Apr 24, 2015

G4: Keeping Herreshoff's Amaryllis Spirit Alive




Images Jesús Renedo / Gunboat & Sharon Green / Ultimatesailing.com - Many have been written on the G4 Capsize, to me it was a possibility on the program (once they decide to get the weapon airborne) and even on a full wide open for all to see first testing at Voiles St Barth event.

The drawback was the full upside down final position. The incredible aspect was a quick recovery and minimal damage, sine sail battens reported. Do you remember how Oracle AC72 ended on a frontal pitch at SF? pieces all over the bay.

Being such a targeted machine, the G4 remains unscathed , I received at least 3 comments on contacts wanting one, all experienced catsailors, which is the clear target for the G4,

If Peter tells you this is an all go for everyone Racing-Cruising cat, he will be not telling you the whole picture , and I'm 100% it is not the case, being himself a long time catsailor , A-Class included. In any case, the boat itself defines its target.

Beyond the $ to buy it, and as I've been saying with the FP & F20 , these foiling boats are Not for everyone (got a builder private mail complaining about that statement too..but I'll be irresponsible to tell the contrary), and the same concept applies to the G4: Someone with experience must helm & crew if you are gonna push fro foiling & racing in the breeze.

This is a weapon as never seen before, and the image that struck me most was how the G4 smoked a big pompous monohull in the capsize video, I can imagine the feeling of the owner, on his big boat being left in oblivion in a whisper by a 40' Racing Cat which happens to be quipped, (paraphrasing Mischa Heemskerk) with "a fridge, a sink, a bar, two queen size beds, two single beds, a stove and a toilet "... quite useful for those relaxing moments between Island to Island hope as they are doing now from St Martin to Antigua to continue racing & testing program. (Photo above left)

The G4 racing at Voiles de St Bart also reminded me again of Nathaniel Herreshof's Amaryllis Cat, built and raced more than 100 yrs ago and how he was banned for life to race against the logs monos of that era after wiping out the fleet in a race held in the 1876 Centennial Regatta held at NY yacht Club.

Check that regatta report by Cupexperience and how Herreshoff almost capsize at the end;
"Just as we needed to come to grips with the catamarans sailing in the 34th America’s Cup, the 35 yachts entered in the New York Yacht Club's 1876 Centennial regatta were puzzled by Herreshoff’sAmaryllis. Thousands of spectators came out on the excursion steamers that beautiful June day. The New Yorkers were celebrating 100 years of US independence and thinking about the third defense of the America’s Cup, to be sailed later that summer.

Few paid any attention to Herreshoff’s 24 foot long curiosity, which was described in the press as a “half-liferaft cigar boat” and a “sea monster.” Amaryllis got off to an unspectacular start in light air for the 20 mile race off Staten Island, but when the breeze freshened after almost two hours of racing, Amaryllis began to show her “wonderful speed… passing yacht after yacht as if they were anchored,” according to the New York World’s account of the race.

When Amaryllis was unable to point high enough to pass a boat to windward, Herreshoff would dive off to leeward and sail right through the other boat’s dirty air. As the breeze freshened more, Amaryllis “kept jumping along” moving like a “frightened porpoise.” When only theSusie S remained in front of her, things got more entertaining. Herreshoff powered up and flew pastSusie S at about 20 knots, but then almost pitchpoled. Amaryllis stood

on both bows for 30 seconds and Susie S passed her back. The crew of Susie S thought Herreshoff’s “pointé” was an intentional stunt. Amaryllis settled down and flew into the lead again, taking line honors."

Nothing has changed in 2016, just an additional 10knots and space era flying vessel,..
Amaryllis did not capsized, but was banned to race later, and G4 history just began.

At St Barth if I checked well in R2 for ie, only Rambler 88 (JK88) & Comanche (Verdier / VPLP 100) Super Maxis reached way ahead the tiny G4, with Bella Mente 20 second to spare. https://app.regattaguru.com/lesvoiles/100085

Hidden in sailing history that Herreshoff / Amaryllis story remains a milestone for fast and efficient sailing, the G4 revives Nathaniel deeds and innovation and takes the exclusive super yacht sail racing circuit on another level. The AC has already adopted the Multihull speed & efficent credo.

Multihulls can capisze , we all know the drill, even the great Nathaniel Hereshoff in 1876... but in the end , costing 10k, 30k, or 1M... only a Catsailor knows the Feeling.


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