is the first of four competitors sailing his multihull to Doha for one of the fastest yachting races the world will have seen. Preparations for the race on February 5th are intense but coming together speedily and agreeably. We are now in the final stages of putting this race together and it is enormously exciting to see that things are taking shape.”

Current entries for the Oryx Quest 2005 include Tony Bullimore’s Daedalus, Brian Thompson’s Qatar 2006, and Olivier de Kersauson’s trimaran Geronimo. A fourth entry will be announced shortly.

Crew line-up

Tony Bullimore
From: Bristol, England
Age: 65
Occupation: Skipper and professional sailor
Background: Former Yachtsman of the Year. Winner of the Round Britain and Ireland, Round Europe and Round the Island Races. Class winner of the Ostar and 2-Star transatlantic races. Now with more than 300,000 sea miles under his belt, the Qatar Quest 2005 will be his third circumnavigation start. (To read Tony Bullimore's lengthy biography - see page two).

Nick Leggatt
From: Cape Town, South Africa
Age: 37
Occupation: Professional sailor
Experience: Former crewman on Steve Fossett’s 125ft record breaking catamaran Cheyenne (ex- Playstation) when she set the present world non-stop circumnavigation record of 58days 9hrs 32mins. Record transatlantic passage from Cadiz to San Salvador, Record Round Britain and Ireland passage. Completed a further 13 transatlantic voyages including class victories in the Cape/Rio race and Buenos Aires to Cape Town Race.

Qualifications: RYA/DOT Commercial Oceanmaster, NAUI Divemaster, Ship Captains Medical Training Certificate INMARSAT, SSB and VHF Operators Certificates

Gonzalo O’Neill de Mello
From: Lisbon, Portugal
Age: 39
Occupation: Professional sailor
Experience: Has crewed for Tony Bullimore on Daedalus for several years, when she set the record from Gomera to Port St Charles and from Montego Bay to Lands End. Has been sailing since the age of eight, graduating from Optimists and lasers to 470’s. Now a professional sailor who cut his teeth on the 40ft IMS circuit, crewing for the winning yacht in the 2003 Portuguese IMS Championship and 2nd in the Spanish Championship.

Mike Inglis
From: Aberdeen, Scotland
Age: 34
Occupation: Professional sailor
Experience: Superyacht skipper for the past six years. Completed his first transatlantic voyage at age of 19 and has skippered yachts in the Fastnet and other RORC races as well as JOG events. Competed in the 2001 Mini Transat Race and competed on a wide range of yachts from Maxis to Swan 60s and Superyachts.
Qualifications:RYA Yachtmaster Instructor

Ian Munslow
From: Buxton, Derbyshire, England
Age: 30
Profession: Boatbuilder
Experience: Began sailing competitively ten years ago and is now a veteran of six transatlantic crossings, including two competing in the Mini-Transat races, La Figaro and Lorient to St Barts.

Rob Buchanan
From: Epsom, Surrey, England
Age: 37
Occupation: Legal Advisor and Army reservist.
Experience: Sailing since he was ten. Lifelong sailor who has competed in the Three Peaks Race, return leg of the Azores and Back Race, and other events around the Solent, English Channel and Bay of Biscay.
Qualifications: Military medic, Military signals expert, Chartered Engineer, Qualified solicitor, Major in HM Army Reserve

James Dunning
From: Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England
Age: 35
Occupation: Marketing Director
Experience: Son of Britain’s former Admiral’s Cup team captain, Chris Dunning. He took up offshore racing at 18 and has competed in the major ocean racing events like the Fastnet, Sydney/Hobart and Newport/Bermuda classics. A member of the winning Irish Southern Cross team in 1990.

Further crew will be announced following sailing trials aboard Daedalus during the 4,000 mile delivery trip from Bristol to Doha

The boat

With time and money on his side this time round, Tony Bullimore and his team have given their catamaran multihull an extensive re-fit, renewing her sail wardrobe and rigging, and pruning 1.2 tons of extraneous weight out of the hulls. She has also been re-equipped with the latest navigation and communication systems.

"Over the past two months, we have stripped the boat right down, refaired and painted the hulls, checked or replaced every fitting, and taken out all non-essential items to get her down to a competitive weight," says Bullimore. The most significant part of this weight-saving exercise will come when her two engines are removed, once the multihull arrives in Doha in January. "This will not only save considerable weight in machinery and fuel, but the removal of the two propeller sail-drives, will lessen drag too"

This is likely to improve the big cat's performance, particularly in light airs. Bullimore intends to add water ballast tanks in place of the engines to provide better trim control in strong conditions. "We will complete this work in the six weeks we have in Qatar, preparing for the start of the Oryx Quest" he says.

Another part in this weight-saving exercise has come from reducing the crew from 11 to 8, the same number that made up the Robin Knox-Johnston and Peter Blake led ENZA team which sailed this same catamaran to a Jules Verne circumnavigation record of 74 days, 22 hours, 17 minutes back in 1994. Four years later she was ahead of that record when running under the colours of Royal & Sun Alliance until her dismasting deep in the Southern Ocean cost Tracy Edwards and her all-girl crew the chance to add the fastest womens’ circumnavigation, if not a second all-out record to this multihull’s long list of achievements. This includes victory in the hands of her original skipper Mike Birch in the Monaco/New York race in 1985, and a 24 hour world sailing record of 518 miles during the Quebec/St Malo transatlantic race the year before - a 21.6knot benchmark that stood for nine years.

Her construction was also a world first. The hi-tech boat, designed by Nigel Irens and heavily modified by David Allan-Williams in the early 1990s in her ENZA period, was originally built by the Canadian aerospace manufacturer Canadair. At the time (1982) she was the first large pre-preg carbon constructed yacht, with the hull mouldings cured in an autoclave oven.

The aircraft construction standards used during her building, have stood the catamaran in good stead ever since. She began life as an 80 footer (24.24m) and later had 5ft (1.5m) lopped off her transoms to conform to a change in the French class constraints introduced in the mid-1980s. She was later extended to 92ft (27.87m) prior to the first Jules Verne Trophy attempt in 1993 before having 10ft (3.0m) added to her bows by Westland Aerospace in time for The Race in 2001.

This last Nigel Irens inspired modification was designed to improve the cat's upper performance and reduce the possibility of her pitch-poling when surfing at high speed through the Southern Ocean. Along with these ‘longer legs’ she was also given a 109ft (33m) carbon wing mast produced by Carbospars which is 40% lighter than her original alloy spars.

Despite being 22 years old on paper, only the upper sections of part of her hulls and the crossbeams are original...

Length overall: 102ft (31.0m)
Beam: 43ft (13.0m)
Draft (boards up) 3ft ( 1.0m)
Draft (boards down) 8ft ( 2.5m)
Displacement: 11.3 tons
Wing mast height: 109ft (33.0m)
Boom length: 34ft (10.3m)
Sail Area: Upwind: 3,600sq ft. (350 sq m.)
Downwind: 5,500sq ft. (550 sq m.)
Designer: Nigel Irens
Builders: Canadair & GKN Westland Aerospace
Construction: Carbon/Kevlar/Nomex honeycomb

Read more about Tony Bullimore on page 2...Alan Green with Tony Bullimore

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