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North Sails NEWS

May 2, 2017

A year after it first arrived in New Zealand, FB35 Young Guns shows its true colors, winning their division at the recent Jack Tar regatta in Auckland

© Ivor Wilkins / Offshore Images

A year after it first arrived in New Zealand, FB35 Young Guns has finally had the chance to show its true colors on the water, winning the B division at the recent Jack Tar regatta in Auckland, New Zealand.

The bright blue 10.7 m carbon fixed-keel finished second in line honors in its division, to Ker 40 Icebreaker, but won on PHRF and general handicap in only it’s third major competitive outing here. Matt Steven of North Sails, who sailed on the boat since its New Zealand debut at last year’s Jack Tar, says due to the owner’s other commitments the boat has seen little use over the past year.

“We did the Jack Tar last year as its first regatta, and after that, we didn’t do much,” Steven says. “However, this year we have learned to sail the boat a lot better and seen some huge improvements. We’ve done lots of rig tuning and learning about which sails we need to use in what ranges.”

The shakedown for the Jack Tar was Bay of Islands Sailing Week in January. With little practice as a team, they finished sixth on PHRF and general handicap against many of the same foes as in Auckland, so we’re very pleased with their big improvement in March. “The biggest things we learned were done while sailing up the Bay, and we came out for the Jack Tar knowing what we needed to do,” says Steven. He said Young Guns, designed by Australian Fred Barrett and built by Van Munster Boats north of Sydney, is exciting to sail. “The boat is really powered up. It’s got huge gennakers relative to its size — about 260 square meters of sail area downwind — and a four-meter prod, which is pretty extreme. It’s certainly been designed and tuned for maximum horsepower.”

“The boat also has a 51.3 square meter, square-top North 3DL mainsail, and 3DL number one and two jibs. A new paneled laminate number four was added in time for this year’s Jack Tar. We used it for the first time during the regatta and it was very quick.”

With the aim of a strong performance in the Coastal Classic in October, a fractional code zero will probably be the next addition. “It’s hard to sail any kind of hotter angles with a gennaker, so a FRO would be really useful for coastal racing. It’s probably the last sail the boat needs to have a complete wardrobe.’ The first day of the Jack Tar regatta was sailed in light conditions of around 5–12 knots, but on the second day, plenty of breeze kept the crew on their toes.

“That was the kind of conditions where we came unstuck last year, but this year with some much-improved crew work, we could really discover the potential of the boat and its sails.”

Young Guns had a consistent series, giving them a clear victory in PHRF ahead of line-honors winner Icebreaker, also running a North wardrobe. In the big boat division of the regatta, North Sails also featured on Ran Tan II, which won on PHRF with a new 3Di main and jib, and TP52 Mayhem, which won line honors.

© Ivor Wilkins / Offshore Images