There’s been a lot of fun at 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week trying to work out the whys and wherefores over Sir Ben Ainslie's fabulous new boat, which predictably is called Rita.
|Sir Ben Ainslie and girlfriend Georgie Thompson on Rita|
He and his glamorous girlfriend Georgie Thomson were spotted on the boat on Saturday but despite a squillion questions to a zillion people, no one seemed to know what it was, where it came from and why it was there. No nuffin!
But we did some digging and discovered – eventually - that it is a beautiful Hoek Design Truly Classic 65 (we think). Apparently it combines early 20th century elegance with 21st century underwater hull configurations and she is a performance cruiser which means she is fast and comfortable!
It was recently in Berthons in Lymington for a big-gish refit including air conditioning, chain plate covers, and general upgrades to get her ready for the 2014 season though it is unlikely that Ainslie will be able to find time to race her due to his 24/7 commitment to raising funds for his Ben Ainslie Racing bid for the America’s Cup.
|Rita at Berthons in Lymington|
A boat similar to this one – possibly this very boat (see below) was up for sale recently for £1.1 million which probably isn't far off what Ainslie earned from the last America’s Cup. This one has raw teak decks and a varnished mahogany doghouse – absolutely gorgeous.
No idea if it is Ainslie’s boat but the fact it is called Rita, the name he has given ALL his boats throughout his brilliant career suggests it belongs to him. It is enough to give us major boat envy!!!
Here is what the Hoek Design Truly Classic 65 look like inside. Get ready to dribble.....
It all kicked off in the Royal London YC last night as the Daring knuckle-bruisers tried in their own way to sort out the mess from earlier in the day when Magnus Wheatley had this hole put in his beloved Destroyer by John Hackman's Doube Knot. It was heartbreaking because Wheatley spent around £10,000 on his restoration and this little dent will add another £2-3,000 to the bill.
Disappointingly (!) the paramedics were not required but no one would have been surprised if a few punches had been thrown. This is a very competitive class, packed with spiky owners reminiscent of the good old Laser SB3 charlies who used to come dressed like super heroes each time they raced, sporting virile hairy chests and runaway mouths……
The Daring is a conspicuously beautiful and elegant day boat. It stands out as a thing of beauty, even among the confusing mass of hulls that greet visitors when the Red Jet weaves its way across the Solent to Cowes. The people that sail them, many of them Squadron members, are not so elegant but they tend to be fantastic sportsmen. It is THE class to watch in 2014.