The first 12m offshore race boat designed by Rob Shaw, build by Craig Partridge Yachts.

Design Objective: to maximise the performance potential of a 12m offshore monohull, with the capacity to sleep a full crew and with a usable interior. This is a versatile boat, set up for high performance racing either short-handed or fully crewed, both harbour and offshore. Blink is built with racing in the infamous Cook Strait in mind, with robust construction and systems, foam core, and options chosen with the wisdom that 'to win you must first finish' in mind: twin rudders, twin hydraulic rams, and dual hydraulic keel power sources (electric and engine pumps).

Length: 12m / Sailing Displ: 4.1T (8 crew) / Empty Displ 3.6T / Draft: 3m / Keel Cant Angle: 50° / RM (max): 7,687 kg/m / Mast: 19.8m
Fixed prod: 1m / Retractable prod: 2.5m / SA up: 110m2, down: 268m2

Sail Number: 110011 / VHF Call Sign: ZMU2211
More details, interior pics, plans at bottom of page.

Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship

Race Results

Blink race results highlights
1st on elapsed time, Round North Island 2-handed 2014 (Rob Shaw and TW) and 2017 (VW and TW)
1st on Line, Round North Island 2-handed 2014 and 2017
1st PHRF Division 1, and 2nd IRC Division 1, Round North Island 2-handed 2017
1st in RPNYC 2014-2015 Offshore Series on Club, PHRF, and IRC
Season Champions RPNYC 2015-2016 PHRF and Line
New Zealand Design/Build Trophy (Muir Vonu Trophy) Auckland-Fiji Race 2016
Race record Kapiti-Chetwodes-Ship Cove 2015
Race record Cook Strait Classic 2015
Race record 2016 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race

First on Line:
Island Bay race Nov 2013*, Brothers Race Nov 2013*, Cook Strait Classic Dec 2013* (*beating Elliot 50 canter Ran Tan in all 3 of these races), Brothers Race 2014, Kapiti-Chetwodes 2015, Port Nich Regatta 2015 overall line honours, Alan Martin Series 2015, Cook Strait Classic 2015, Nelson Race 2016, RPNYC 2016 Season Div 1, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race 2016, Mana-Ship Cove 2016, Brothers Islands Race 2016, Round North Island 2-handed 2014 and 2017

24 November 2013

Two more sailing days ...

Last Wed night we had Ben Gladwell from Boating New Zealand magazine join us for a race as he wanted to review Blink, he'd also organised a chase boat with well-known local pro photographer Chris Coad.  Chris took some pics of the inside of the boat first, and then was in a chase boat for on-the-water pics.  Ben steered for almost all of the race, and we had a great time gybing down Evans Bay flying the A2.

Yesterday (Saturday) was the second race day of the Xmas series at RPNYC.  The forecast was 5 knots variable and the day was indeed glorious, still and hot in the morning, so we were quite comfy with only 6 people for harbour racing.  Then a sea breeze - which is pretty uncommon here - started up at 12-15 knots for the first race.  This was a short windward-leeward and I knew this wouldn't suit us well yet, we're still refining our furling technique and timing, and no decent chances to stretch our legs.  Add to that some minor nightmares, like a Div2 boat being right in our way where we wanted to start at the pin, and refusal of the A2 to unfurl quickly at top mark roundings (we got it sorted eventually, though, and learned a lot in the process), plus I horribly mis-estimated timing for both hoisting (underestimated) and furling (overestimated)... let's say our handicap would have improved and leave it at that.  We did, however, make a very good job of our general boat handling -- tacks, gybes, etc all pretty slick given how things were really quite busy on the short course.

Second race was a harbour course, more suited to us, but by this stage the breeze has started to get very light, and the whole Div 1 fleet were pretty much gybing through wide angles trying to keep speed on and all pretty close together.  We rounded the bottom mark and got the Code 0 hoisted, thinking that this would be just the thing... and then the breeze got up to 8 or so knots, then 10, then 12 ... so we took it down again.   Now using the light jib, we were gauging up on Ran Tan ahead of us  while the rest of the fleet had gone right.  they tacked away onto port near Somes island,  we decided to go a wee but further and got a 40° lift.  Not for long, but very very useful...  so we cleared Somes ahead of Ran Tan and kept our lead to the (shortened race) finish at Falcon Shoal.   Gunsmoke again.

