Another OzRacer (formerly Oz PDRacer) hits the water #124 “Blu”

Rob Badenoch Launched his OZ PDR “BLU” (PDR #124) for the first time last weekend.

This is pretty exciting news as Rob was not only one of the volunteers that helped build the three boats at Duck Flat but is a very good sailor. He started sailing in his teens with his brother in Rainbow class dinghies and then moved up the dinghy and yacht food chain.

He launched at Clayton – the file picture right show my Beth Sailing Canoe at Clayton – open water on the Murray River. The port of Goolwa is to the right around 4 miles and the huge Lake Alexandrina is to the left.

He currently races a very pretty “Gem” class trailersailer out of Clayton Bay Sailing Club – one of the little, friendly clubs that still survive as a family style club.

Last weekend was their famous “Rat Race Regatta” which normally goes from Clayton Bay up around Rat Island then through a shallow area known as “Duck’s Hostpital” down the side of another island.

So even though he intended to race the GEM in the Rat Race he took his new PDR out for the first time.

His email is pretty ecstatic about the OZ PDR

Hi Mik Peter and others,

Went out for the first sail in the “Blue” Oz PDR on Saturday arvo at Clayton Bay South Australia. What a hoot.

It was blowing 10-12knots very little chop and reasonably steady. The mast as designed does a great job although it the amount of bend looks a little alarming at first from the cockpit but you can see how it reacts to changes in in pressure by falling to the downwind side and towards the stern spilling excess pressure nicely.

As you have said Mik the crew weight position has a great affect on the boat wanting to dig the bow transom in or get up on the plane. In 10-12 Knots the boat seems to be
on top of the water most of the time and with the short coupling between center board and rudder it reacts instantly to and changes.

I found the Oz PDR to be very stable and easy to sail and an absolute hoot. I was not able to join the dinghy races with Herons Mirrors Optimists etc to see just how well the Oz PDR performs as I was sailing my Trailer Sailer in the other races.

Well done Mik.

Rob Badenoch

Now looking at the pictures you can see in the first one that a gust has just hit and the boat is pushing water at the bow. In the second shot Rob moves a fraction back and the bow pops out and the boat starts moving well.

Generally you can let the bow pop up then move back forward again to stop it from getting too high. Once you are sitting in the sweet spot along the side you don’t actually have to move backwards and forwards – you can simply lean your body forward or back.

Of course you don’t have to worry about any of this if you are cruising.

The other thing I can see from the shot is that the snotter (the rope that tensions the boom at the front end) needs to be tighter. It was Rob’s first sail in a PDR and he is a good enough sailor to have worked this out already. But in medium winds like this you need to tension the snotter quite tightly so the mast has about an inch and a half (37mm) of bend.

The picture right is of our original masts and sails which bent even more than this – but they do show the sort of thing I mean. Normally this sort of tension is added once the mast is in the boat.

Doing this flattens out the foot of the sail and reduces the twist of the leach – both important for upwind performance. Also a tight snotter reduces the amount of tension on the mainsheet as it doesn’t have to pull the boom down to control the leach twist.

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