Prototype by an amateur

Vampire Project by William Sunnucks and G. Elees – Foiling Week Awards 2016 winner
Category Foiling prototype designed by an amateur, For foiling craft not intended for commercial production

Vampire project update 2016 season

The Vampire project made unexpected gains in 2016 due to small improvements. The scale of progress was brought home when a second Vampire (“Little Green”) was launched late in the season with 2015 rig and foils. It is significantly slower, and we need to get it up to the same speed with “White Bear” to run a proper two boat campaign in 2017.

Race results are improving. After struggling upwind in the Raid de Houat and tearing a mainsail in two whilst leading the Solent Forts race, the Vampire was third around Texel in winds so light that only 10 boats finished – a testimony to the advantages of being able to reduce wetted surface area by lifting the foils clear of the water. An “out of sight” line honours win came in September in a 15-20 knot breeze – the Kent Forts race.

The changes have been been barely visible to the casual observer: slightly more span on the main foils, an improved rudder raising system, a bigger but flatter mainsail. Next year we will try a screecher designed for 1% luff sag rather than the present 5%, which means developing a stronger mast and slaughtering our SCHRS handicap, something we have to ignore if we are to keep true to the “rules free” philosophy behind the project. We will also strengthen the main foils which have shown a tendency to fail when driven too hard partially submerged. The kit is being tested more harshly as we get more confident and drive the boat harder.

Many thanks to those who have participated in the project in 2016 – Graham Eeles, Mark Self, Sam Curtis, Neal Pawson, Gary Scott-Janner and many more.