Black Jack, Nose Job Arse Lift

terrafirma

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From Anarchist David: Can't see a thread on the pending BJ mods? If this is the case certainly interesting times for the 100 fleet.

Well, consider the photo above, taken of the veteran 100-footer Black Jack before the start of the last Sydney-Hobart race. If word on the waterfront is right, that section of hull is just about all that will be left of the old Reichel-Pugh after the radical mods being planned for its bow and stern.

It’s not as if this 14-year-old supermaxi is slow. Originally built for Neville “Croaky” Crichton in 2005 and campaigned as Alfa Romeo, she beat Wild Oats XI for line honours in the 2009 Hobart race before being sold and raced in the Northern Hemisphere as Europa.

Brought back to Australia by Queensland property mogul Peter Harburg, the 100-footer was refurbished and re-named Black Jack after the late Australian Grand Prix motor racing champion, Jack Brabham.

Meanwhile, in late 2015, WOXI – a virtually identical Reichel-Pugh – underwent extensive plastic surgery. In an attempt to match the off-wind speed of Comancheand reduce the supermaxi’s nose-diving, six feet was lopped off the stern and nearly 40 feet removed ahead of the mast. A complete new – and longer – bow section was then fitted. In effect, this moved the mast aft to the middle of the boat.

But controversy remains about another feature of those Wild Oats renovations. The bowsprit was grafted into a newly curved stem profile, much like a traditional clipper bow. Many commentators at the time believed this broke a number of rules, including those that govern maximum LOA for the Hobart race, the limits of the “working deck” area and the requirement that a spar such as a bowsprit should be detachable.

With far less radical modifications, Black Jack then proved herself to still be competitive at the front of the fleet. She was always ‘there or thereabouts’, matching Wild Oats in most conditions and sometimes sailing slightly quicker in light-to-moderate air. She was leading the 2018 Sydney-Hobart and might well have won but for some unlucky holes and shifts rounding Tasman Island on the final day.

But it seems there are now major changes underway for Black Jack. Perhaps ironically, it is the bowsprit that may have given us the first hint. While the yacht and crew were in Queensland trying to break their own elapsed time record for the Brisbane to Gladstone race, a specialist carbon fabrication shop in Sydney was commissioned to make Black Jack a new bowsprit.

Why would she need that? Well, news has leaked that McConaghy’s, the boat builders who made both Alfa Romeo and WOXI, are constructing not just a whole new for’d section for Black Jack, but a broadened aft section as well. It seems that owner Peter Harburg wants to have the combined advantages a wider stern, and a mast position that puts the boat’s centre of effort in the most efficient place. Only the middle section of the hull – and the deck layout – is likely to survive.

Those mods will cost millions. Is there no end to the determination of some millionaires who can’t be happy until they’ve won Sydney-Hobart line honours? And the added spice to this unfolding saga is that Harburg was the owner who first raised the issue of Wild Oats XI not transmitting from its AIS during the 2018 race. He didn’t protest, but there’s little doubt the manner of that loss still rankles with him.

As the old proverb goes, “revenge is a meal best served cold”.   

black-jack.jpg

 

SCANAS

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A huge effort by the BJ team, tho they probably should have done this 5yrs ago. Leaving LH trophy hunting pretty late ... 

 

terrafirma

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A huge effort by the BJ team, tho they probably should have done this 5yrs ago. Leaving LH trophy hunting pretty late ... 
Narrows the field really considering Oats defeating Comanche of late. BJ will end up with more beam than Oats and hull form stability you'd think. 

 

SCANAS

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Narrows the field really considering Oats defeating Comanche of late. BJ will end up with more beam than Oats and hull form stability you'd think. 
I meant OATS has been doing it for 14yrs now. Perhaps the owner should have skipped the 70 & went straight to a 100. 

 

terrafirma

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who is designing it? kudos to dropping a few mil.
Would be interesting to know? Did we ever know who designed the Oats mods? Interesting re the bowspirit comments on Oats basically saying it has increased the LOA and therefore broken the 100' limit. 

