Dazcat news: 2016 in review, Race focus on Adventure Racing and 2-Handed Racing, Summer Cruising, Next Year's dates, Profiling Simon Baker and more. 

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                                                                         Welcome to 2017!


Let’s be honest here – 2016 has been challenging for many people on many levels and we are sure that we at Dazcat aren't the only ones who have been prompted into thinking about who we are and how we fit into the bigger picture. 

For us, here at Dazcat, 2016 has reconfirmed that one of our base values, the one from which Dazcat initially grew, is the key to many things positive: the importance of relationships and communication, the effort that is required to try and understand each other and putting time, care and energy into making sure that the needs of your ‘important people’ are taken care of. Dazcat’s important people are our families, our workforce, our local community, our friends and of course our clients, who very quickly become part of the Dazcat family.
The idea that partnerships work has also been reinforced for us this year. In some senses, we’ve always entered into a kind of partnership with every new or second hand Dazcat we sell. We also can't help but attribute some of our racing success (apart from our amazing boats of course!) to successful relationships and partnerships with our build teams, crews, co-skippers and boat owners as well as the organisations that recognise and host us at race events. We've never looked back since the partnering of Dazcat and Multimarine in 1998, so in 2012, when we moved to the new boat yard at the Multihull Centre, we did so with the conviction that although there would be a great deal of hard work ahead, working in partnership with another multihull specialist could only strengthen all three of the separate, but connected, businesses. 2016 has been the year that has really shown us that together we make up the perfect partnership group, each offering services and facilities that compliment the others and that it is together that we are strongest, and better able to look after all our 'important' people, and, since you are on our mailing list, that means you!
We're not quite sure whether this is a newsletter, a magazine or a yearbook! Whatever you decide to call it, it's packed and we hope you enjoy our news, articles, videos and look forward to next season and 2017. 
2016 - Hissy Fit, D1495, Year in Review

2016 has been a great year for Dazcats on the race circuits and it’s been such a pleasure sailing with the steadily expanding under 50s multihull class, particularly having the two locally based D1495s, Apollo and Hissy Fit, racing against each other. We are definitely looking forward to more of that next year, and, even more exciting, we’ll be joined by the all-new D1295 ‘Slinky Malinky’ whose owners have laid down a clear challenge for Hissy Fit as she has been doing much of the cup getting this year. It should make for good racing, especially as Apollo will be in her second season by then, shake down completed and ready to rock and roll. Bear Necessities, Suenos and Easy Tiger, among others, are also getting revved up for next year - we can hardly wait!

Watch the video above of Hissy Fit's 'Year in Review' - nine races and six 1st in class! More footage, photos and write ups below from from Rupert and Bruce on Suenos and Bare Necessities.


Saltash Sailing Club Spring Series 2nd,10th, 17th & 23rd April
Hissy Fit 1495 1st
Apollo 1495 2nd
Bare Necessities 1150 3rd
Quite varied over the duration.
RWYC Pantanius Triangle. Plymouth-Falmouth-Fowey-Plymouth
30th April-2nd May, 3 separate races to make a series.
Hissy Fit 1495 1st
Suenos 1195 2nd
Bare Necessities 1150 3rd
Easy Tiger 995 8th
Belladonna 10m 11th
Richard Bickford, Robin Russell, Ellie Draper & Simon Baker
Armen Race 5th-7th May
Delivery from Plymouth to La Trinitie Sur Mer 260nm. Three Dazcats, Bare Necessities , Hissy Fit & Suenos, First British boats to take part in this new French Classic in its 5 edition.
Hissy Fit 3rd
Suenos 4th
Bare Necessities 5th
Pete Middleton, Chris Briggs, Matt Theobald, Malric Leborgne & Simon Baker
Mocra Nationals 28th-30th May part of Poole International Paints Regatta
In the lead going into the final day against Matt Baker and Wombat, It came down to the last race, congratulations on being Mocra National champion Matt Baker  “Wombat”. Hissy Fit 2nd. Richard Bickford, Ellie Draper, Pete Middleton, Robin Russell, Andrew Fennell & Simon Baker
Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race 701nm 18th June
Delivery trip Plymouth to Dun Ligiry 270nm, Delivery back to Plymouth 270nm, 28 hours
Under 50’ Multihull Class
1st Hissy Fit
2nd Bare Necessities
3rd  Suenos
Andy Carr, Jess Houlgrave, Dan Drew, Amy McCarthy & Simon Baker
Round the Island race, JP Morgan & ISC. 2nd July
13th boat to finish out of nearly 1000 starters, 5th Multihull overall and 2nd in Class Matt Baker, Richard Bickford, Chris Briggs, Robin Russell, Brendan Seaward & Simon Baker
RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo race 8th July, 151nmDelivery back to Plymouth, 130nm in 12 hours   Dave Barden, Dave Young, Daryl Morgan, Adam Littlejohn, Mick Flanagan & Simon Baker.
PASAB – Penzance around Scilly and back. June 29th, 31st & August 1st Hissy Fit 1st
Suenos 2nd
Easy Tiger 3rd
Bare Necessities 4th
Darren Newton, Chris Briggs, Steve Bryant, Dick
RWYC Autumn Series Sept – October 5 races Hissy Fit 1st
The Edge 2nd
Wombat 3rd
Apollo 4th
Quite varied across the races.
And we are unbelievably proud that our Dazcats held their own so well against the big boys in the final, overall, RORC Multihull results - right up there after the foilers!
2016 Race Write Ups from Rupert and Bruce, Two Dazcat Owners
This next section brings you a selection of write-ups from Dazcat owners Rupert Kidd on Suenos (D1150) and Bruce Sutherland on Bare Necessities (D1150). Both give a slightly different slant to the topic: Rupert tells us about his experiences of two-handed inshore and offshore racing, while Bruce shares the joys of Mixed-Adventure racing. Sit back, enjoy and make your plans for the coming season.
Mixed Adventure Racing 

The Three Creeks
By Bruce Sutherland on Bare Necessities.

