Multihull Morticia back in black for Pittwater to Coffs Yacht Race
SHAUN CARROLL's black beauty Morticia will be returning as a starter in the 2015 Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club's annual Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Yacht Race.
One of Australia's most-travelled multihulls, Morticia arrives off the back of a busy 18-month circuit to defend her PHS multihull overall win.
Morticia put 20,000 kilometres on the odometer as she went from event to event between Queensland and South Australia, and then followed up with New Zealand's Coastal Classic - a race that skipper Chris Williams affectionately calls a "drag strip derby".
Shaun and Chris have spent the last two years cutting down sail area on the Sea Cart 30, so it better suits the Australian-adopted Offshore Multihull Rule - however, the plan cost them in the arbitrarily handicapped Coastal Classic which runs from Auckland to Russell along the North Island's eastern fringe.
"Over there, when you can't get your multi to go fast enough, you put a bigger rig in and big carbon or aluminium racks out the side, like an 18-foot skiff," Chris said.
"In New Zealand, it's about being the person brave enough to glue extra bits on and put the most sail up. It's like a drag strip derby. There's horsepower to burn!"
Chris said it was a great experience that lasted eight hours and 12 minutes.
"As I said to Shaun, it would be the most expensive 119 miles we've ever done, but it's given us a new lease on life when it comes to the boat."
"The Kiwis really know how to sail their multihulls."
Chris said it would be great if Australia adopted the same attitude to multihull racing.
"Over there, the two fleets have kissed and made up. The Coastal Classic is largest yacht race in New Zealand; it's run by the New Zealand Multihull Club, and they invite monohulls to enter."
"A few Australian yacht clubs could take notice."
It's been a fun experience, Chris said.
"We've laughed a lot, drunk a lot of beer and had some success. The sweetest was defending our national multihull championship title at Port Lincoln in January."
Two of Morticia's crew for the Pittwater to Coffs race are qualified sail makers - and all are good at talking underwater.
The requirement for the Cat 2 race is five crew, though Morticia prefers less weight. At just over 900 kilograms suited up and ready to go, the tri is very light and agile - and tippy.
"Once you know its limitations, you sail it accordingly."
"It's an underwater experience 24/7. We all end up rather pruney, but we are never out there that long."
Eligible multihulls are invited to compete in the race, which begins at 1pm on January 2 just north of Barrenjoey Headland.
The Notice of Race and entry is available at www.pittwater tocoffs.com.au, with applications closing on December 5. Club Marine, Australia's largest provider of pleasure craft insurance, will be the title sponsor for the third year.