The red W17 (with cruising rig) just won its first race! Not having enough numbers as yet to form a multihull class, the Lake Taal YC had the W17 competing in a handicap division with a number of monohulls as well as 4 Hobie Bravo catamarans. This was the Governors Cup race, normally around the volcano and back—but to not make it too long for the slower boats, the handicap class races just TO the volcano and back. This a fair size lake though, so that still took some boats about 2 hours. But in the heavy winds of 20k+, the W17 just ate up the distance and finished in 54 minutes—and that proved to be over 50% faster than the first Bravo in 2nd place. (The 2 Bravos finished in 82 and 102 mins.) Seems that Bravos have two rigs, one with boom and one without—perhaps the sail area is different too, as some have flat tops and others not. Anyway, this race had two of each competing, but only the faster boats 'with booms' finished the race. ('No boom' in those conditions, meant being overpowered and with less control.)
Actually the W17 and Bravo have about the same Sail Area/Weight ratio with 1 person on board, but of course the W17 is substantially longer and even with just the cruise rig, is certainly a far more powerful and capable boat in those conditions—and that showed in the results.
Congratulations to Andrew and Rose, his crew.
Andrew reported that the boat felt very solid and that he thoroughly enjoyed his fast ride.
Footnote: The W17 was never created to really be 'a race boat'. It has comfort, space and relative dryness for great cruising and delightful pleasure sailing, but for sure, as soon as someone gets in one of these, they like the feel and control and just want to race and go faster. So now, there's a racing rig ;-) Owners will just have to develop the discipline to remember to reef sometimes!
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