Mixed adventure racing is a growth sport sector and not surprisingly the granddaddy of them all, the Three Peaks Yacht Race has spawned a number of copies since its inception in 1977. The Three Peaks Race is the longest in the UK and takes place each June. The course is sail from Barmouth to Caernarvon, run to Snowdon and back, sail to Ravenglass, cycle and then run up and down Scafell Pike and then sail to Fort William and run up and down Ben Nevis Down and then stop! Multihulls used to be very successful in this historically and whilst we are welcome to sail in the race again there seems to be limited interest so far?
The Scottish Island Peaks Race is a shorter version and Gordon Baird is covering this in his article. The two other races are both in the South West. The Cornish Three Peaks is a commercially run sail and cycle event starting in St Mawes over three days in June and The Three Creeks race is a sail and run event over a weekend run by Yealm Sailing Club between Dartmouth and Plymouth. This seemed an obvious distraction for us in between the Armen Race and Round Ireland.
Teams are four or five and so we decided to take three sailors and two runners. Brendan, Alison and myself set off in Bare Necessities our Dazcat 1150 from Saltash Sailing Club after an early finish on the Friday and headed to Dartmouth. It was one of those sails that unless you had something to do you would not have done. Grey and raining with a forecast gusting up to F8 later. We passed Plymouth breakwater at 1745 and turning east at the Mewstone threw up a small screecher, put George on and settled down to enjoy the sail. We had a blast, 17 + knots over the water passed Start Point and ate tea as we approached Dartmouth just before 2045; 35 miles in 3 hours seemed a good start.
This getting up to S F 7 gusting 8 later was perhaps a slight concern.......
The route for the Saturday is a little run for the runners in Dartmouth and then sail to Salcombe, another little run for the runners and then go to the pub for “rehydration” and “carbo” loading. All very civilised with no night racing and everyone restarts on the Sunday when the route is Salcombe, Eddystone and Yealm Entrance when the runners do another little run. The runners finish at Yealm Yacht Club in Newton Ferrers and then we all meet up for a BBQ at Yealm Yacht Club.
So now to the email we picked up at 2100 when we had parked on the Town Quay at Dartmouth; Runner no 1 was ill. Now we had not actually met any of our runners but we had trust........ Alison and Bruce had done various mountain marathon events and Bruce had done the Three Peaks as a runner so we had chosen from people who did this sort of race and a bit like proper sailors you know they will be there. So after a few expletives we read on and we were suitably rewarded by the words ... “but my friend Jon will run in my place”.
Saturday dawned wet and foul.

Those who have been following the narrative may have picked up on the concern. Going into Salcombe after a strong southerly with a SSW gale blowing at low tide to then faff about dropping runners off at South Sands Beach seemed at best sporting and at worst plain dumb. Of all of the entries at the Skippers meeting on the Sat am we were perhaps in the best position. Bare Necessities is 12m long with a crew who are familiar with the boat and if we pull our boards up only draws 1m. So we would probably be OK. The rest of the fleet included the ubiquitous J109’s, some planning sports boats and then some deeper draft larger monohulls. It numbered 12 in all – the Solent boats given the

forecast had stayed at home. The smaller boats were quite naturally concerned about Start Point in a gale, and the bigger boats were concerned about the depth of water on the bar. So we all waited. This gave us a chance to meet our two energetic runners (phew) and drink lots of free coffee in Dartmouth Yacht Club. 
In the end the decision was put to a vote and the majority opted for the full course but a delayed start. So more coffee, oh and yes bananas and we now had a banana shortage. The problem with the runners is that they are high maintenance. They had all  fuelled up to start at a certain time – delays meant adjustments and where on earth do you buy bananas in Dartmouth without going up that horrible hill all the way to the superstore.
FINALLY... we got going. Well we waved off the intrepid duo on their race around Dartmouth and then leisurely walked back to the boat, and thinking hard about this carbo loading and rehydration lark; we bought more beer. Funnily enough that was not hard to find.   
The wind fortunately did not reach the forecast but the rain certainly made up for it. It was one of those reef in, reef out, reef in...well you get the picture, sails as we beat back to Start. Alison did her best to nurture and protect the runners and fed them pasta. Runner No 1 substitute however succumbed to the charms of the sea and not much stayed down. Runner No 2 was made of sterner stuff and made himself useful on the traveller.
We went for a ferry glide, lee bow type tack across the tide at Start and stunningly found ourselves in second. Well we weren’t stunned but the cats don’t go to windward brigade must have been a bit surprised. The best thing about racing is that sometimes you do things that would normally seem naughty. So we, no I decided that we could put the small screecher up and just squeak round Prawle Point.

It could have been Scotland?

Just as they say is enough. Then with proficiency honed from sailing with Andy “change the sails” Sinclair we peeled screachers and ran down the mono that had the audacity to outpoint us.
The rest for us was a doddle. We dropped the runners off at South Sands and went and found a mooring, tidied up and then “carbo loaded and rehydrated” whilst we waited for the boys to do their thing.

Runner No 1 Substitute and Runner No 2 revelling paddling in victory at South Sands.
They were first back. So happy runners and happy sailors all went ashore and yes you guessed it we carbo loaded and rehydrated.  
The fairly ludicrous 0600 start on Sunday was knocked on the head in favour of a later start and shortened course as we had sunshine and light winds. Now on the start line Alison might have been guilty of a little bullying and might is right tactics but for those who know her she was surprisingly quiet with it. The leg back to Plymouth was not really our best conditions. Light wind beating meant up with the big screecher and twitch, tweak and wack it in.  But we had lots of help as the flattening seas and sun and dry weather enabled all to play which was a pleasant change from Saturday’s dousing. 

Cats still don’t go to windward..?

The drop off point at the Yealm is Cellars Beach which is just inside the bar. Having thrown our runners out we were heading back to Saltash and our mooring but were blocked by a large boat in the channel. Apparently she was Chinese gybing and trying to drown her runners in their canoe towed behind. What makes it amusing is that this was Saltheart, a Yealm Yacht Club Boat and her runners were the run organisers.
The event is good fun; the sailing is organised by Yealm Yacht Club; we do other racing with them and they are multihull friendly. The running is organised by runners and the routes are challenging. Runners have to carry kit and are scrutineered.

Handicaps are organised through Port of Plymouth Sailing Association and they take our MOCRA tcf and play with it. They are quite used to doing this as we do have other events in Plymouth notably a charity pursuit where we race against monohulls.
What we think makes this race useful is that it is short and is basically two one day events, which makes it a good

introduction to adventure racing. It is simple as it needs no support team or bikes. It is accessible for South Coast boats as it does not need a trip to Scotland. It was cheap and they have a good sponsor, Marchland Petit the estate agents so there are freebies and it was good fun. Oh and we came second....many thanks to Alison, Brendan, James (Runner No 2) and Jon (Runner No 1 substitute)

The next race is May 13 /14 2017
Full details are on
See you on the start line? 

