The west coast’s biggest warhorse

sailing-mag

the west coast’s biggest warhorse hugo boss dismasts One of the hottest, sexiest new West Coast boats is also the biggest. Watch out, ecause Rio100 is coming to town — Newport Harbor to be exact. If you followed  he Rolex Sydney Hobart race in December, you probably know that she was one of four 100-footers.

Built by Bakewell-White in 2003, RIO 100 had raced in that event previously in her original 98-ft confi guration, variously named Lahana, Konica Minolta, and Zana.

Early last year, Manouch Moshayedi of Corona del Mar purchased Lahana in Australia and delivered her to Cookson’s Yachts in New Zealand for a complete refit with the goal of creating a boat that would be suitable for and competitive in West Coast ocean racing, and which would qualify for the  trophy.

Manoush Moshayedi is the founder and former CEO and chairman of sTec, Inc., a computer data storage company with locations in Silicon Valley and Southern California. In  2013, the company was bought by Irvine-based West Digital.

When we checked in with him in January, Manoush explained:

“The boat used to have water ballast, and we removed the back half of the boat,  which had all the water ballast, and rebuilt the boat without it and without a canting keel, to qualify for the Barn Door.

So the boat has been purpose-built for the Barn Door. We are also looking to break the monohull record on a boat without the use of stored power. Wild Oats XI is also participating in the Transpac, but that boat has a canting keel, water ballast, DSS lifting boards and all-electric and mechanical winch systems.

This boat will get to Hawaii first, but it certainly is not a monohull in a traditional sense of the word.” Brett Bakewell-White redeveloped and modernized the design of Rio100. A crew of 20-25 people worked on the refit seven days a week for nine months.

She now sports a wider, longer stern, a longer boom and a longer bowsprit. The helm stations were moved aft, and Rio100 is now 6-7 tons lighter than was Lahana. Her winches are all manual.

A new engine was installed with a new lifting prop, and a new lifting keel (from 19 to 14 feet) will facilitate entry into at least some West Coast marinas.

Rio100’s first race was New Zealand’s 230-mile Yates Cup in November, and she won it. Her second race was the 628- mile Rolex Sydney Hobart, which started on Boxing Day, December 26, in Sydney Harbour.

Rio100 performed very well,” said Manouch Moshayedi about the Australian race. “Our primary goals were to get off the start line cleanly and make it to Hobart in one iece. The fact that we were in contention for third place up until a couple of  ours before the finish was icing on the cake.We were still very happy with our fourth-place finish just 11 minutes behind the third-place finisher, Ragamuffin 100, which is a canting-keel boat with water ballast and a much larger sail plan.

The crew saw 35 knots on the nose the first night, triple zeros the next morning, then 35 knots from behind, followed by triple zeros again.

The only low point was when we parked at the head of the Derwent River and waited for Ragamuffin 100, said Moshayedi.

Aboard for the Sydney Hobart were skipper Moshayedi, navigator Peter Isler, tactician Gavin Brady, boat captain Keith Kilpatrick, Jeff Mesaano, Mike Howard, Mike Van Dyke, Mike Pentecost, Mike Mottl, Peter Van Niekerk, Alastair Campbell, Brad Ferrand, Duncan Macleod, Nick Partridge, Steve Kemp, Julian Freeman, Tyler Wolk, Bill Jenkins, Nick Vindin, San Franciscan Joe Penrod, Sean ‘Doogie’ Couvreux and Morgan Gutenkunst. The latter two sailed as youth in the Bay Area.

Gutenkunst had raced with Moshayedi on his TP52 Rio, so when Rio100 was ready to go, he got the call to be one of the lead bowmen. “The Sydney Hobart has always been on my list of races to do,” said Gutenkunst. “The start in Sydney Harbour with all of the boats, media, and spectators was incredible. I also really enjoyed rounding Tasman Island — the cliffs did not disappoint.

“There is so much excitement about the race in Sydney,” said Manoush Moshayedi. “Everyone knew about the race. When you arrive in Hobart, there is a warm welcome from the locals. I had never seen this type of a reception around a sailboat race.” Rio100 has been pulled apart again for loading onto a ship bound from Sydney to San Pedro. The boat will live on its cradle at the Windward yard in Marina del Rey.