Ben Kelly here,
Thanks to the whole Noakes team, plus Shaun, Josh, James, Peter and Andrew, we had a great sail and made a great team together!
I got to helm the boat at 35-36 knots which was awesome!
I saw 39 knots of boat speed at one point when Shaun had the helm, and 36-38 many times during the trip.
These boats are absolutely amazing, they where so far ahead of their time!
I just wanted to have a look at the best 24hr run we did as the 554nm was from the start and we where actually on the wind foir a couple of hours.
So using the lat/long info off the tracker I worked out the best straight line distance run to be 564.8nm.
When Josh has time we will get the actual best distance covered in 24hrs and I am guerssing it will be around 570-575 nautical miles.
My bucket list has one very large tick on it after that!
24hr Team Australia.jpg
G'day Ben thanks for posting, how did the boat handle? Was it oh wow were doing 39kts or oh fuck were all gonna die
Funny, I expected the boat to make the speeds feel like less, but at first doing 22-25knots a couple of hours out from th heads that felt crazy fast! because of the sea state and our high angle to the breeze. Then as we slowely cracked away into the night I got to experiance 25-30 knots, this is pretty full on in 4mtr waves and quite a violent action on the body that took some time to get used to. By early morning we where seeing up to 40 knots of wind and the speed sitting around 32 knots and every now and then with an insane burst of accelaration we would get a run on that would take us to 36-38 knots and then work its way back to around 32 again. I would say that whilst the high speeds are quite full on and the adrenilan is definately pumping the action of the boat improves by the time you are doing 35-40 knots, the motion almost turns into a vibation as the boat is simply abilterating what little water it is going through by then, it is one of the best felings I have ever experianced and I am sure the boats motion would change depending on the sea state you are going through and especially the angle to the breeze.
The best true wind angle seemed to be 115 degrees, at this angle in 30+ knots of wind the driving is easy, the boat behaves insanely well, she is bow up with 2/3 of the leward float out of the water and the centre hul in/out constantly. Unfortunatley we had the wind at around 80-90 for a big part of the leg across which just held us back a little from consistantly higher averages, basically if the top end of NZ had have been 100 milesfurther south I think we may have done 600+ nm for the 24hrs. You have to trust the foil when driving, on non foil boats you tend to have to run away with the pressure. With a foil that works so effectively when the power comes on and you are stairing the back of the next big growler you head up(if you react early enough), put more power into the boat, the bows rise as the boat accelerates and the foil works even more, then you get to the back of the wave in front and launch over it from behind as if it is a ramp, basically the best feeling ever!
The problem is at 80 degrees true you feel like coming up is a bad option and you feel like going down is bad so quite often you just hold your course and your nerve and let the boat do its thing! Give me the helm of that thing, 25-30knots of wind, 4-5 metres of swell 2 x reefs in the Main and the smallest HWJ jib and I would be in heaven! I miss it already..... All the best to the crew of the Coastal, I think they have the legs....