Short-handed Racing 

Two Handed Racing on Suenos - By Rupert Kidd
It all started around New Year in a discussion with Casper Holst with the idea that it would be fun to do the Volvo Round Ireland Race (VRIR) two-handed rather than fully crewed.  There are some additional benefits of racing two-handed in that we were allowed to use the autopilot and could save 3-400kg of extra crew and provisions. The qualification for the VRIR required 300 miles of sailing, which led to the next plan: to join Hissy Fit and Bare Necessities in the Armen Race in Brittany in early May. Since we wanted above all to do the Plymouth-Falmouth -Fowey Triangle Race, the logistics were tight in that we would have to leave Plymouth immediately after finishing the triangle race to make the Armen Race, which starts from La Trinite, 230 miles away. Thus we decided to do all three races two-handed.
Pantaenius Plymouth Falmouth Fowey Triangle Race
The triangle race start was made more interesting in that in trying to set up everything alongside in Mayflower Marina we were a little late leaving. With the engines flat out we hoisted the main going downwind came round Drakes Island, cut the engines at the 5 minute signal and hit the start line well down from the scrum and much shouting going on around the committee boat. No pre-start tacking or gybing involved! The wind died, but using only the screecher, as we had not anticipated using the kite in a forecast northwesterly, was probably an advantage as picked up the catspaws and found ourselves in the surprising position of leading the whole multihull fleet past Penlee point. The race proved to be close reach to the Manacles Buoy and a beat to the finish. On corrected time Suenos narrowly beat Hissy Fit to win the leg with Backlash third.
The second leg was beat to the Manacles Buoy, followed by a run to Fowey. The beat was interesting with tight racing at up to 10knots upwind, with the windward hull skimming or bouncing out of the water with full sail and close to 30 knots apparent wind. Bare Necessities seemed to have most of the crew toward the forward end of the windward hull. An abrupt stop on a lobster pot near the Manacles buoy slowed us up, but then we had the run to Fowey. Unfortunately our new 130 sq m spinnaker (for which we were rated) had not been delivered as promised. It was specifically designed to improve downwind performance. Without it we limped into Fowey to finish 5th with Hissy Fit comfortably winning the leg and Backlash second.
It was a windy southwesterly for the leg to Plymouth next day, which was shortened to finish at the buoy off Penlee point to avoid us entering Plymouth Sound during the start of the Transatlantic Race. With a late decision to put in a reef (a good idea as it turned out) resulted in a poor start.  We hesitated to set the screeched for 10 minutes, but we could not watch the fleet started to pull away from us, so out it came. Suenos immediately took off. Hardly a word was spoken the whole race as I steered and Casper worked the sheet as we surfed the waves regularly hitting 16 to 18 knots. We soon passed everyone except Wombat and Hissy Fit, but were even catching them. With the big screecher we were on the limit the whole way. We won the leg, which only took 90 minutes with Hissy Fit second and Backlash some way back in third. The overall result was a win for Hissy Fit, Suenos second and Backlash third, but we had at least shown that Hissy Fit could be beaten by winning two legs.
After lunch in Cawsand Bay watching the Single-Handed Race preparation we set off for La Trinite half an hour before the start of the race, keeping to the west of the rhumb line to the Eddystone. It was impressive watching the 100-foot Ultimes trimarans pass, amazing that one person can manage such powerful boats. It seemed odd that they did not harden up on the wind once they past the Eddystone, but it turned out they were heading south of the Azores for the best weather routing. A well timed entrance down through the Chenal du Four and Raz du Sein gave us a good passage to La Trinite, arriving the next day just before sunset, giving us a day or so to rest and prepare for the Thursday Armen Race start.
Armen Race - watch the video below for footage from on board both Hissy Fit and Suenos.

The Armen Race (a sort of French Fastnet), starting on 5 May had an entry of over 170 boats with 9 multihulls including the English contingent of Hissy Fit, Bare Necessities and Suenos. The French boats were two catamarans: No Limit, a very nice 60 foot heavily modified Outremer, and Diversion a 50+ foot cruising boat with a small rig and 4 trimarans.  The trimarans included Acapella, the 38 foot Walter Greene designed sister ship to Olympus Photo in which Mike Birch won the first Route du Rhum by 90 seconds. The other trimarans were an F32 and an unusual aluminum boat, which looked scary enough with its angular sections, even to set foot on, yet proved to be surprisingly quick, although incapable of saving its handicap.. The remaining trimaran retired on the first evening.  Sadly there were no French catamarans comparable to the Dazcats.
The start was rather protracted with numerous separate starts but with the faster boats starting at the back. This resulted on a complete traffic jam when we turned downwind in light airs against the tide through the channel out of Quiberon Bay. Playing with our new spinnaker for the first time proved a challenge and we dropped back so much that there were only a few boats left behind us.. Eventually the easterly wind backed to the north and we were on our way with the screecher replacing the spinnaker. Now we were back to passing the monohulls again all through the night. Next morning had us approaching the turning mark of the last cardinal out beyond the Armen light, through a series of tide races, which on one occasion dumped a mass of water onto the bimini and into the cockpit from the lee side. It was a struggle to round the buoy in such a lumpy sea against a 3 to 4 knot southerly running tide, but we were encouraged to be able to see Hissy Fit in sight ahead and Bare Necessities some way behind. We decided it was too lumpy to mess with the kite two-handed on the 12 mile run down to a virtual turning mark before heading back east, so that Bare Necessities closed up behind with whom we then had an 80 mile match race tacking upwind within half a mile of each other. The wind had shifted east but was varying 30 degrees, especially in the strait between Belle Isle and the mainland, where eventually Suenos managed to break away from Bare Necessities in the dark. Just before our final tack to round the southern turning mark, the slider for the mainsail clew ripped out of the boom, quickly fixed with a temporary strop.

It was then a 30 mile run back to La Trinite skirting the rocks and islands on the west of Quiberon Bay.  We could finally use our new spinnaker and see if we could hold off Bare Necessities, who, although not showing on the AIS, we knew could not be far behind. The idea of the new sail was to be able to keep enough boat speed to soak downwind, the point of sail that has always been Suenos weakness. We had yet to learn the optimum angle to sail with the new kite, so had to put in a couple of gybes, one of which resulted in an impressive wrap as we approached the river mouth at La Trinite. When we saw Bare Necessities' red spinnaker appearing, we abandoned the plan to drop the kite before entering the river, Casper confidently assuring me the snuffer would come down, so that we crossed the finish line doing 15 knots. Fortunately the kite did come down before we reached the moorings.
Simon Baker and the crew of Hissy Fit had been watching anxiously to see when we finished and cheered us in as we arrived. We were 2 hours behind them over the 45 hours the race had taken, leaving us just 14 minutes behind on corrected time under Multi 2000. Under the MOCRA handicap we would have beaten them! We had beaten Bare Necessities by 8 minutes on the water, so that Hissy Fit was 3rd, Suenos 4th and Bare Necessities 5th. The race was won by the big cat, No Limit, with Acapella second. The F32 finished just ahead of Suenos but was 6th on handicap. Congratulations to Hissy Fit on a podium finish, thanks to Bare Necessities for such tight racing and a great performance by all 3 Dazcat. We were pleased with our efforts racing two-handed against fully crewed boats.
The trip home the next day was rather more interesting than we would have liked, when were hit by a 40+knot gust approaching the Raz du Sein in the dark. I was in my bunk at the time, but Casper said both bows were well underwater!  We were an hour or so late on the targeted slack water at the Raz du Sein and recorded more than 7 knots of tide with us, though in pretty flat water with a SE wind and northerly running tide. In all, the whole trip took us exactly a week. It was great fun and the French made us very welcome with good support from the French Multihull Association. The race village was rather disappointing in that it mainly seemed to cater for tourists rather than sailors. The race itself was excellent with more interesting navigational challenges than the Fastnet although only half the length. I would recommend it to other MOCRA sailors, but what made it really work for us was having 3 Dazcats going together. It was disappointing that there were no comparable French catamarans to race against.
Volvo Round Ireland Race - watch the video below for footage from Hissy Fit and Bare Necessities.

