S-22 JAGUAR WINS BAY TO BAY (Unofficially)
The 2016 Queensland premier trailer boat race and one of Australia's largest, was keenly contested with mono hulls, catamarans and trimarans, a total of 130 boats. Departing Tin Can Bay, anchoring overnight at Gary's Anchorage Fraser Island, then finishing at Hervey Bay on Sunday 1st May a total of 81km. This year, the Sunday racing was cancelled due to no wind, the first time in 36 years.
This was Jaguars FIRST RACE, other than a one off local race with only one multihull participating 4 months previous. As I have been overseas for the past 3 months Jaguar had a one day practice sail on the day before the big race. My crew Gary Harding, a seasoned and talented racing sailor, had Jaguar sailing (smoking) hard to windward at 18 knots in Tin Can Bay. Gary was yelling out for more wind, while I, white knuckled, held onto the sheet lines.
Gary commented that he had never before experienced such speed and “GET UP AND GO” as Jaguar beat to windward. The windward hull was still partially in the water so Jaguar still had a bit in reserve! We were quietly confident of a good showing in the race come Saturday morning. Our division, Division 5 Class 4 (Sport Multihulls), was the last to start.
5 minutes before the start the wind picked up and Jaguar leapt forward, then a gut wrenching noise as the forestay let go! The back shrouds were flopping in the wind as the mast leaned back. Within a couple of seconds I furled the jib and dumped the mainsail. Upon close inspection the forestay, which is inside the jib luff sleeve, had come apart and the only thing holding the mast up was a couple of light weight rope bindings which tension the luff. I secured the screecher halyard around the bow pole and with Gary's insistence he attempted to jury rig the forestay. I was skeptical but now I understand why Gary is a legend in the racing circle.
Gary performed a brilliant repair under great difficulty balanced on the pointy end of the center pod, after that we had to re tighten the back shrouds and then finally head for the starting line. I had sent a radio message to race control and they waited for us to cross the start line 35 MINUTES after our division’s starting time. After studying the race results and then factor in our delayed start we actually beat all 129 boats on handicap. The race included 13 farriers from OSTAC Tramp, 22R, 24, 82R and 33 also the three Corsairs Sprint 750, Dash 750 and 28. Jaguar's handicap was raised at the last minute to 0.780 (the farrier 22 R which is a comparable boat, but with a larger rig and sail plan, was rated at 0.790) so this was a fair rating for S-22 Jaguar.
My assessment of Jaguar's performance so far is that - light wind performance is average due to the extra drag on the wing canards but given some decent wind the acceleration is mind boggling and ease of hulls through the water is outstanding with hull depression stopping at the hard chine, as designed. Tacking is quick and positive due to the Hi Aspect center board in the center pod, where it works best, and has the advantage of auto kick up.
Jaguar S-22 is the NEW cat on the block which is turning heads and is finally showing its pedigree and now a PROVEN RACE WINNER, beat “The Boat Works” an all-out fully carbon fiber 30’ Grainger racing cat, ex Indian Chief, with a quality crew skippered by Julian Griffith. The main difference between Jaguar and The Boat Works, mine costs $55,000 and the other around $200, 000 plus, also it takes 5 men nearly half a day to set up to launch.