Kwok defends Hamilton Island Race Week title with new TP52 build, Beau Geste
As many unwind after another spectacular Hamilton Island Race Week, race crews are already gearing up for their next quest. The regatta announced four winners after the the highly competitive event wrapped last Saturday. Karl Kwok’s new IRC optimized TP52 Beau Geste won IRC A with six points to spare, ahead of Matt Allen’s TP52 Ichi Ban and Geoff Boettcher’s TP52 Secret Men’s Business. The new build was a sight to see for onlookers at Hamilton Island, and her performance did not disappoint.
“Winning Hamilton Island is special; I think this is the toughest event with the greatest range of conditions. The best boats in Australia come to it; there are no pushovers here. To win this you have to be a well rounded team with a well rounded boat,” said Gavin Brady, sailing master on Beau Geste.
For the Beau Geste crew, starting Day 1 at Hamilton Island with ‘all systems go’ was a feat in itself. Having launched the boat July 1st, they sailed two test days in Auckland with 25 knot conditions before packing the program up for AUS. Luckily, good work was done ahead of time, leaving very little to adjust once the boat was sailing. From a sails perspective, North Sails designer Magnus Doole worked in tandem with Steve Wilson at Southern Spars to create a cohesive engine above the deck.
“Beau Geste is exceptional because the project started with an established design from Botin Partners coupled with a custom structure from Pure Design, allowing us to optimize the set up for IRC from the beginning. The rig is taller than a standard TP52 and the boom is lower. With a high potential for sail area and a deeper fin, the result is a nice increase in righting moment,” said Doole, who has designed sails for the team since 2011.
Doole has spent four years developing the IRC TP52 sail inventory; most of this work was put into the sails on Jim Swartz’s Vesper from 2011-2015. “A lot of the lessons we learned with Vesper were transitioned straight to Beau Geste,” said Doole. “We put a lot into optimizing the mainsail for a wide range, and searching for sweet spots around the rule. Its all about finding the best balance between rating and boat speed.”
Now one-for-one on regatta wins, the Beau Geste crew look forward to the IRC Championship in New Zealand. “The crew have given positive feedback on the 3Di sails, their first set of North Sails 3Di RAW. We are thrilled the boat sailed well at it’s first event and will be following closely as they take on the next challenge,” Doole concluded.