Now to the main event: the 700-mile non-stop VRIR starting on 23 June.  While there was no separate two-handed race for multihulls we were allowed to enter two-handed and in doing so were permitted to use our autopilot. To avoid a 200-mile beat across the Celtic Sea we left Falmouth a few days earlier than originally planned. We stopped in at Wicklow, but decided that several days alongside the quay wall might not be very relaxing, so despite the friendly welcome from the club who run the race, we continued up to the Dun Laoghairie marina, where we moored up next to the MOD 70's and the other Dazcats later came to join us.  The Wicklow Sailing Club inspected all the boats. Suenos complied except we did not have a separate floating torch. Apparently the idea is that you should throw it to the man overboard in the water. As our life jackets have both PLB's and AIS beacons attached with lights and there is also a danbuoy with a light plus a separate lifebuoy and light to throw in, I seriously question whether we really need another light in the water. Needless to stay the chandlers in Dun Laoghairie was soon out of floating torches!
In addition to the three MOD 70's, which very sensibly put in a separate class by the Wicklow Sailing Club (if not by RORC) and the Dazcats Hissy, Fit, Bare Necessities and Suenos, there were two Irish trimarans, a Farrier F36 and the 50 foot Tri-Logic.  Monohulls comprised the rest of the 65-boat fleet including the 100 foot Maxi Rambler 88, Pegasus, Ross Hobson's Open 50 and several Class 40's. From the weather forecast it was clearly going to be a case of the rich getting richer, as the key was going to be to get past the Fastnet Rock before the wind veered NW, extending the beat round the SW corner of Ireland.
The multihulls started 10 minutes after the monohulls, and the Mod 70's took off, passing close by the Irish Navy committee boat, while the Dazcats, in part thanks to Hissy Fits luffing antics were all over thee line early and had to go back in the light SSE wind Hissy fit slowly drew ahead while Suenos and Bare Necessities were close together.

From Dublin all the way down to the Tuskar Rock there are a series of sandbanks, which shift around. While tacking out to the east toward what promised to be more wind, turned out to be ripples caused by very shallow water and Suenos ran aground. With boards up we managed to bump over the bank back into deeper water. Time to show these banks more respect, so we carefully skirted them for miles going south as we watched Bare Necessities sail straight over them and put up their screecher, while we continued several knots slower on a higher course along the edge of a bank. By the time we reached Tuskar Rock they were 2 miles ahead with Hissy Fit 3 miles further in front.
The wind then veered rather more to the SW than forecast ensuring that we would have a beat all the way down the southern Irish coast. The rain came and the wind picked up so that we had to put in a couple of reefs, but we had caught up Bare Necessities, while Hissy Fit was a good 15 miles ahead. As we were heading out past the Old Man of Kinsale, the clew of the jib exploded as the webbing on the clew ring broke. On Suenos the jib is a furling sail and the only headsail apart from a staysail, with which the boat wont really be able to point, so we decided to head into Kinsale to look for shelter. Even getting the jib down in a strong wind without the clew would be a challenge and it was starting to unwind from the furler. We headed in, but there was no reasonable shelter in the estuary, so that we went into the marina and tied alongside a powerboat to workout how to repair the sail. Not likely to find a sail maker in Kinsale on a Sunday afternoon, but in any case under the race rules we had to fix it ourselves. Casper hit on the solution. No messing with needle and thread, we used the biggest drill we could find and drilled three holes in each of the five pieces of webbing on the clew and threaded a piece of dyneema through them all and round the ring. In 2 hours the job was done and we set off again. The repair was thoroughly tested, but still looked fine back in Falmouth nearly 1000 miles later.

By the time we were back to the Old Man of Kinsale we had lost 4 hours, but at least we were back in the race, albeit 15 miles behind Bare Necessities and miles behind Hissy Fit.
Unfortunately our problems were not over, as around midnight the autopilot failed.  It turned out the base of the control unit was sitting in water collecting in a locker. For a while I steered while Casper tried to sort the problem.  After drying it out there seemed to be a loose connection as the autopilot would come on and off, but where? Eventually we hove to so we could both work on the problem and Casper found the loose wire.  After another two hours lost we were back sailing again, although the autopilot was somewhat erratic.  Now we were to pay for the lost time as we had to beat on round the SW corner, as opposed to more or less a fetch for the earlier boats, all the way to Great Skellig, 60 miles round from the Fastnet, by which time Bare Necessities was 50 miles ahead, with Hissy Fit really flying, 75 miles further ahead, having only had to make one short tack after passing the Fastnet Rock and then accelerating in the reach up the west coast. At least finally the rain had stopped! I really can’t remember a race when it rained for such a long spell. As we were playing catch up, we were steadily passing monohulls, most of them, with the crew all sitting on the rail. Why does anyone want to do that? And all the way round Ireland? I would give them a cheery wave while we passed them wandering round, cup of tea in hand or hiding under the bimini to avoid the worst of the rain.
Finally after over 200 miles of beating we could reach off up the west coast, initially with the screecher up, but soon it became too tight on the wind so it was back to jib and main. Just as we were looking forward to a nice broad reach from Eagle Island on the NW corner of County Mayo across Donegal Bay to Malin Head on the very north of the NE, the wind backed and it became closer to a run, but with too much wind for the kite. Bare Necessities had stretched her lead to 90 miles now, but promptly fell in a hole. By good luck we arrived at the entrance to the North Channel as the tide turned in our favour, so we covered the next 50 miles close reaching through it, close pass the cliffs of Rathlin Island, in 4 hours, but then the wind backed and dropped as the tide turned, so it was back to beating against the tide in light airs, but we had cut the deficit to Bare Necessities to only 30 miles, while Hissy Fit was approaching the finish 80 miles further ahead.  It took us another frustrating 29 hours to get to the finish, several times being completely becalmed. At one point I decided during my watch to have a shower on the grounds that the wind would be bound to come back in the middle of it, but even that did not work! Bare Necessities had to give us about 5 hours on handicap but we were still drifting along at one or two knots, 35 miles behind, when Bare Necessities finished. The wind eventually filled in, but with a beat again so we could not make up the difference, finally finishing an hour and a half behind on corrected time after 5 days of racing. We had made a good recovery after our stop in Kinsale and autopilot problems, but not quite enough.
Congratulations to Simon Baker and Hissy Fit on a great race to win the under 50 foot multihull class, and just beat Michel Kleinjans' Class Forty, Roaring Forty 2, (in which Michel had won the last Round Britain and Ireland Race) and to Bruce Sutherland and Bare Necessities for taking second ahead of Suenos, who finished third, comfortably ahead of the F36, while Tri-Logic having retired early on.  Thus it was a full Dazcat podium. The Mod 70's had charged round in 1 day 14 hours all three finishing within 8 minutes of each other.

