The Litmus Test
Now that I've done all the hard work, filling, high build, priming and painting the boat has finally made it back into the water. Last weekend was the litmus test for the mods and we had the perfect weather to test whether all this hard work was going to pay off. 18 knots was forecast and the Freo Doctor didn't let us down. The results ....
I cannot describe the difference this modification has made to the boat's handling. OK there were a few other things that I changed, namely a new front beam so that made the boat was a little stiffer, reset the front and rear beam, but what amazed me the most was how well the boat sailed downwind. We did not nose dive once, nor did the boat feel like it wanted to nose dive when we hit pressure. From what we had before to now was like sailing a different boat. You could actually see the effect of the extra bouyancy in the bow with the bow spray when driving downwind. For those sceptics out there here is how the racing went. At neddies (nyc.org.au) we now have a two race club day. A three lap race to start with and then a two lap race to finish off.
The first race my crew and I hadn't sailed together since the Nationals in Darwin back in July so we were a little rusty but finished a credible third only about one minute behind the first boat, Paul Petersen on a Mastrom and 20-30 seconds behind Gavin Davies on another Mastrom. Two other Tornadoes finished behind both Mastroms.
The second race was a club start and we got off to a good start beating the others over the line and we didn't look back finishing first by at least a minute if not more. Downwind we were driving hard and the boat felt just awesome. I've recently sailed on two other Tornadoes both Windrush built Tornadoes with fuller noses than the older Reg White hull as a skipper and a crew as well as sailing on several Mastroms and I can honestly say the new mods made the boat feel and sail as good as any of those newer boats.
So the final answer. JUST DO IT!
You will not regret the time and effort this mod will provide.
RECENT UPDATE. 28 March 2010 - My crew and I recently came third on this boat (AUS287) in the 2010 FGI Australian Tornado Nationals winning two of the ten races and I could have come 2nd, if not for some bad decisions in the last race. There were fifteen boats in total. AUS287 has a repaired carbon mast, 2 yr old Landenberger Main & Jib, 6 month old Landenberger spinnaker. There were 5 Marstrom Tornadoes behind us. So for those that think an old Reg White isn't competitive you've only got yourself to blame. The Reg White boat is competitive with a little bit of work.