17 November 2013

Nearly Woohoo Number Two

The forecasts for yesterday's race were wildly varied.  All seemed to agree on northerly or norwester, Metservice up to 30 knots, Predictwind 12-15, Windfinder & WindGuru 20ish gusting high 20s.  And varied is what we got.

We went out and put up the main planning to put a reef in.  Then we decided to go out and have a look at it.  It was OK with full main, high teens mostly, but with the occasional gust in high 20s and one of 30ish.  So we didn't reef.  Just before the start we didn't reef again, despite a few minutes of sustained high 20s, correctly anticipating that we'd be underpowered in the inevitable (relative) lull to follow.

Craig at the back of the Boat and Joerg at the front made a great job of calling the start at the pin, we absolutely nailed it, hit the line on the gun and in clear air we cleared out.  So at the first top mark we had a pretty useful lead, first by a hundred metres or so on Ran Tan and Revs.  Wedgetail, our other big Div 1 competitor apparently had a horror show, over at the start, then several gear failures had them abandoning.  Through the race they were seen to be without at headsail a couple of times, maybe headsail foil problems?
Update: Wedgetail was distracted by lost battens before the start, and broke 2 vectran halyards (jib, and then fractional that jib was re-hoisted on)

We got neatly around the mark, didn't have our kite ready but given how blustery it was, it didn't matter too much, speeds were reasonable even without a kite ...


We eventually hoisted and unfurled successfully ... we headed deep since we were only just above lay line for the next mark and wanted to avoid gybing, so with the apparent wind at about 120° - 140° weren't fully powered up, but again moving along nicely in the right direction


At this point we realise there's a bit of a problem.  The furling line has escaped from it's bungy restraint, come loose, and has fallen in the water, but not before wrapping itself around the furling drum and lower sail during the end of the unfurl.  A brief discussion resulted in a unanimous conclusion that this would make furling at the next mark (now not so far away, and approaching at circa 17 knots) quite difficult.

Joerg had stepped in as bowman, so now stepped up.

He attached himself to a halyard just in case of trouble and went out on the 1 metre long fixed prod.  That's not such a big deal - yes, there's the occasional sensation of being sprayed with a firehose and it's not really for the faint of heart, but there's a very sturdy bobstay to hook feet onto so you can stay upright.  It was the next bit that was really impressive, another 2.5 metres of thinner, very wet, just as slippery carbon tube, with quite literally nothing to hold on to.  In a gusty 20+ knot breeze.  With the boat still doing 10-15 knots and 80kg on the very very front end of the boat.


Things might have got very messy at this point, but they didn't.  A discussion from many months ago with Rob about the pros and cons of an even longer prod popped into my head, including one of the factors being how more weight at the front might not be so great.



So, that sorted, we furled the A5 _very_ early in case of trouble furling, and turned up towards the Somes Island mark.  The  next leg was across to Day's Bay and we thought it would be a broad reach.  We debated A3 vs A6, decided A3 just in case we needed to head higher.

 It turned out even the A3 wouldn't give us enough height, and we had trouble re-furling so sailed waaaay off course trying to get this down.   Huey organised another solid high-20-knot blast while we attempted this.  Which wasn't a great help.


At the end of the above clip is Ran Tan still heading up to the previous mark, gives an idea of how much lead we had here.  Eventually we got that furled and down too, but had to sail a few hundred metres pretty much upwind to the next mark.  We tacked soon after, again upwind to the mark north of Somes, still ahead but having lost about half of our lead.  The following beat was pretty uneventful except for being headed on the way to a rounding, trying to pinch to get around, and touching the mark.

We went into a 360 turn... didn't bother with the boards, gybed, carried lots of speed into a roundup.  we were so quick through this that the trimmers hadn't had a chance to trim on - but our boat speed was pretty good so I just flipped the boat through the wind and away we went back on course  That was a really quick 360 penalty, thanks mostly to the trick ('acumen' I think it's called) steering system controlling the independent angles of our twin rudders.