 
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terrafirma

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RP have designed both BJ and WOXI's mods with Steve Quigley also involved with Oats
Cheers Jack makes sense. I wonder if the small amount of extra beam BJ has will help with her hull form stability in broad reaching conditions? This is the one area they can't touch Comanche but so far we never seem to get those conditions for too long. 

 

jack_sparrow

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The last edition in particular really sealed it for BJ doing a WOXI style mod as simply head to head with WOXI she struggled at nearly every TWA and TWS. Commanche really wasn't a factor as that race had two anomalies, a favourable TWA when things went light and a quiet sea state kept her in the game in addition to some very slick sailing.

The simple fact of life is the S2H is like no other 600 miler weather variability and sea state wise where without a purpose built platform your are going to struggle in all but the occasional year in a big boat. The S2H is probably the most least suitable race for Commanche on planet earth. Elsewhere arguably she is unbeatable.

 
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SCANAS

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Would be interesting to know? Did we ever know who designed the Oats mods? Interesting re the bowspirit comments on Oats basically saying it has increased the LOA and therefore broken the 100' limit. 
That was put to bed before the 2015 SH mate. Bowsprit = ok

 

terrafirma

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The last edition in particular really sealed it for BJ doing a WOXI style mod as simply head to head with WOXI she struggled at nearly every TWA and TWS. Commanche really wasn't a factor as that race had two anomalies, a favourable TWA when things went light and a quiet sea state kept her in the game in addition to some very slick sailing.

The simple fact of life is the S2H is like no other 600 miler weather variability and sea state wise where without a purpose built platform your are going to struggle in all but the occasional year in a big boat. The S2H is probably the most least suitable race for Commanche on planet earth. Elsewhere arguably she is unbeatable.
I wonder if Jim Cooney received this advice prior to purchasing Comanche? If she doesn't win this year Jack you have to wonder where the boat will end up?

 

jack_sparrow

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I wonder if Jim Cooney received this advice prior to purchasing Comanche? 
Terra I don't know JC other than a hullo but from what I gather and seen he is probably more atune to Comanche's strengths and weaknesses than the guy who sunk all that money into building her. Albeit his motivation was more than just LH by going un-powered to go record chasing. JC's post purchase program underpins that and one I was sceptical of and proved wrong this last S2H outing. He wringed everything he had out of what he had. Furthermore I'm sure he will get a better return in the dollar when and if he ever sells her, where ever she ends up.

However the realities of life are we probably won't see ever again a boat like Comanche ever built again until someone works out how to make a 30+ tonne (dry) boat foil. Don't hold your breath.

That then begs the question being is Commanche the next one in line for a major "cut and shunt" like WOXI and now BJ? I think not as they are both 15 year old designs now playing "hull form" and "mast/power location" and righting moment catchup. Comanche is already largely there but not suited to average S2H conditions. Those are also two big boats as an aberatation and world wide statistical imbalance in terms of ownership and fiscal ability to spend on one race, just the S2H.

Australia while lauding it is the world wide home of the 100', in reality it is like some cult trying to keep Dinosaurs alive. It reminds me of the early 90's when the Maxi Class imploded.

The future and those like @Andrew Buckland looking to break the "100' glass ceiling" are to be applauded and should be given every encouragement chasing that current sub 10 tonne dry and smaller boat to take LH. However my fear is the Dinosaurs at both big boat ownership and Race Organiser level in Australia, they will put up every road block up they can to support their investment in old bones and just make Australia even more irrelevant. That is even before you broach the SH and Multi hate club.



Australian offshore sailing fell off the mantelpiece decades ago, the penny it seems takes a long time to drop for some.




 
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terrafirma

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Cheers Jack. We know Jim will campaign Comanche as well as possible so for now the 100' fleet are living dinosaurs. If Jim agrees Jack perhaps he will be the one to buy Hugo Boss for a shot at the Hobart. Beg's the question could the current HB get to Hobart before the 100's.? 

 

jack_sparrow

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Beg's the question could the current HB get to Hobart before the 100's.? 
According to @Andrew Buckland in that vid based on VPP even with the race course backend soft stuff that happened, yes HB at 60' even with no rudder T's would have been first over the line.

 
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