Speedweek '97

Portland Harbour, Dorset
27 September-3 October, 1997

Here are the boats which ran this year and recent years past, at Portland:

Comments are by Robert Downhill and Dave Culp

John Lindley, the main Hobie dealer in Poole turned up with a TriFoiler. This of course being the production version of Greg Kettermans Longshot. His best official speed of 8.27 knots was achieved with one foil struggling to get the float clear of the water. However its potential is very apparent as fluctuctions in the wind speed produced startling changes in the forward speed. The boat responds to the conditions and I suspect provides an exciting ride in anything over 15 knots of wind. The most we measured all week was 11 knots and that was the peak of a gust or was it a zephyr?


Neils Haabosch's Aeroskimmer sported a large wing, mounted on a bi-pod which was held up by stays. The wing pivotted on the top of the bi-pod with its angle of incidence being modified by lines to the wingtips. As everything moved I assumed it would be difficult to sail but this was not the case and the boat put in a creditable speed of 13.53 knots, making it second fastest for the week. It wouldbe interesting to see this in 20 knots of wind!
Here is a page of photos of this boat, including while tacking, plus a synopsis of its designers' presentation at the midweek evening seminar. Here's a direct link to Aeroskimmer's web site.

Spirit of CatalinaBob Quinton of Suffolk with Catalina, a catamaran with an over-the-top wingsail. Controlled by a tail section, she is reminiscent of Cristopher Hook's work from the early 1960's and also the Walker Wingsail commercially built catamarans. Here's another pic of the boat.
Catalina is a standard catamaran with a wing mounted on a
centrally located mast. The incidence of the wing is controlled by an adjustable trim tab mounted aft of the trailing edge on a boom. This boat is also very control-lable but I think it could do with a little more wing area hence its best speed of 4.44 knots.
The sail is called "Skean-Dhu" (UK Patent No 9109807.9). It controls an asymmetric underwater hydrofoil, to counteract the side force.

Tri Fly

This boat has been described as a much altered version of Fred Ball's Tri Fly. Can anybody confirm/deny this? Tri Fly sailed, in 1997, with both a wishbone rig, and also as a bi-plane rigged boat. If this is Tri Fly, in 1997, what boat and on what date is above?

Fred Ball brought the much modified tri-Fly, although I suspect Tony Blofeld would not recognise it now, with two different rigs. One was a largish wishbone stiffened sail centrally mounted and the other two slightly smaller one mounted on each side of the leading hulls of the trimaran configuration. Again little wind produced a best speed of 3.67 knots.

Speedsailing measurement gear

This is a shot of the complete kit for the Joddy box timing system. The key pads are located on the boats at each end of the course feeding through decoders in the clubhouse and on to the com ports on the laptop. Data transmitted being start or finish, wind speed and sail number. This information feeds directly to the timing program for later retrieval. It really is quite impressive.

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