The New Hand
, as the crew likes to refer to Frank Slootman's Judel/Vrolijk designed Cookson built, Pac52' Invisible Hand
just completed her 1st regatta over the weekend, The Richmond Yacht Club's Big Daddy Regatta. See report on Saturdays Buoy Event
Sailing conservatively, Frank and crew managed to get the boat around the cans successfully enough to claim 1st in PHRF on Saturday and then would go onto finish 2nd in Sunday's Pursuit Race.
We caught up with Frank Saturday Night to get his feedback on how the program was going thus far:
PD: Your 1st day with real competition on the water, as opposed to the previous training days, how does the "New Hand" compare to previous
yachts you have competed on?
FS: "The boat has a lot of raw speed, especially off the wind, it takes off like a scalded cat! That said, she is well behaved sailing through gybes in 18-20 its. without any drama, and the boat has a lot of directional stability on all points of sails, like she’s on rails."
PD: Despite the -102 PHRF, The New Hand still managed to pull off a 4,1,1 and 1st place in handicap in PHRF A, today, and in the 2 races that were longer (4 Miles vs 2), with a bit more breeze, the boat left the entire fleet, WAY behind, with plenty to spare. Does the outright speed of the boat comparatively, exceed your expectations?
FS:"We didn’t know what to expect on handicap as that wasn’t today’s objective. We just wanted to sail around the cans hard and push the boat through its paces. The boat has a bit of a learning curve so today was a nice opportunity to do just that. The breeze getting up in the afternoon and a longer race course benefited us on handicap."
PD) The crew is still developing and on a steep learning curve with the boat, yet it all seemed to go SO easy today, with near flawless sets, douses, gybes and roundings. Can you visualize things getting even tighter?
FS) We have a ways to go in that department, we just got started, but we were pleased with the crew work today. We were doing string drops for the first time today.
PD: One more race tomorrow, The Big Daddy Pursuit, before the boat moves south for a couple months of head to head competition with RIO, FOX, and BadPak in the Yachting Cup, Offshore One Design Championship and Long Beach Sail Week, followed by the Transpac then 2 events in San Francisco, Big Boat Series and Pac 52 Championships. The West Coast Grand Prix movement has just received a huge shot in the arm, what advice would you share with potential owners that might be sitting on the fence?
FS:"The great thing is that it is not necessary to build a brand new boat to sail in the class. Recent vintage TP52 hulls can be augmented in terms of rig and appendages and become a class legal Pac52! We will be sailing Transpac this year along with our equally brand new sister ship Badpak (out of San Diego), so this design is also a classic West coast off shore play. Get the best of very competitive in shore buoy racing as well as long distance off shore!"
Sundays Pursuit Race, The New Hand reels in all boats aside from Colin Moore on his Wylie Wabbit Kwazy to take 2nd!
Brent Ruhne, bowman for weekend
"Started in 6-8, max was maybe 12-14 around the rock, I think it took us a little over an hour, we owed the Wabbit 40 minutes and they beat us by less than 5..... the edge of Alcatraz looked like the Colorado river, it was ripping! (Ebb) the boat is awesome, a solid package the hopefully will get some other owners off the fence and into a reasonable grand prix racer that uses off the shelf parts. We will have 4 racing this year, it would be so cool to have 4 more! Frank is a really nice guy, I met him for the first time this weekend, and he is really stoked about his new whip!"
John Hayes: Grinder
"Start was 1:18 after a postponement, we went clockwise started with a light breeze with a steady build to 14 plus, clocking right 30 degrees. met up with Elvis on the west side of Alcatraz going the other way. Boat reaches like a monster, 15kts with jib cracked off going to Angel. Raccoon was pretty hectic getting thru all the traffic, Frank did a great job on the helm with all the info coming his way. punched out of there with about 10 boats ahead of us to the finish and went to work. Good weekend training really." ~John
The New Hand is currently back on the hard getting ready for delivery to Southern California where she will meet up with the other Pac52's, RIO, Bad Pak and FOX.
While there, all boats will be measured and readied for the start of a very busy One Design Season:
SDYC / MAY 5-7, 2017
OFFSHORE ONE DESIGN CHAMPIONSHIP
NHYC / JUN 9-11, 2017
LONG BEACH RACE WEEK
LBYC & ABYC / JUN 23-25, 2017
ROLEX BIG BOAT SERIES
STFYC / SEP 14-17, 2017
STFYC / SEP 29-1, 2017
In addition, Bad Pak and Invisible Hand are sailing in the Transpac!
A full gallery of Pac52 Invisible Hand's Racing debut HERE
The Pac52 Class website can be found at http://pac52class.com/