Finally my thanks to Casper Holst my co-skipper on this adventure, who as soon as we arrived back in Falmouth set off in his own Catana 40 to Portugal and the Azores. 
The VRIR was a great race with lots of coast and spectacular offshore rocks and islands to pass. At 700 miles it is longer than the Fastnet and more interesting. The warm welcome and hospitality of the Wicklow Sailing Club and the Royal Irish Yacht Club was much appreciated. It was good that having opened the race up to multihulls for the first time, we were able to make an impact. I would encourage MOCRA sailors to take part in future races, which are run in non-Fastnet years, although the next race in 2018 takes place just after the Two-Handed Round Britain and Ireland Race.
How did racing two-handed compare with being fully crewed? Well, we did both enjoy the challenge of doing it all.  We proved we could be competitive, especially in the Triangle and Armen Races. Undoubtedly there were some points we would have been able to push the boat harder, if we had been fully crewed especially downwind in marginal conditions, so we lost a little there. Of course when things went wrong, more crew would have helped. We probably could have carried on sailing with the staysail, while fixing the jib with a full crew on the VRIR. In such a bouncy sea we would have really struggled to fix it two-handed and so the stop in Kinsale was well worth it, as at that point we still had another 100 miles of beating before reaching off up the west coast. Of course the autopilot problem would have been irrelevant, as we would not have been using it. Hence we would not have lost the two hours spent fixing it hove to. However it was all good experience for more short-handed racing.
It is also interesting to compare boat performance. In short bouncy seas the bigger boats always gain, as we saw in the beat along the southern Irish coast with Hissy Fit consistently going a knot or more faster than Suenos and Bare Necessities (and also in the beat out to the Manacles on Leg 2 of the Triangle Race). The gain made there translated into bigger gains in the anticipated VRIR rich get richer scenario. In Suenos case some of this may also be related to the age of the sails. Yes, we are now getting a new jib! Elsewhere we showed Hissy Fit can be beaten, so much of the difference, as always, is down to how well we sail the boats. It is interesting that the difference in handicap between Hissy fit and Suenos is actually less under Multi 2000 than it is under MOCRA. The MOD 70's might as well be on another planet, but they look to me to be a good deal more than twice as fast as the rest of us, which is much more than their MOCRA handicaps suggest.
Rupert Kidd
22 November 2016
We are delighted to say that in the interests of all things balanced, Matt Baker (brother to Simon) is this year's MOCRA champion. Congratulations Matt, well done for beating your brother and it's great to have you on the Dazcat build team at Multimarine.

Watch a short video of Matt giving some of the history of his 8m Granger - Wombat.

Cruising 2016
This section brings you summer cruising reports from Simon Baker aboard Hissy Fit and John and Jan Davey aboard Bedazzled.

Summer Cruising on Bedazzled, By John Davey
I had been looking for a replacement for my micro multihull KL28 for a couple of years. I looked at an Outremer but it wasn't quite what I wanted and concluded that a 10m Dazcat would fit the bill. I found Bedazzled for sale on a periodic visit to the Dazcat web site and arranged an inspection whilst visiting the West Country for a walking weekend (we were walking the South west Coastal path at the time). Although somewhat overwhelmed (after the spartan nature of the KL) by the sheer volume of electronic kit on the Dazcat i took the plunge and we used the boat for the first season as a base for our coastal path walks before sailing her back to the Solent. 
We really enjoy the boat,. it combines above average performance with comfort which keeps both Jan and i happy, the all round views from the saloon whether at anchor or at sea just cant be replicated in a monohull.

As I enjoy my wife’s company and would prefer to sail with than without her I work hard to make sailing as enjoyable as I can for her, and I’m quite proud to say that on our return from a fortnight’s cruise this summer she had a good time, or so she tells me.
The cruise started (fortunately wifeless) with the Round the Island race, a bit windy as I think all participants would agree. A poor result due to the incompetence of the skipper and immediately after the finish a slog against wind and tide to Yarmouth – too late for supper with our shore side friends who are by now safely ensconced in a remote restaurant, but an excellent meal never the less at Salties; ladies fish and chips all round.  What must real men be like! 20 stone probably!
The next morning the crew depart by bus for convoluted journeys to middle England. I on the other hand join my wife and friends at a delightful bistro in the converted railway station overlooking the Yarmouth wetlands for lunch.                                   
As the Proseco flows the holiday commences.
Farewell to the friends who return on the ferry for home in Hampshire. The rough tough seafaring life is not for them.
Eight hours of hard sailing on Saturday had done nothing to improve my late onset asthma, so a couple of lazy days are the doctor’s orders. We stroll along the foreshore to The Hut at Totland Bay for lunch. The Hut is a popular boater’s stop off with a pre bookable ferry service from anchorage to restaurant. The return stroll takes us through the Isle of Wight countryside past the Red Lion at Freshwater, a favourite stop off reached from Yarmouth via a wooded footpath alongside the river Yar.
The next morning dawns fine so a fast sail on the wind to Studland. My wife kept a close eye on the Yarmouth ferry. I would say she is paranoid about boat proximity, she would say not and claims historic evidence to justify it!
Being of shallow draft we picked up one of the thoughtfully placed buoys close inshore well in the lee. It doesn’t matter what the weather does now as long as the wind stays in the West; a safe bet on the South coast. Dinghy ashore to dine at the Bankes Arms, fantastic views across Christchurch Bay from the pub garden and good honest pub grub too.
A good night’s sleep and a run ashore for morning coffee at the Knoll Beach Cafe populated by active older folk and wholesome young families of just the type you’d expect in a National Trust establishment.  I say that the former are primarily retired school teachers which is the case at all other National Trust establishments. My wife says I am prejudiced owing to my traumatic (and short) educational career. 
A walk along Studland beach past proud displays of the naturist physique and on past the ferry where we fall upon the really excellent Shell Beach restaurant for an unexpected light lunch with perhaps a little too much wine, soon dissipated by a wander along the harbour foreshore for afternoon tea at Knoll House Hotel – what an interesting place – straight out of the 1950’s now up for sale and yours for a cool £8m so I’m told.
We did discuss moving on to Poole Harbour and Arne but inertia rules OK so instead, the next day, we strolled over Ballard Down past Old Harry Rocks. Which my wife insists on calling Harry rocks, like she calls Mauritius (where our daughter is getting married later this year) The Mauritius. Why does she do this?
To Swanage where we stop at a seafront bar to dine whilst watching teams of teenagers raft building and subsequently getting very wet when testing their creations afloat. The 10 minute open top bus back to Studland cost £7.50 for both of us. Ok for us but a lot to pay for a young family on holiday with no other means of transport. We’re lucky to be part of the ‘haves’.