We knew there was a tight reach to the mark we thought we were rounding next.  So we 2-sail reached to it in the now pretty solid norwester.  Good speed, good angle, still some lead left, good times. Only it wasn't the right mark.  Ran Tan, now at a lower angle and powered up in more breeze away from the hills, were suddenly making up a lot of ground.  No worries, here comes the correct mark and we've not lost all of our lead.  We'll launch the A6 again, this time at a nice hot angle, in 25-30.  Here comes that really big ride we've been waiting for, we'll be gone in a blizzard of white water, yeehas and woohoos.  Probably a new Personal Best for Blink, probably high 20s boat speed.  Here we go ...

For the second time we were thwarted by a furling issue.  We didn't see why, but we think there was a contra-roll of the looser foot of the mostly furled sail as it started to unfurl spontaneously in the big breeze.  We struggled with it for ages, staying high so we'd be able to come down once the hyperdrive kicked in.  It didn't, and by the time we sorted things out we were badly positioned, Ran Tan overtook us, sailing a better angle in more breeze.  Getting close to the finish, and wind had backed off where we were, not enough pressure to get us out of second.  Except, wait, here's some...


As you'll see from the vid above, and here, we couldn't quite catch up again, so we ended up second on line, having given away a substantial lead.  Despite the suboptimal second half of the race, we were also, somehow, first on club handicap and second on PHRF.



And that big ride is something we are still looking forward to...

Thanks to Mark H for the great pics and video

12 November 2013

Video montage(s) from Brothers Race

Joerg has posted a great video from Blink on YouTube from our Brothers race last saturday (see previous blog entry below) ... I'll post it here as soon as I can find it via the Blogger upload feature.  In the meantime, here's the link

I've shamelessly grabbed some bits of it to add to the montage of clips I've made based on the time-lapse camera footage...  it's a mashed-together time lapse replayed at varying speeds, I'm still not utterly convinced it's a good idea.   The sped-up time lapse is a bit disconcerting.  But for those on board who wish to relive the race or for those watching wanting to know what conditions were like at varying points, well - it's all there.  It's just quite fast in places.


10 November 2013

Brothers Race -- Blink's First Offshore


People in Wellington last Saturday night could be forgiven for thinking that the fireworks in the harbour ...


... were something to do with Guy Fawkes night.  This conclusion was of course naively misguided, since Guy Fawkes was on the 5th of November, and a far more important event occurred on the 9th of November. This was Blink's first offshore, the Brothers Race, with Line Honours for the 12m Shaw design, with Rob himself on board. This was Rob's first sail on Blink except from a very light-airs inaugural outing in August.



Our offshore crew numbers are limited, so we could only take 9 people, and with Rob coming down some of our regulars had to stay behind, including Vesna with her arm in plaster.  Hence she was able to take the great off-the-boat pics.



 We'd had problems with our furling setup the night before the race,  the top-down ones in particular needing some fine-tuning, so we elected to free-fly the kites except of course for the Code 0.  As it turned out, the Code 0 off the line (that we, like almost everyone else, were very late for) was an excellent choice and we shot away from the rest of the fleet who stalled out in Oriental Bay's typical fickle southerly conditions.  Ran Tan started to catch us on the reach across Evans Bay, we carried our  C0 a bit far and they sneaked inside us 2-sail reaching.  Lead change number 1.



Then we started chipping away at Ran Tan's lead, eventually catching them and overtaking at Moaning Minnie.  Not only does Blink rip downwind, but it seems she goes upwind pretty well too.




 So we led Ran Tan out of the harbour.  Lead change number 2.


The tight reach along the south coast saw Ran Tan get forward on us to lead us around Sinclair Head. Lead change number 3. 


But then we got the Code 0 up again, and crept around Ran Tan again by the time we got to Karori light, lead change number 4.


They were north of us, however, so only needed to put a little extra speed on to pass us again.  Which they did.  Lead change number 5. 


We had our A2 up again by now, so got going downwind.  We gybed in towards Terawhiti, and out again and headed for the other side.  


