Date: 23 May 97 15:45:09 EDT
From: Gene Gruender <104675.2134@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Maxi Visit

When you're cruising you never know what you'll run across. Yesterday there was a laaaarge boat checking in that looked like an old Whitbread type racer. This evening I went by to take a closer look.

Zach and I were invited aboard to take a tour. It was a boat that had raced in the 1989 Whitbread. It's now named "The Card", although I'm not sure if that was the name then. It didn't win, by the way.

This thing is about 70' long, the rig is about 80' high, a ketch (2 masts, for the non-sailors) It has rod rigging, and the rods are about 1" in dia., There are winches all over, blocks that had to cost thousands when new. Pad eyes made of titanium, special lines, all sorts of stuff.

They explained that they were delivering it to Australia to do charter work on the Great Barrier Reef. I thought it would be an expensive boat to use for charters, but they said it is not very popular, so the price isn't too bad. It has a 14 foot draft, so is limited in use. The rig is too tall. The motor is much too small, so they told me. However, with a 140 hp turbo charged Yanmar, it sounded like a lot of motor to me. (Mine is 30hp)

It came with about 40 sails and will sail at well over 20 knots. They told me, with a straight face, they expected to take 4 months to get to Australia. I think they were putting me on, or it was wishful thinking.

I just received this from the secretary of the Montego Bay Yacht Club about the Maxi Boat I recently wrote about visiting. I think It's interesting enough to pass on. I'm hoping she isn't offended, but it's great information.

The Card was the Swedish entry in the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race and one of only 3 ketches in the fleet of 23 boats. The other two ketches being Steinlager (NZ) (the winner) and Fisher Paykel (also NZ). The Card was skippered by Roger Nilson and from day one was not in the same league as the other two. On departure from Auckland, NZ at the start of the 4th leg around Cape Horn and on to Uruguay, she lost her mizzen mast when it caught on the mast of an anchored spectator yacht. A very frustrating experience for them since they had to sail with only one mast till they got to Punta - del - Este when they were fitted with a new one.

After the Whitbread, the boat was sold to Teddy Turner (Jr) and re-named Challenge America to be used as a training boat for the next Whitbread Race (1993). Some of our members chartered it to do the Pineapple Cup (Miami - Montego Bay Race) in Feb. 1993 and won that event. So we know the boat well here.

I happen to know all this trivia about the history of the boat because I also did the WRTWR in 89/90 on an English boat called "With Integrity" (or "With Insanity" as we commonly called her).

They certainly are impressive boats to visit and sail on, but when you've been on them for a while, it's just the same old thing only with less creature comforts and a lot more work!

Gene Gruender
aboard Rainbow Chaser (and others!)

PUBLISHERS NOTE: For more information click The Card and enjoy some stuff I put together including a pic. Also With Integrity lost and recovered a crewmember overboard in the Southern Ocean. The crew swore on an oath they would never reveal who that crewmember was. In the end, With Integrity finished 19th overall, 2nd in the "Cr" (Cruiser) class and their time was 170 days, 16 hours, 19 minutes and 07 seconds. Andrew Coghill was skipper and the boat was from the UK.

Ed DeBee
aboard USS Keyboard