Day three at Studland and a walk to Corfe – I’ve had enough of walking now and it’s a long way. The tramp up to the ridge is broken by morning coffee at the East Purbeck Golf Club once owned by Enid Blyton and with absolutely fantastic views over Poole Harbour. The menu looks good but no time to stop so on up onto the ridge and (eventually) down into Corfe village where I fall into the Greyhound and ask for a cream tea, which is the first thing I see on the menu. My wife on the other hand orders a prawn salad but due to a number of factors related to the computerised ordering system and my early cream tea order, it never arrives. We taxi back to Studland and it costs less than yesterday’s bus, the price differential seems somehow immoral but I’m not sure why.
That’s it for walking but it’s too windy for Poole so we meander to Knoll Beach for a coffee followed by lunch at the Pig on the Beach – have you ever been to the Pig on the Beach? It’s the latest trendy thing, together with the other ‘Pig’ establishments. We order lunch from the wood fired pizza oven at the outside bar and (being yachties and knowing about wind) choose seats in the lee – these are (we subsequently find) for hotel guests only, so we are turfed out and retire to alternative more exposed seats where our jaunty nautical themed hessian order flag blows over, taking with it my recently filled wine glass – too popular for its own good is the Pig on the Beach!
We are now thoroughly rested, relaxed, wined and dined, so with a force 5 – 6 South Westerly behind us we put a reef in the main and sail off the mooring for a broad reach and run, wind and tide behind us back to Yarmouth.
The guys in the dories at Yarmouth are just great – they call me Skipper – which my wife never does – and they can handle boats like the complete professionals they are.
The only trouble is all the favourite haunts are full. Where do we eat?  We end up at the George Hotel, a really first class meal with the added bonus of watching the ferry head straight for our table before it veers off at the very last minute to slot into its berth the other side of the diminutive Yarmouth Castle.
And so to Newtown where we spot a kingfisher on a walk the long way round to the New Inn at Shalfleet. I’m lucky enough to get a seat with a good view of the cars at the traffic lights and I can tell you with a degree of accuracy that the average age of the drivers at that particular time and on that particular road is about 65. I can’t say if this is representative of the whole Isle of Wight population but I suspect it might be.
The next day another South Westerly force 6. I know it’s naughty but we don’t even bother with the main and we romp along at 7 knots with just the self tacking jib. We gybe merrily at will, sometimes just for the hell of it!
We slot into a difficult berth at Cowes Yacht Haven with a bit of smart close quarters manovering, even if I do say so myself.
Whilst my wife looks at clothes shops I stop off at the barbers – there’s a story about this- the last time I went to the barber as I sat back in the chair he asked me how I liked my hair done. I asked if he could take half off please. He asked if I had clippers or scissors, and I said clippers on the sides - what happened next happened very quickly -  like lightening the clippers cut a 2 inch furrow across the middle of my scalp – he said ‘is that how you like it sir? ’ I replied ‘not quite’!
Barbers are normally quite chatty but the conversation was a bit stilted from then on, although I do recall at one point he said that he had never had the courage to shave his own hair off! Anyway the current trip to the barbers offered the opportunity for a trim on the sides with nothing off the top. The girl who did the cutting had recently returned to the Island to bring up her family and I don’t blame her, it’s a lovely place.
Off to Beaulieu, negotiating the multitude of craft off Cowes, wife with hand bearing compass at the ready, fast ferries, slow ferries, water taxis, powerboats, yachts, dinghies, day boats, RIBs.  You name it, she spotted it.

Up past Bucklers hard and to an upriver mooring – perfect – a stroll up to Monty’s bar where the food comes from the same kitchen as the two star Michelin restaurant next door.
The next day a visit to the Bucklers Hard Maritime Museum, really very good.  The strangest  thing is an exhibit with a recording of sea shanties, everyone who stops (our sort of age) bursts into song to accompany ‘hearts of oak are our ships, hearts of oak are our men’ whilst smiling at each other and giggling. Was it part of the BBC music and movement stuff we listened to at primary school?
 Lunch at the Master Builder hotel; great food and even better service and an afternoon sail with wind and tide (do you see a trend here) to Bembridge where the Bembridge staff are friendly and efficient, even when very busy, and where our lifting keels and rudders enable us to reach the parts no other boats can reach, thus making shower and shore access really easy.
A bus ride to Culver Down where the driver drops us off, not at the stop, but right at the footpath, and a stroll round the coast along Whitesands Bay to a pop up restaurant overlooking Bembridge Ledge. Back via ferry to the Marina and dinner at Baywatch on the Beach; nothing to look at from the outside but great food and a view to equal any restaurant I know!
A brief sail back to our home port at the end of a successful trip, no sinking’s, no unintentional groundings, no men overboard, but strict diets loom on the horizon.

By John Davies
October 2016


Hissy Fit Family Summer Cruise in Brittany,
by Simon Baker

The family Holiday to Southern Brittany took place at the end of August and the weather was very kind to us. We spent several hours loading up for the trip with 2 families totalling 7 on-board. Full water tanks (900 ltr), 3 Kayaks, Fishing rods, 5 camping chairs, bags of food as they don’t have any in France, Bags of clothes, wetsuits & Foul weather gear, I could go on and on.
We left Saltash SC on Tuesday and headed to the Yealm entrance for a late lunch and a chill out before heading South at 16.30 for an overnight passage the first for Abi, Evie, Sophie and Sarah. Dolphins come along to say hello and instantly everyone is on Cloud 9, they unfortunately don’t stay long. Following a Bolognese supper we were gifted a beautiful sunset and dropped into a watch system.

Evie the youngest decided that it was best just to sleep for the night and wake up in French waters. As to plan Le Four came up at first light as we enterd the Channel for our ride down toward the Raz De Sein and onto our destination of Benodet. We arrived pretty much 24 hours after our departure having had a mix of sailing and motoring, the problem with a boat that will happily motor at 8kts is as soon as you’re not sailing at 6-7 kts the engines tend to come on, maybe one day when we are not in such a rush we will be happy sailing at 5kts!!!
The girls were happy to have  a couple of nights in Benodet following their long passage, so a trip to the beach, meals out and gernrally relaxing time. We set out to leave Benodet on the Friday morning with a fuel stop before heading to Ile de Glenan. It all looked so easy, with a gentle breeze blowing us on square to the fuel berth, I had even been warned about the tide running out of sight through the marina, but still, it came as a bit of a shock as we approached the pontoon in front of 100 Frenchmen who were at a race briefing right above the fuel berth! Luckily we managed to get along side with a bit of pushing and shoving and without any scratches.

A delightful sail due South out to Ile de Glenan, screecher up at 6-8 kts. Arriving we saw how popular this archipelago is, being only 10-20  miles from many Breton ports, it attracts many sailors, and motor boaters as well as ferries that bring hundreds more on day trips. Still we dropped anchor behind Fort Cigogne built 1717. Time for some swimming, diving off and pearl hunting of the boat. BBQ supper followed by an awesome sunset. The next day it was time for the Abi & Sophie to experience jumping over the side and setting off some old life jackets, which certainly woke up the neighbour’s.  A great thing to do to gain vital experience, should you need to use one for real.

Next destination Concanneu, if we had had more time a second night at the islands would have been great, but for a restless crew it was onwards and upwards to the fortified medieval city. As usual Abi jumped into the Bosuns chair and by now had found a really quick way of holding the mainsail, headboard car and pin. This was quite a feat as you need three hands for the job of attaching the square top main to the headboard car, so far she is the quickest of all the crew who have been aboard this year. Weaving through the rocky shallows and out though one of the narrow channels we could see a fleet of Diam 24’s lining up for a race, we made it over towards their start line and as they aproached the top mark and unfurled their screechers, we joined in with the back markers and were holding our own, their support rib came over to say hello and we exchanged pleasantries with the builder/marketing guy who we had previously meet at the Mocra Nationals at Poole in May. The Diams were heading in a different direction so we bore away eased the sheets and headed for Conncanue. Just as we arrived the leading Diam showed upto be finished by a Rib next to one of the port hand channel markers, it looked like they were heading back into Port La Foret. Once again the marina staff were ready and welcoming, we were placed on the end of a Hammerhead and could stay there as long as we were to leave tomorrow, there was 25-30 kts forcast for the following day, but we thought we could brave that and head across the bay to Locktudy in the afternoon a trip of of 10-12 miles.
EvenThough it was approaching my 50th birthday we weren’t allowed to go to the Taj Mahal Indian restaurant that was on the strip with all the other restaurants, so we settled for a great streak instead. A walk around the walled city were ther were musicians playing and ice creams to be eaten.
Sunday mooring with the wind howling and the odd boat creeping in and out of the marina looking wet meant that that yesterdays bravado about leaving our safe berth not being  a problem was further hampered by the fact that Sunday morning was not the ideal time to try and find some provisions to help keep us going. Luckily Richard and Sarah managed to find a little Boulangerie that was open so following a sandwich we set off leaving the dock at 1400. As we cast our lines away and were preparing to hoist our main sail Safran an IMOCA 60’er with side foils was leaving the inner harbour. We let her pass, and then followed her out, as we had already got our main up with 2 reefs in, it was now our turn to motor past as they slowed to hoist their mainsail. Richard and Abi got the jib out of the back and were taking the odd wave on the net.

We started sailing south, hard on the wind, it wasn’t long before Safran went past us all be it a mile away as they were close reaching at 11kts against our respectable 8kts. We tacked onto port and headed towards Locktudy, an hour or so went past with everyone now settled down with a fairly comfortable motion and the with the wind now starting to drop. As come closer to land a hand full of Kite surfers appeared, looking like learners they were a few miles out and still getting to grips with controlling them selves, they had a support rib to take them home once they had finished drifting down wind.
Locktudy entrance showed a fair sized fishing fleet in harbour. The marina was just around the corner with some wonderfull looking Chateaus over looking the river wiith grounds down to the rivers edge. Once dock we set off to pay at the marina office, here the price was €40 compared with €60 in Benodet. The other attraction was a welcoming bar at the top of the marina ramp, with drinks and nibbles on offer.
Monday morning and we were on our way again, following a walk out to the Carfour supermarket. this time destination Audierne, past Point Penmarch, a great days sailing with a Shark spotted by Evie. Wind 10-13 knts and a good up wind pace of 7 kts, which takes us 4 hours to cover the 25 miles. With a NE wind the anchorage at Saint –Evette, just outside the river entrance to Audierne offered great shelter. Half the team onto the Kayaks and the others in the dinghy and a trip ashore, for beach games and an ice cream. BBQ for supper and another great sunset at anchor.

Tuesday and it’s up early to head off towards the Raz de Sein, with a favourable tide it only takes an hour to motor along the coast, for a very calm trip past La Plate, with no wind in sight we continue onto the large bay around to the south of Camaret by the village of Kerloch for a lunch stop. Off Pointe du Pen-Hir there are four islands with navigable gaps between them, so we though let’s go through, to our amazement there is a natural Rock Man/Giant laid back watching you pass through, you will have to go and see for your selves. A few miles more and we enter Camaret, very nicely tucked away and with lots of fishing history, a stunning small castle with moat and draw bridge guarding the entrance to the harbour, which when light up at night came alive. With my 50th birthday on the next day we went out for a celebratory fish supper, I even managed to find Monk fish cooked with a hint of Indian spices and basmati rice, not quite a real curry but a step in the right direction.
Birthday morning and a few presents to open before we set off for Aber Wrac’h. A new Captains hat, we have been missing one of these for the last few years, a definite way of knowing who is in charge!
Before we left we needed to take on some more fuel. At the fuel berth there were 4 or 5 Star fish on the dock, Evie instantly wanted to save them and get them back in the water, not sure where they had come from but it seemed Evie managed to save 3 or 4 of them as they settled back down to the sea bed.
Out to the start of the Channel De Four with the tide underneath us, picked up another British boat heading North. It was only an hour and we were starting to bear East as we exited the channel and entered the Atlantic swell again. With the tide ripping along with us the inner passage looks a little scary as the wave break on the many outlying rocks, so we decide to carry on long on the offshore route. Screecher pulling on a tight reach has us entering the Aber Wrac’h estary with a sailing school and half a dozen Hobie cats racing, thankfully they mainly keep out of our way as we navigate the unfamiliar waters, their instructor abandons them to follow us for a few minutes with another positive thumbs up for Hissy Fit. As we close in on the village and the marina the girls spring one again into action, furl the screecher, drop the jib and get ready to put the mainsail to bed.

The Harbour master asks if we would like a marina berth but as our plan is to eat on board and leave before day brake we pick up a bouy in the middle of the river.  Time for a cup of tea and some chocolate birthday cake, with candles. A couple more presents and this time is a set of Cider cups, so we best try those out. Tracey and I had a quick trip ashore to see what was on offer, another Co-Op chandlery, a few restaurants and a sailing club.
With the alarm going off at 0500, Richard and I get set to slip the mooring in the dark and make our way North and back home. It seemed like a good idea to get going early, motor till the forecast wind came in form the SW, leaving the mooring I could just make out the outline of the Square riiger that was on another bouy, once past her the lack of lit markers mase for a gentle motor out trying to retrace our steps on the chart plotter, I would certainly think more than twice doing that if any wind or sea were about. By midd ay the girls finally rise from their extended sleep and the wind meant that after lunch the kite was hoisted, 10 kts speeds soon arrived and the breeze rose to 13-14 kts giving us fantastic conditions, making good speed straight towards Plymouth Sound. The Amoreake Brittany ferry over took us near the Eddystone  light house. Ahead of schedule we started to clean up and prep for unloading everyone's kit and the kitchen sink. Back up the river at Saltash we had arrived just before thursdsy night racing, so the pontoon was full, with the tide in we decided to take the opertunity to unload the kyaks at the bottom of the garden. Tracey’s brother, and Mum & Dad helped unload as we nuged the bow up to the bottom of the garden, it all ended up a good move.
Back up to the mooring and another family cruse over and a first trip channel crossing for Abi, Evie, Sophie and Sarah. Another 500miles logged.
Where will we go in 2017???

