VX One Crew Weight

An important question when people are looking at moving into a new class is what is a good weight to be competitive. As the VX One is relatively new on the scene and there is not a lot of data on crew weights in a whole range of conditions I am putting down my thoughts to encourage discussion from observations made by others.

The optimum crew weight is obviously dependant on the strength of breeze that you expect to sail in. In an Australian summer in most places around the country the breeze expected would be in the 15 to 20knot range most of the time with the occasional lighter days. However, in North America where many of the VX Ones sail it might be that conditions are more like 10 to 15 knots most of the time.

Most of the sailing I have done in Sydney has been with a crew of three with our total weight being in the 210 to 240kg (460 to 530lbs) range. This has been pretty comfortable but there have not been too many boats to compare speed with to date.

When I planned my trip to the North Americans I checked out how much breeze we would expect at the regatta. From what I saw it looked likely to be up to 13knots. With this in mind I was happy to be on the light side. Phil Thompson & I were 165kg, about 365lbs. It was great to sail in a fleet of 22 boats and observe the performance of them.

After the first day when Brian won the three races everyone was keen to find out how he did it and this included finding out what his crew weight was. His crew weight was around 440lbs (200kg), he said that he liked to be around that weight most of the time.

In the 10 to 13knots that we had up the first beat most of the time Brian and the other heavier crews were able to sail just a little faster than the others. This meant that they could take the first shift and cross the fleet to weather and that set up the rest of the beat nicely for them.

Downwind there was no perceptible difference in speed between the boats with different crew weights when we were in displacement mode, in less than 10 knots of breeze or in planning mode in over 12knots or so. The only real difference was in the marginal planning range when the lighter crews would get up and plane first and leave the heavier crews behind.

This did not happen often and did not appear to be as significant as getting the jump on the fleet up the first beat and being in good shape at the top mark.

Back in Australia I sailed my VX One in a mixed sports boat fleet in Fremantle Western Australia in

VX One Hauling Upwind 20 to 25knots with a crew weight of 230kg (505lbs) and was pleased to find that there was no need to have a heavier crew in these strong conditions.

With 17 to 20 knots expected at our nationals I had a bit of a rethink about what would be the right weight for the regatta. I had originally intended to sail at 210kg (460lbs) but I opted to sail at 230kg (505lbs).

With 20 to 25 knots on the first day we were quick. We were 5 seconds off the lead in the first race and well over 1 minute in front in the second. On the second day the breezes was around 15 knots in the first race and we won but in the other three races the breeze was patchy down the runs. There were two boats sailed very well by crews just under 200kg (440lbs) and their ability to stay on the plane longer and accelerate quicker in the puffs made them about 100 to 150 metres/ yards quicker downwind. I think if the breeze stayed above 11 or 12 knots we were fine but if it dropped down to 10 knots they were gaining big time! From a boatspeed point of view I felt that if we could stay above 10knots we were OK but if we dropped below it we were getting done.

On the final day in 15 to 16knots I think we were also the fastest upwind. In flat water we were doing 6.3 to 6.4 knots upwind and for a brief moment when we all hiked out horizontal we did 6.7knots without cracking off at all.

Brian’s design crew weight range for the VX One is 180 to 220kg (395 to 485lbs). We are yet to see if there is any difference between a crew at 220kg and one at 230kg and it may be hard to measure.  I think if the venue is going to have 15 knots or more a crew of 220 to 230kg (485 to 505lbs) will be more competitive than lighter crews I and if 10 to 15knots is expected around 200kg (440lbs) will be most competitive.

Andrew York

VX One Fleets Build

The VX One fleet is set for great growth this season! Chris O’Neill has just taken delivery of his boat. Chris has just been for his first sail as a new owner and has his boat stored on the hardstand at Rushcutters Bay, Sydney Harbour next to Yorky’s boat and just across from Phil Tomkin’s

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Chris washing his boat after his first sail as a new owner

 

Michael James in Queensland sold his boat to Alan Moffat and has a brand new one he is putting together so there are now two boats in Brisbane. Michael is also setting up Ken Walters new boat which will be heading to Canberra to join in the racing with Fred Kasparek.

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Alan and his son Kynan with his VX One he bought from Michael James

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New boats for Michael James and Ken Walters

Australian VX One Mid Winters

ImageIt was pretty light going on Lake Macquarie on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June for the first one-design regatta in Australia for the VX Ones. With not much more than 6 knots of breeze from the east and south east the race committee of the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto have done well to get five races in.

Saturday belonged to Michael James from Brisbane who led the fleet home with two bullets. Sunday saw Scott Lawson’s team take two of the three races with Yorky’s  team taking the other one. The races were all two lappers but the legs were only about half a mile in the light conditions. Mark Long was been kept busy moving the top mark to the major swings in the breeze, as well as taking 200 photos per day!

With two races to sail on Monday it was tight at the top. The boats were towed south of the club and managed a couple of quick races in 6 to 7 knots which dropped down to four knots by the end. The day belonged to Freddo Kasparek with two wins moving him past Scott into a solid second overall. Scott and the young guns were not on fire like they had been the previous day but managed to hang onto third overall in the regatta.

