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Newbie hits the road...

1 March 2015 John Warlow

Road trip - we could almost get it on top!!
Wind turbine blade near Broken Hill. I could see three Etchells whirring around, no problem

"Road trip - we could almost get it on top!! Wind turbine blade near Broken Hill. I could see three Etchells whirring around, no problem"

Photo by:
John Warlow

Land Rat (AUS 1422) is the fifth and latest boat out of the new Australian mould and built by Phil Smidmore from Pacesetter Yachts.

Having now sailed the boat in two major regattas and also a handful of club races, I can confirm that it is performing above expectation.

While I think we are sailing better simply because everything is new, I know the boat, as compared with my previous boats, is definitely straight line faster downhill. Then when we are in the right gear, Land Rat is as fast as anyone uphill.

I think there has been a proper effort to get the weight out of the ends, resulting in a livelier boat that is much easier to drive, especially in heavy air. The new moulds have incorporated a much stronger hull to deck join, which makes the whole boat stiffer.

Phil has incorporated extra mouldings into the deck; including recessed jib tracks, Mainsheet traveller and jib controls, all as standard. There is also a new floorboard design, which is stiffer and incorporates under floor storage wells. We have also deleted the chock system and fitted the new mast ram lever and have been very pleased with the result.

The extra attention to detail in the construction of the hull and deck is very apparent throughout. The final fairness of the hull and foils out of the box is the best I have seen on a new Etchells and is a credit to the Pacesetter team. I am sure it is contributing to the extra performance.

The boats are the end result of many months of research to compare the finished hull forms and keel and rudder positioning of the three builders worldwide, the best features have been incorporated into the final hull design for these boats. Knowing this concerted effort was undertaken before commissioning the new moulds has resulted in an extremely fair hull form, which is proving to be very quick.

I am glad I made the commitment to the new boat and am looking forward to the next few years sailing in it.

John, David and Will at the Nationals, Adelaide

"John, David and Will at the Nationals, Adelaide"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,


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