North Sails NEWS
Accomplished One Design sailors Phil and Wendy Lotz have embarked on a new project: a liveaboard multhull. We caught up with them after their first two regattas on their new Gunboat 60 Arethusa.
The Fort Lauderdale-Key West Race is considered a feeder race for Key West Race Week, and in 2016 it was also the shakedown event for the Gunboat 60 Arethusa and her owners Phil and Wendy Lotz. According to Phil, the 160-mile sprint down the Keys was a great way to figure out their new offshore catamaran. “We got a chance to put the boat through its paces, on all points of sail and in varying wind conditions.”
Once they arrived in Key West, they made the transition to day racing, even though “it is not really a ‘round the buoys’ boat.” And that was actually a nice plus in a location where housing costs are typically a large part of the team budget: “We lived on her at Key West and plan on doing so at all our race events.”
Arethusa raced with 8-10 crew (though only six stayed aboard), and they’re still settling into an exact number for the team. “We think 8 to 9 (depending on skill set) is needed for day racing with any frequency of turning marks or sail changes.”
Transferring racing skills from offshore one design monohulls like the Swan 42 class, where Phil and Wendy were national and KWRW champions, required several adjustments. “The rig is very powerful, so we are getting used to the rig and the sails and how to handle them.”
And then there’s the high speed. “That takes a little getting used to, especially approaching maneuvers and sail changes.”
The couple’s favorite sail is the A4, which is launched from a snuffer. “it is a very large chute so the snuffer helps control the sail. Plus it would be very hard to pack as the sail is bigger than the working space onboard.” And during the weeklong race series, “we used almost everything—we really think the inventory is great and found a real need for every sail.”
Arethusa is equipped with North Sails 3Di ENDURANCETM working sails (Main, J1, J2), North Sails NPL DOWNWINDTM R1 and R3, and an NPC DOWNWINDTM A4.
The original plan was to head from Key West to the Caribbean for the racing season there, but instead Phil and Wendy have decided to spend the winter/spring in Fort Lauderdale, to “get the boat perfect.” Phil added, “We look forward to finishing up the work list early to mid-March and conducting some sea trials off Lauderdale.”
After that, the racer-cruiser benefits of their new boat will again be a plus. “We want to do some cruising in the Bahamas in late April before returning back to Newport late May.” Summer racing plans include Annapolis-Newport, NYYC Race Week, the NYYC Cruise, and the Vineyard Race. So by next year’s Lauderdale-Key West Race, the new Arethusa will definitely be a racing veteran.