I woke up this morning to glorious sunshine but the forecast was full of foreboding! Wind force 4-7 from the west with 5-8 later & rain, of course. Normally I would not go sailing in these conditions, let alone give a demonstration. I want my customers to have a pleasant experience. But today's customer had not only already booked his ferry from Northern Ireland, he and his wife were already here. And besides he was concerned about how the Magnum 21 would fair in these sort of conditions; conditions, which he is very likely to encounter back home in Bangor.
So we chose to go out on Bala lake in North Wales, instead of my usual Rhos-on-Sea. When we arrived the sky was dark grey and the water had white horses all over it, despite the relatively short fetch (the whole length of the lake). In these conditions the CAT club at the western end of the lake is an excellent place to launch from so we drove there in convoy.
We took both of the reefs available in the standard boat (that I had recommended he purchase because of his situation, the S version being too powerful for a retired gentleman, single handing in the Irish Sea!) and the boat behaved impeccably, as I had predicted. Without the GPS on board I knew when she hummed that we were going over 10 knots, though I don't know what maximum speed we reached. We were playing safe in any case, not trying to break any records or the boat or ourselves. There was no drama and we had an enjoyable sail despite being soaked through with the rain.
"That's a serious piece of kit you've got there. You emphasise that it's FUN but I've never sailed such a soft and forgiving boat." Other such compliments were heaped upon the boat, easy to tack, light and responsive tiller, etc. and after soup and tea in a nearby café we attached the trailer to his vehicle and he drove off with his new mistress promising me more orders from his friends in the north.
No question, the CATRI 24 was the star attraction at the Southampton International Boat Show last week. The press were all over her, just gagging for an opportunity to sail TARDIS and hungry for information on her. I now find myself inundated with requests for demonstrations of the boat from more genuine prospects than I probably have time to deal with in the short time before the winter sets in. Hooray! The boat boat is a success!
This is great news for the CATRI 24 trimaran and its Latvian designer, Aldis Eglajs, and the Latvian builders. I am especially happy for them.
This means that to have a boat for next season you will need to order as soon as possible. If a demonstration is the only thing between you and a purchase decision then YOU have top priority.
The plan, thus far, is to take her out of the water tomorrow morning, have her bottom cleaned, her engine serviced and her antifouling raised to a more practical level than the theoretical level (who ever has an empty boat, after all?) and then I shall return to Chester to be reunited with my lovely fiancée, Sue, give a demo of a Magnum 21 trimaran on Wednesday, participate in the County of Chester Long Distance Sculls on Saturday and celebrate my eldest sister's birthday with my other (twin) sister at the weekend and then return to the south to sail TARDIS round to Weymouth for the Weymouth Speed Week.
This passage to Weymouth, perhaps via places like Poole on the way, will be your first opportunity to have a demo and the Speed Week itself, which takes place at the new National Sailing Centre in Portland Harbour, where the Olympics will be held, will be a great opportunity for demonstrations of the boat. Obviously I would be especially delighted if you are an experienced trimaran sailor and you join me that week to attempt to get the best out of the boat. Customers who declare an intention to BUY NOW for next year will be given the highest priorty and I appeal to your integrity to abstain from even requesting a demo if you have no intention to buy in the immediate future.
Finally a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who came to the show and wished me great success with this new, exciting, spectacular boat. I am sure it will be a phenomenal success and now there is much work for me to do.