A Sprint 750 MKII‚ Tri Maiden‘ scored 12th position in a field of 244 starters at the Silver Rudder 2015 – Challenge of the Sea
I took part at Silver Rudder 2015 boat race around Fyn – a nice Danish island in the Baltic Sea.
It is the world’s biggest single handed offshore regatta. 330 boats of all kinds from small A-Cat to 45 foot racing yachts had been registered, but only 244 showed up at the starting line.
The task was, to sail around the tiny island, which in fact turned out to be not really tiny.
The slogan of the regatta says: 134 nautical miles round the island of Funen – alone against the elements.
This was very true for the day of racing. Weather forecast told us about strong winds of about 20 knots and gusts of 30 knots.
At this point my boat and me come into the scene: the Corsair Sprint 750 MK II ‚Tri Maiden‘, which I have learned to love in light wind breezes of my home yard on small lake Starnberg in Bavaria / Germany. Her cruising sails and alloy mast gave a bit of an optical contrast to all the foil sails and carbon gear at the boats around.
And me, a halfway ambitious family and regatta sailor on various small boats, but always on small lakes, mostly at flat winds, and never confronted with something you may call ‚waves‘.
So here we are at the starting line fighting to control the boat in the gusts of the pre start phase.
I was a little bit frightened. But as the show started, it went surprisingly easy. Even sailing very conservatively with the first reef in the main sail and the small jib only, Tri Maiden sprinted up and away.
My sail setup went out to be a good idea. When I just left the sound, heading towards the big belt, I passed Jakob Madssen standing on the beam of his capsized Dragonfly 28 Sport.
As he told me after the race, he started with full blown main sail and set the genaker. In this configuration it was a bad combination when a mighty gust from behind hit the tri, just pointing her nose down into solid wave – full throttle deep sea mission…
Tri Maiden surfed with ease through the waves. Even when her nose ploughed deep into the sea, a moment later she came back up with a rush again. The leeward ama sometimes reminded me of the TV dolphin Flipper, diving and emerging again.
It was a pleasure to glide with double digit knots many times constantly without even 1 impression of unsecure operation. This boat is really cool.
During the first passage – a half wind reach – I overtook about 150 other ships, mostly monohulls of any kind (they have been started sequentially separated in different size classes hours before).
The biggest surprise came to me when I had to leave the sheltered half wind part and got to manage all the upwind tack stuff on open water north of Fyn.
To my surprise I had no problem to run the same VMG, as the best of the remaining monohulls up there.
Even if they produced smaller tacking angles, speed was my argument in response.
Back in the sheltered, but narrow sound of Middelfart it was night – pitch black, no moon to spend a minimum amount of light.
Tri maiden and me come to rest, meaning 6-7 knots of push into the black nothing. Here and there some navigational lights gave a riddle of where my geografic position is – the answer was delivered from the plotter app on my tablet.
Short flush of adrenalin as a red light flashed on just about 30ft. aside – and moving!
I went aware of it being just another small ship, which obviously was not equipped with enough battery capacity, to cover a whole night of full current drain for the lights.
After some time of getting more confidence in the mode ‘sailing blindly’, it was time to set the screacher in the calming winds approaching the Svendburg sound. On the last nautical miles, the remaining wind came flat from behind. This led to heavy gybing with screacher in the narrow sound waters.
In the end, crossing the finish line, the relieving beep sign sounded. After about 150 nm and 19 hours, 11 minutes I finally ranked in 12th position. Only 1 monohull ship was faster than me.
All the faster multihulls have been piloted by very experienced or even professional sea sailors.
At the end of the day, there are 2 things to remark:
1) The Sprint 750 MK II is a wonderful boat, quick and structurally stable, easy to go. A good friend for the fast rush, but as well a stable partner for the long run. You merely can feel the experience of many years of craftsmanship at Corsair Marine. Many thanks to the guys, who built this clean sprint machine!
2) If you ever consider to sail singlehanded in the area, then join the Silver Rudder / Challenge of the Seas – it is worthwhile.
A big hug to Uschi, my patient wife. With her assistance she simply formed the base for my little adventure, never admitting she had less fun than me.
Special regards to Werner Stolz, who made trimaran addicts out of Uschi and me.
Best regards to the trimaran community,
For more info on the boat race check out the following links: