Monday, July 13, 2015

Update on DS15 "Bateleur"

Jim Foot launched his Didi Sport 15 (DS15) a few months ago. After initial photos and reports Jim went quiet. I suspect that he busied himself with regular sailing to learn the characteristics of his new boat, to understand how she likes to be handled in a range of conditions.

Today Jim has sent another report, detailing his sailing this past weekend. He sailed on Algoa Bay, off Port Elizabeth, sailing in sportboat mode with the lead bulb on the keel. Starting with light breezes, it rapidly changed to 35-40 knots, as happens pretty regularly in this part of the world. Unperturbed by the gale force conditions, Jim and his crew Thomas Ochabski put in a reef, left the big asymmetrical stowed in its bag and carried on sailing. Jim says that there was a keelboat in attendance in case of mishap, which gave him the bravado to carry on sailing.
DS15 "Bateleur" about to get wet for the first time.
 Here are extracts from Jim's own words about his experience with "Bateleur" in these conditions.

Beat back to harbour (from about 2 nm offshore) and then had a blast reaching around for about an hour or more.   Great fun.   Naah, understatement, awesome, awesome fun!

For the first time really felt that things were a step up on the speed stakes.   When I was building the boat I imagined a mini Volvo 60 with associated responsiveness and upwind speed. And this is what I felt the boat was achieving.

He promises some GoPro video by the end of the week.

And what about light wind speed? More words from Jim.

The other thing, the boat is incredibly fast in very light winds with weight forward. Everyone who has sailed her in light conditions (<6 kts) has remarked about this characteristic.  Thanks Dudley for a great design.

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