We could see the compass bearing to Ran Tan decreasing as we regained the lead.  Change number 6.  We rounded the Brothers 12 minutes ahead of Ran Tan, and then dealt with the only tactical dilemma of the race.  
Craig had been running the weather and tide info, along with some very creatively produced guesses as offshore Shaw 12 polars, for a couple of days.  And the courses suggested seemed to alternate between heading straight back east, or putting a tack back in to the south after going a couple of miles on starboard tack from the Brothers.  So we did put a tack in.  Seemed like a very rational idea at the time.  And we probably didn't sail quite as low and fast as we should have on the way across after that.  So Ran Tan tacked off the North Island coast and crossed us on port by a few hundred metres.  Lead change number 7. 



But once back on the wind, we were back in the game, and then had the opportunity to lee-bow Ran Tan and force them back away from shore.  That paid off handsomely, lead change number 8, and we built up a pretty decent lead after that.  Then we got around the south coast as well as we could, Code 0 again between Sinclair and Minnie, then A2 into the harbour, pretty much all the way to the line.

Well, pretty much.  There was discussion about how to handle Kau bay with the Halswell finish bearing at the other end.  With plenty of east in the southerly, we'd hoped to carry the kite most of the way to the line.  As it turned out we needed to lose the kite about halfway across, as we got gusts coming from the southwest down the hill.  No problem if we'd had a furler attached, we didn't.  No problem if we could bear away, but we couldn't as there was a row of 5 tinnies all anchored and fishing exactly where we needed to go.  So: problem.  Kite in water, only bit of chaos in the whole race, within sight of the line.  We didn't catch any fish, but not for want to trying.  Apparently salt water is an excellent way of preventing mildew on sails, if so our A2 is mould-safe.

We didn't take many pics on the boat, but did run the time-lapse camera and will splice in some of the other video we took... to follow.

Island Bay Race


Short video clip and a pic taken by Paul from Wedgetail ...




3 November 2013

Island Bay Race - First Sniff of the Cook Strait


The RPNYC Island Bay Race was held on Saturday, 2nd November being an 18 or so miler.   This was Blink's first opportunity to turn right out of the harbour and have a little sniff of Cook Strait following her sea trials and early races in the confines of Welly Harbour.  We had gone out early with Booboo (Josh Tucker) from North Sails who had come down especially to sail with us and check our sail configuration, furlers, etc.

The start was a Mark Foy and Blink scored a fairly late start of 12.55pm with only Ran Tan and the Tri following us 5 minutes later.

The first leg was uphill to Korokoro giving us an opportunity to see what she could do in a fairly moderate breeze. She trucked her way up wind, slightly cracked off, averaging 9kts over ground

The breeze built as we rounded the Korokoro mark and a woop woop down leg followed.  Initially wind was mid teens, but then started blowing about 18 to mid-20s, we hoisted the A2 and Blink took off.   When you are pushing it in a gusty Wellington northerly with an A2 (200m2 of kite), you are bound to have a couple of lie downs (which we did) but she got up pretty quickly.  Most interesting one was near Barrett's reef, perhaps not the best place to have a nana nap.

With boat speed in the early 20s (we did 22 knots speed over ground a few times, with 2 knots of tide against us), we were sailing faster than the Bluebridge Ferry on the downhill.  There were many grins all round.  As we got to the Barrett's reef buoy, we had a bit of trouble getting the A2 furled up and were at danger of making fast passage to Antarctica.  We eventually dropped the kite conventionally and headed to the Island Bay marks.

The rest of the race was a reaching course around the mark, back to Barrett's Reef buoy and trucking it up wind for a final reach home finishing at the club house.  We passed enough boats and started to hunt a little pesky Shaw 650 (Magic Trick) who started earlier but just managed to beat us on line having had a glamour run, perfect conditions for them.

Blink was the fastest around the course beating Wedgetail (Welbourne 42), Ran Tan (50 footer canter), and the trimaran.  Magic Trick scored first and Blink second on general club and PHRF making it Shaw sweep.

It was a fabulous insight to what Blink is capable of and she absolutely loved both the uphill and down hill runs.  She is perfectly well balanced, easy to handle and makes her crew extremely happy.

It was awesome having Booboo on board and even more so given it was his birthday.  A few birthday beers flowed after the race to celebrate, and a clubroom full of RPNYC folks sang him a big happy birthday.

Next up: Brothers Race, first Cook Strait crossing, next Saturday.  Mr Shaw will be joining us for that one.