“What if we did something different?” the casual, unassuming sailor said to his friends over a cold beer, “what if we really did this? I’m going to build a boat with cutting edge technology, hit the racing circuit to see if it works and hopefully turn some heads while I’m at it! Are you in?”
The idea that made it all the way into the hands of Maverick’s British boat owner, Quentin Stewart, who, after sailing in the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart decided that he wanted a fast boat. Rather than buying a TP52 or a Cookson 50 and adding modifications, Stewart was convinced that building a project from scratch would ensure that it performed exactly as designed without compromise.
And just like that, the Infiniti 46R Maverick was born. Stewart met with Hugh Welbourn, Dynamic Stability System (DSS) creator and Gordon Kay from Infiniti Yachts to come up with a design to build the fastest 46-foot monohull the world has ever seen.
Complete with a canting keel that swings from one side to the other and DSS foils, Maverick is the first boat of its size to combine this technology and the only 46-ft yacht to utilise twin foils. The DSS system is expected to reduce heel angles, reduce drag and enable dynamic lift for a powerful performance.
Maverick’s carbon fibre build and revolutionary design makes her a lighter, more balanced and faster boat to sail, with a relatively shorthanded crew of six. Essentially Maverick is trying to attain the performance benefits usually experienced by a much larger yacht across a wide spectrum of wind angles and conditions.
“Maverick is a stripped-out race boat, with no comforts whatsoever. Basically, we built this boat two years ago and the brief was to design the fastest 46-foot yacht in the world and they achieved that very well. We keep up with boats twice our size, which is almost unheard of, thanks to the side foils which give us a huge amount of righting moment while allowing us to remain very lightweight…sort of skimming across the water,” says crew member Sean McCarter.
Another part of Maverick’s programme is to involve younger crew so that they are given a chance to develop their skills. Doyle Sails’ Grand Prix experts, Stu Bannatyne and Justin Ferris have worked closely with the team to build sails that work well with their unique boat design.
"I've really enjoyed working with Maverick, they operate with the same mentality as we [Doyle Sails] do, they're cutting edge and go against the grain" says Bannatyne.
“Part of the philosophy of the whole programme has been to work with people and suppliers who actually buy into our design and opportunity rather than people who want to come up with a plain vanilla answer,” says Stewart. “We then bring on people like Stu Bannatyne [Doyle Sails], Gordon Kay from Infiniti, Justin Ferris from Doyle Sails. They will help the younger guys to develop into the best sailors they can be.”
Team Maverick now competes in offshore sailing events around the globe such as, Rolex Sydney to Hobart, Fastnet Race, RORC Transatlantic and Rolex Middle Sea Race. Most recently they took part in the 635 nautical mile Newport to Bermuda Race where they finished 1st in the Open Division, 1st boat under 50 ft, and 10th overall out of 190 entries.
“Team Maverick relied completely on Doyle for this year’s NPBR. The forecast didn’t allow for use of our new Blast-reacher but we were extremely impressed with the Cable-less Code Zero. This sail has so many modes and huge weight and load saving compared with our traditional cable sail. Stu Bannatyne worked tirelessly with the team to help customise sail design to various rating rules. Thank you, Doyle.” – Sean McCarter, Team Maverick