Closing in on the Coastal
New America's Cup tricks are rubbing off on seasoned multihulls gunning for line honours in this year's Coastal Classic.
Roger Pagani's 15m catamaran Triple 888, and 11.6m Grainger cat Taeping, owned by Dave Andrews, have both undergone foil development programmes ready for the summer racing season.
They will sport asymmetric foils like those used on the America's Cup World Series AC45 cats. Taeping is said to have made a big leap in performance since trying out the foils.
That should put Triple 888 and Taeping into a closer battle for line honours in this year's 119 mile Auckland-Russell race, up against last year's out-and-out winner, TeamVodafoneSailing - which holds the race record of 5 hours 44 minutes.
In the battle of the small multihulls, look out for the brand new Katipo called Ninja, a 10m version of an SL33 cat designed by Brett Bakewell-White, and owned by Rodney Keenan, Richard Bearda, Pete Geary and John Miller.
Another newcomer to the race fleet, TP52 Kia Kaha, is expected to be at the sharp end of the monohulls. Formerly known as Valkyrie, Lexus and Bigamist, the boat was sailed by Russell Coutts in 2005.
Kia Kaha was imported from San Diego last year by well-known Opua sailors Chris and Manuela Hornell, who previously owned Coastal contenders REVS and Blue Dude.
Other monohulls likely to contest the top places are TP52 V5 and Wired, the stand-out boat in this year's SSANZ Simrad series.
The New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club Coastal Classic starts off Devonport Wharf on Friday October 19, at 10am, and finishes off Russell Wharf in the Bay of Islands.