ANTIGUA SAILING WEEK PROVES FOILING CONCEPT AS GUNBOATS CAPTURE GOLD AND SILVER
Wednesday 6th May 2015
With just one result all week lower than a first-place, Eduardo Perez's Timbalero 3 may have locked up the victory in Antigua Sailing Week's Multihull Racing division by the end of the previous day, but they weren't about to miss a single day of sailing for the all-new Gunboat G4. It's a good thing they didn't pull the plug early - the final race of the week on Friday provided some of the best sailing conditions they'd yet seen. "We saw 20 knots out there for the first time this week, and the G4 was absolutely lit up," said bowman Chris Bailet. "It was full firehose on the bow, but it always amazes me how rock solid the boat is at speed."
While second-place Toccata stayed ashore for a day of R&R and preparation for their cruise back to the US Northeast, Timbalero 3 showed their extra speed - and their transoms - to remaining Multihull Racing division competitors Fat Cat and Bobby Dazzler. The G4 foiled her way to a finish nearly 40 minutes faster than the 80' cat and more than an hour faster than the new Dragonfly 28 - on a course the Gunboat finished in less than 1:40.
Gunboat founder and CEO Peter Johnstone said that the team had accomplished everything they came to do with the revolutionary new prototype - and then some. "These guys and gals overcame some real obstacles just to get to the starting line in Antigua, and we're all just so excited to see the boat and crew perform at such a high level for six straight days of sailing," he said. After Antigua, Timbalero 3 will sail North to Gunboat headquarters in Wanchese, North Carolina, for final modifications to the G4 prototype. "We've learned an incredible amount in 8 races at a perfect Antigua Sailing Week, and we can't wait to put our lessons into practice as we ramp up the G4 into production."
Timbalero 3's crew was proud to share their ride with numerous passengers during their Antigua visit. A dozen local junior sailors joined the crew on Wednesday thanks to The LIFT Project, an initiative founded by Antiguan 5-time America's Cup competitor Shannon Falcone to inspire kids to appreciate, explore and enjoy Antigua's best local asset, the ocean. "A foiling ride did exactly what I hoped it would for these kids - it got them completely fired up about sailing fast boats," said Falcone. "It's the kind of thing the LIFT Project will try to do as much as possible - providing resources and opportunities for local children to make the ocean their playground." Falcone says one never knows where a love for the sea may take you - something he discovered himself en route to a storied career in top level yacht racing.
Friday provided an opportunity for more than just a ride for another local sailor - longtime dinghy and keelboat racer Lesley Martin filled in as grinder to replace Falcone, who took the opportunity to step off the G4 to see if his new DJI Global Inspire 1 drone could keep up with the orange catamaran. "Adam from Tona and Ryan Rice Productions helped keep me reasonably dry and ensure that no drones were harmed in the making of my movie," Falcone said on his Facebook Page.