By Simon Baker
September 2016
Race Dates for Next Year

You can find upcoming Multihull races via the calander on the MOCRA website here:

You can see who is taking part in different events by asking to 

MOCRA also has a membership you can ask about via their Facebook or website.

So far, Hissy Fit has confirmed the following dates Other Dazcats will be doing other races as well).

We will be setting more dates in the new year. Check these on our Facebook page, events.
The Multihull Centre - Cornish Catamarans, Carbon, Composites and Complete Multihull Services
Quietly nestling in South East Cornwall’s ‘forgotten corner’ is The Multihull Centre Boatyard, home to Dazcat Catamarans and Multimarine . Together we make up the perfect partnership group, each offering services and facilities that compliment the others. The diverse amenities we offer, along with the unique and beautiful location, bring together a rare combination of build and sailing experts as well as self-build hobbyists, seasoned circumnavigators and liveaboards of all types. For those looking for a more comfortable place to stay while they go about their business, there is even an onsite B&B located in a beautifully renovated mill. Combined, these services and people create a truly unequalled community.
The Multihull Centre Boatyard became home to Dazcat Catamarans and Multimarine in 2012 when they moved from their previous site just along the beach. The yard with its brokerage, storage and wide range of other services is the perfect base for multihull enthusiasts of all kinds and the three separate but partnered companies have grown, thanks to each other’s strengths and co-operative structure.
Multihull Centre Tour

Take an unplanned stroll with Dazcat designer through the Multihull yard - it really is a paradise for multihull lovers!

What's in the brokerage at the moment?

If you are thinking about selling give us a ring to arrange listing your boat.
Contact: 01752 823900 or email:

The Multihull Centre - friendly, personal services.
Europe’s first specialist multihull boatyard, established in 1968
Lift out up to 19 tonne multihull
Visitor and long-term pontoon berths
Winter/ all year around hard standing storage with electric and Water
Boat & RV parking with electric hook-up
On site chandlery
Laundry, showers and toilets
B&B accommodation
Repairs and maintenance
Rig check
Outboard servicing and winterisation
Equipment storage facility
Workshop space for hire
Boat and RV wrapping


Why profile Simon?

Simon is not only a director of Multimarine and Dazcat Catmarans, he is also the owner and skipper of Hissy Fit, our flagship D1495. Hissy Fit and Simon have had such a great year on the race circuit this year we thought it would be both fitting and potentially useful for you to know who exactly it is you might find yourself racing against, or with.
Simon has been boat building since he left school 28 years ago, with his initial training in wooden boat building.

He built his first racing boat in the late 80’s, a Cherub but it didn’t take long before he and his brother Matt, current MOCRA National Champion, felt disadvantaged racing a heavier wooden boat against the composite competition.

The composite crews may not have been going along in classic, elegant, style but they certainly looked like they were having more fun so the following winter the two brothers built their first foam sandwich boat and have never looked back.
At around the same time, Simon got a job helping to build a 30 ft Shuttleworth trimaran, based at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth. This experience showed Simon yet another previously unknown aspect of boating, but it was to be another 10 years before he had the chance to start sailing on multihulls as he went down a different route - skiff sailing.

For the next five years Simon was kept busy sailing 18ft skiffs at National, European and International level. This experience took him around the world, gave him opportunity to meet and get to know many other emerging world class sailors, and last but not least, develop the thrill for high speed, adrenalin pumped racing.
Much as Simon enjoyed this type of racing and lifestyle, it was physically punishing and he was reaching the age of thinking about settling down when he joined Darren Newton, of Dazcat Catamarans in 1997. It was then that he finally got the opportunity to experience multihull sailing, first on a 30 ft catamaran, then 26 & 30 ft trimarans. At last he understood the boats he had been building up to now and also the raw power and speed that some multihulls can deliver. It was, without doubt, the logical next step.

The first multihull Simon owned was ‘Brian’, formerly ‘Clark's Active Air’, an 8m Dazcat. Brian was sailed twice across the Atlantic, first by Darren Newton and Bob Begos and then by Bob singlehandedly. Simon and his wife Tracey kept this boat until the arrival of their first child, Abi, in 2001 when they decided it was time to get something a little more ‘cruisey’.
Only 3 months later another boat appeared and with Tracey's words echoing in his ears, Simon made sure that it had the required specification “A Toilet and a Galley”. “Well” he says, smiling,  “Paradox certainly had both, the fact you could sit on the loo and make a cup of tea at the same time seemed an efficient use of time to me. I am not sure Tracey has ever forgiven me!”

In the way of all good women, Tracey got what she wanted in the end, and some! In 2009 Drama Queen, the new D1195 was launched and at last the Baker family were able to combine Simon’s passion for speed and adrenalin, with the family’s need for a stable, comfortable and safe platform from which they could enjoy the water.

Drama Queen went on to win offshore races and Simon was having such a great time that when the opportunity came along for a new D1495, he just couldn’t resist, and neither could the family.
Team 'Slinky Malinky' (of the new design D1295) - you have laid the challenge and now you know what you're up against! Come on 2017!

Why a multihull Simon?

First of all perhaps let's start with the ‘why not to have a multihull’? The arguments we hear over and over again:
“They can capsize.” Well so can almost any boat and all boats have to be sailed within their and your capabilities,.
“They can be very slow, or perhaps too fast” As can many others too – you choose the boat to suit your needs.
“They do take up more space, to berth or store.” Yes but some marinas and boatyards have special offers for multihulls so seek them out.
“There is more to them and thus they generally are more expensive than a similar sized monohull.” But definitely double the comfort and fun for much less than double the money all told!
Now for the reasons to have a multihull:
They make a great platform for everything from family fun to dive expeditions.
They sail on the level, which really does change everything.
There’s a 360 deg view from inside, allows you to keep an eye on the horizon and reduces seasickness.
At anchor you have greater living space and a stable home.
Charter companies are choosing to offer them as they are the vessel of choice for many clients and the option of a hull each after any family quibbles is definitely a bonus!
In the unlikely event of capsize you have a raft to stay on.
Ability to enjoy fast passage making in comfort 
Next editions
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