Ragamuffin 90 and Team Ragamuffin crew, recently took line honors and set a new course record in the 2013 Hong Kong to Vietnam race. Averaging approximately 15.2kts for the course, she beat the existing record of Skandia Wild Thing by four minutes. It should be noted that the start lines were different for the two yachts. This year the start was off the royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. This added approx. 17nm of upwind work to the course length. Ragamuffin 90 was also 3mtrs shorter!
A key member of the crew, Mark Fullerton, coordinates the sail programs for Team Ragamuffin. After a successful Transpac Race for Ragamuffin 100, taking line honors, Mark worked on a sail plan for the 90ft boat with David Witt, (skipper) and Richard Bouzaid, design coordinator for Doyle Sails. They developed an Asian focused inventory, where the 90 will do most of her sailing. This included going to a bigger square top mainsail, a new R2, R3, A2, AP Jib and genoa staysail. All were made from Doyle’s proprietary Stratis laminated sail material.
Mark coordinated the design and manufacturing of the sails from the Doyle Qingdao loft. The loft has now successfully completed the sails for the Ragamuffin 90 & 100. All sails have gone on and exceeded all expectations with the accuracy of fit, detail and performance. The crew contained a couple of Volvo 70 sailors and they were nothing but complimentary of the sails on the boat. Even some of the custom sail hardware, clew and reef rings, were manufactured in china. All were tested and checked by Mark before the sail was finished. It’s a testament to the high standard that Doyle Qingdao has reached over a short time that has removed much of the stigma of “made in China”. More custom hardware is in the works after people have seen the quality of these sails.
The race itself was an exciting trip. After beating out of Hong Kong Harbour, sheets were eased and the yacht proceeded with a full main, R2 and genoa staysail. Constantly averaging over 20knots boat speed with a top speed of 33 knots! The rest of the race saw much use of the new Stratis A2 and the Straits R2. There were no issues with the sails throughout the trip. Syd Fischer, who owns the team Ragamuffin yachts, was very happy with the sails and professional attitude of Doyle Sails. He has now commissioned Doyle Qingdao to work on upgrading the inventory for the Ragamuffin 100 for this year’s Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
The sail project was managed by Mark Fullerton, design with Richard Bouzaid and engineering. Production was overseen by John Hearne and our floor manager Todd Cunningham.
Mark and John were both in the crew.
NB-The original record set by Skandia Wild Thing, also had Mark Fullerton on board as well as sail co-coordinator. It was also a full Doyle Inventory.