Although the conditions were light and most would have preferred to be planing around at 15 to 20 knots as the VX’s are known to do, everyone enjoyed the opportunity to fleet race together. With the experience in the fleet ranging from Fred & Michael who have had their boats for over a year to budding VX owners there was plenty of discussion ashore about setup and trim on the boats.

Magic Marine announced that they will be sponsoring the VX One Class in Australia. On Saturday night Andrew York had the pleasure of introducing Marja Van Helden of Magic Marine to the other VX One owners and crew. At short notice Magic Marine provided prizes for this regatta and announced great on-going deals for VX One owners on all their sailing gear.

 With seven races completed for the regatta the overall results are:

AUS 126 Michael James:           1, 1, 5, 2, 2, 2, 2       10 points

AUS 127 Fred Kasparek:            3, 2, 3, 3, 4, 1,1       13 points

AUS 136 Scott Lawson:              2, 4, 2, 1, 1, 5, 5       15 points

AUS 139 Andrew York:               4, 3, 1, 4, 3, 3, 3      17 points

AUS 141 Malcolm Thompson:    5, 5, 4, 5, 5, 4, 4       27 points

 

By Andrew York

How did I hear about the VX One

I have been asked how I found out about the VX One so here goes. In January I first saw a VX One in the US magazine ‘Sailing World’ where it won ‘Boat of the Year’ She looked good but I did not think too much about the VX until I say that there was to be a demonstration weekend at RANSA in May.

I then checked out all the information and videos that I could on the web and came to the conclusion that the boat looked like she performed well in light air right through to strong breeze. The one design nature struck a chord with me as I prefer one design racing. I ran the NSW Laser association for a number of years back in the late 70′s & early 80′s. Just as the Laser had been a boat ahead of its time back then I see the VX One ahead of its time now. It is a modern design which is a strict one design class and has exhilarating performance.

After checking out the videos my thoughts were that if she performs at the demonstration weekend as well as the videos seem to indicate then I’m sure it is a boat with a great future and I will want one.

I ended up helping Fred Kasparek the owner of the boat and Brian Bennett organize the weekend and sailed the boat more than Fred, including some great spinnaker rides in 25 knots with Cribby and then with Brian.

The performance of the boat was breathtaking so indeed I did want one and after some discussions with Brian I became the agent for them in NSW.

So far I have taken 30 people for a sail. They all love the boat, many have said that they would love to sail in a fleet of them. I do not think that there is a question whether the boat will take off or not. It is just a question of time. As soon as some commit to buy one others will follow soon after. The VX One is too good a boat not to take off.

I have made my first sale which is a big step. Phil Tomkins is due in Australia in February with another VX One that I will have for sale.

Top of Sailing Anarchy with Sydney to Pittwater Run

Top of SA

VX One Australia hit the Top of Sailing Anarchy Front Page for a day in November 2012

The Video of the Sydney to Pittwater run received 12,000 views in one day. There are currently 19,500 views of the video.

Below is the story and video!

At the end of October when the forecast showed that there would be a 20 knot southerly and 2 metre seas on the Friday it seemed like a great opportunity to Yorky to see if he could get more than 25 knots out of his VX One. If he could do 24 knots on Sydney Harbour how good would it be surfing down that swell offshore?

Yorky put a plan together to sail his VX One from Sydney to Pittwater. His partner, Julie would take the trailer to a ramp just inside Barrenjoey.  A friend was lined up with his rubber duck to accompany them on the trip. A crew & someone to take photos and video did not prove easy to find. A number of his friends really wanted to sail but were busy and actually had to work!

As luck would have it a few connections led to a phone call to Josh McKnight, the Moth World Champion. Josh had just finished his University exams and was keen to do the trip. Yorky also contacted Andrea Francolini who had a small window of opportunity at 7am to take photos on The Sound before a shoot he had at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

At the last minute the rubber duck could not do the trip so Cribby saved the day, picking up Andrea from MHYC for the session on the Sound. On the way down the Harbour Yorky & Josh hit 20 knots as the southerly began to build. After 40 minutes of sailing around, the rubber duck with Andrea taking photos they headed out to sea.

The waves were up to 3 metres and the breeze had built to 25 knots. It made for an extremely exciting run to Pittwater. The boat took off on many a wave and probably did mid-twenties on numerous occasions but the GPSs onboard were a bit worse for wear with all the water, so unfortunately there was no maximum speed recorded.

Enjoy the video!!!

Single Handed in VX One

Saturday the 20th October saw Yorky hit the harbour single handed. The wind was forecast to increase to 17 to 18 knots which he expected might be a bit much so he set off early. A southerly hit at 20 knots or so but there was no way he was going to pack up before he set the kite. It was a great ride from Rose Bay to Athol with the boat on the edge as he just kept above Shark Island. Top speed was 16.7 knots which he thinks is a good mark for single handed in a VX One.

Twilight

In the twilight of 15th of October Yorky with Mark Langford and Will Ryan onboard ripped down the Harbour in a 20 knot Noreaster. Will & Mark knew the VX was fast but could not believe that she accelerated so fast when we popped the kite.