Jesus Renedo /

Jethou gets turboed

Sir Peter Ogden's Mini Maxi is now longer with a new mast and an interesting boom

Friday April 20th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: Spain

Sir Peter Ogden’s Mini Maxi Jethou is having her first regatta of the season at the Mapfre Palmavela. This comes after the boat was lengthened and had a general turbo-ing, including the fitting of a new rig over the winter.

“Obviously the boat is in its fourth season now and Peter wants to continue to improve and work on the development of the boat and making the boat go as quickly as possible,” says Ian Budgen, who this year has moved onto main sheet on the black Judel Vrolijk design, having been displaced from his previous role as tactician by none other than the silver fox himself, Brad Butterworth.

“With Brad’s involvement with the program we have used his good relationship with Vrolijks in order to look at the characteristics of the boat and make some changes over the winter.”

Most noticeable is that the boat has been lengthened from 60ft with the addition of a 600mm long scoop on the transom. Rig height has also been increased by 1.4m with a new spar fitted from Southern Spars and a new sail wardrobe to go with hit.

“Basically, Brad felt and we felt we were short of sail area, so we opted to increase the rig height,” says Budgen.

Unfortunately on the delivery from the boat’s winter base in Cogolin to Palma, the boom broke and so last week the crew were scrabbling around to find a replacement as well as investigating options to repair the original. However the former option magnificently came to fruition when their ex-Mini sailor and ex-Victory Challenge mid-bowman, Tobias Hochreutener, came up with a solution. Now working for Future Fibres in Valencia, Hochreutener figured that the boom from one of the Sweden Version 5 boats might fit.

According to Budgen: “He did some digging and thought that the Victory Challenge booms had about the same E measurement, and amazingly it is within a gnat’s *%$£ of where it should be without doing any modifications at all. So it was sheer chance. The boom was in Valencia and we nipped across and brought it across on the ferry. It is nothing more than that...”

As part of the overall turbo-ing of the boat, they have also added 400mm to the bowsprit and filled in the hollows in Jethou's topsides. “The boat had hollows in the aft section of the topsides. We never felt that our rating penalty for that was fair and in search of every point of rating, we felt that it was prudent, if we were spending the amount of money on the mast and everything else, to fill the hollows in. But you probably might not notice that if you didn’t know they’d been there...”

As to how the new boat feels, Budgen says it is hard to say at the moment. To date they have carried out a couple of short sails out of Cogolin to get the new rig bedded in while their training in Palma was cut-short as they sorted out their boom issue. “And the last two days have been quite windy. So it is very difficult to tell.”

Jethou’s rating has of course elevated as a result of these changes and Budgen says they will have to wait to see how well the boat now sails to its numbers. “I guess it is the same as normal – it will be a bit condition dependent...” However leading after day one, suggests that they are on the right track.

In terms of Jethou’s crew this year, Sir Peter Odgen likes to sail with family and friends predominantly with just a few pros in the mix. In addition to bringing on board their now resident America’s Cup legend, Jethou's usual navigator Nat Ives now has long term employment elsewhere so Mike Broughton is navigating for the early part of the season while Will Best will take over after the Giraglia Rolex Cup.

Mapfre Palmavela is somewhat light on other racing Mini Maxis, so the competition for Jethou comes in the form of the two Swan 60s racing there, Emma and the new Yacht Club of St Petersburg, Gazprom-sponsored Bronenosec.

See our original look at Jethou here


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