Javelin, the West Coast’s first C&C 30, takes a bullet for the Sportboat class in the final race of the CYC Midwinters to finish the regatta in 2nd place.
By Jenn Virškus for Quantum Sail Design Group
The San Francisco Bay’s first C&C 30 made its racing debut at the Corinthian Yacht Club Midwinters held January 17–18 and February 21–22. In its first race, with Sail California’s Patrick Nolan driving and Quantum’s Jeff Thorpe doing tactics, Javelin finished third in corrected time to Paul Recktenwald’s J/88 Lazy Dawg and David Rasmussen’s Synergy 1000 Sapphire in the sportboat class.
Fast-forward to this weekend, and Javelin, driven by Quantum’s Patrick Whitmarsh, won the final race on Sunday in heavy air to secure second place in the regatta behind Lazy Dawg. Trig Liljestrand’s J/90 Ragtime was 3rd in the class.
Saturday morning didn’t look too promising, but after a one-hour postponement an early-season westerly filled in delivering consistent winds in the high teens. Javelin was able to hang close with the Soto 30 Gentoo most of the way around the course. They lost that race by overstanding the leeward layline both times. Picking up a burlap bag on the rudder somewhere in the middle of the race didn’t help. “In races one and three, we made tactical mistakes because our head was so far in the boat—we sacrificed some of our tactics trying to figure out the boat,” said Thorpe.
David Schumann, owner of the J/70 Bottle Rocket (another Quantum-powered boat), was at the helm of Javelin on Saturday. “Coming from a J/70, I was wondering how much bigger this boat would feel, but it was actually really responsive and I felt confident on all points of sail,” said Schumann. “The boat feels stable; it is a pretty stiff platform. Before the bag, it was pretty close racing and that was a lot of fun.”
By all accounts, the C&C 30 is extremely well-balanced downwind, especially in the breeze, and it’s easy to get up on a plane. “It doesn’t seem like you have to put the bow up too much to get the boat on the step in the right conditions,” said Thorpe. “We were sailing through the lee of the big boats in dirty air, it was just amazing.” It also has a really high righting moment that allows for an extra-big spinnaker that gets the boat moving. Sailed to its limit, it could reach 20 knots downwind.
“For people who are looking for the next step in a high performance boat, this would be a good one, especially given that it’s only 30 feet. The boat has a great grand prix set-up and controls, and the performance is great. It really lit up going downwind, and that was a lot of fun,” said Schumann.
Upwind, however, is where the boat has exceeded all expectations. The C&C 30 features a really powerful hull, with a wide, powerful set up in the back. Its deep keel and modern bulb contribute to the boat marching upwind. “With the wind blowing 16 to 22, we were really able to see the true character of this boat,” said Thorpe. Throughout the regatta, Thorpe said the crew figured out that there is a huge upwind speed advantage to moving the crew weigh aft.
“The boat is very new, so we’re slowly learning the rig set up and the loads. Saturday we sailed the boat a little too high. Sunday we opened everything up and sailed about three-quarters of a knot faster upwind with a tighter rig,” said Thorpe.
“We’ve sailed the boat with six and seven crew, but seven is the real number,” said Norman Davant of Sail California. The seventh crewmember is key for moving the weigh aft upwind, as well as working the running backstays.
“We were aggressively trimming the running backstays in the puffs on Sunday,” said Whitmarsh. “You have to be aggressive with that on the boats that don’t have a permanent backstay. You put on a lot of turns when the puffs come on and then you have to ease really aggressively in the lulls. There’s a lot of work on the runners, especially when it’s puffy.”
“Race four was a culmination of learning the boat enough over the three days, having the right conditions, and not making any mistakes tactically. We realized the potential of how great this boat is,” Thorpe said of the win.
The C&C 30 is a true sportboat: you’re not going to be taking it on a cruise around the bay with your family. You need a few good people who really know what they’re doing to sail it. That said, the boat doesn’t require a huge sail inventory. It is currently being sailed with five sails: one main, a light to medium air jib, a heavy air jib, a flat, light-air kite and an all-around AP kite for medium to heavy breeze.
Another nice feature is the detachable bow pole. “It’s set up similarly to an 18-foot skiff,” said Whitmarsh. “The solid, fixed bow pole keeps the kite projected in front of the boat, but at the dock, all you have to do is undo the bob stay and you can take the pole off, allowing you to keep the boat in a slip.”
The C&C 30 has often been compared to the TP 52, but with the nimbleness and maneuverability of a small sportboat, making it an excellent crossover boat. “It’s phenomenal how similar it is to the big boats in terms of how it responds and its upwind speed,” said Davant.
According to Davant, the market for the C&C 30 is really that of the Farr 280—but that is a true buoy racing boat. “The C&C 30 is a challenging, technical boat to sail, but it’s also a boat that you can take into some big breeze off shore—I’m confident of that now,” he added.
“I’d take it to Monterey in a heartbeat,” Davant said. “But it would be awesome heading west. Put four people on it and you’d have the ride of your life to Hawaii.”
Kudos to the Quantum-powered J/120 Peregrine taking the PHRF 2 class. “I let the crew race without me. I'm terrifically proud of how they’ve handled the boat,” said owner David Halliwill.
“Our speed was good through the CYC series and I attribute much of it to the rig tune and the crewing,” added Mike O'Callaghan who was on Peregrine for the regatta. “The boat is well-prepared and everything works. Our sails for this series were from 2011 and have seen a lot of racing since, but they still look very good, especially the 130% jib.”
Quantum sails got Charles James’s Roxanne to the top spot in the J/105 class, as well as the Hanse 370 Min Flicka, owned by Julle Le’Vickie in the Non-Spinnaker 1 class.
“We were anticipating wind for both days, so we went tight on the rig, and I think that helped us,” said Elliot James, who was doing bow on Min Flicka both days. “Sunday was a real one-design race. We were trading places down the first leg to Blackhaller with Yellowfin and Nimbus. We managed to get in front ahead just before the mark, and led upwind and continued to lead round the second mark. Halfway down the second third leg, we had an exciting moment when we blew up the tack line block. We had to douse the kite, get the jib out, fix the broken block, and get the kite back up with the fleet bearing down on us. Somehow we managed to do it and held on for the win.”
“This weekend was quite interesting. There were a few broaches, a few mistakes, and a few calls that were too close, but we managed to prevail with two seconds to spare,” said Le’Vickie. “It was lots of fun and a well-run regatta. Our Quantum sails worked well, so we’re quite happy!”
Other Quantum boats in the top three include Tim Russell’s J/80 Pain Killer in 3rd in PHRF 3; Ron Kell was 3rd in the Express 27 class with his boat Abigail Morgan; and Ian Matthew’s C&C 29 Siento El Viento was in 3rd in PHRF 5. Click here for complete results.