Penfold Audi Sport goes carbon

Penfold Audi Sport first race, first win in the Range series in Melbourne, wind 20 to 25 gusts to 35
Melbourne based yachtsman Dave Ellis has upgraded his Archambault A31 'Penfold Audi Sport' with a custom designed Carbon mast from NZ Spars and Rigging.

Dave sailed 'Penfold Audi sport' last season with the factory issued Alloy mast to some great results under IRC, but with Dave been the perfectionist that he is he wanted more, Everyone knew from Day 1 the alloy mast was on the softside and Dave went about looking at the options and it didn’t take long to work out carbon was the best option.

With NZ Saprs and Rigging having already rigged a number of yachts in Melbourne it didn’t take long to work out a package that would suit the Budget and give the necessary gains Dave was looking for.

The mast was built in one piece using pre preg carbon in a female mould which was cured in an autoclave with all local patching and stiffening as required co-cured internally to give a smooth out of the mould low windage finish. The low windage theme was then carried on with all fittings including the spreaders attachments exit boxes, custom designed internal rigging tangs and internal main halyard lock

Comments from a Happy Dave Ellis regarding the mast:
It is not widely understood that most European sourced production yachts have lightweight aluminium masts which are not stiff enough to provide the head stay tension required to effectively flatten the jib as the breeze builds. The mast is soft enough to depower the mainsail through the application of backstay so these boats end up with the jibs too full due to head-stay sag and the mainsails too flat because they cannot be built with enough luff round to suit the soft mast. The choice of a carbon fibre mast provides sufficient head stay straightness to allow the jib to be set up properly with the appropriate depowering tools such as jib halyard tension and jib car position.

The choice of an NZ Rigging carbon fibre mast was made on the basis of their experience with other boats on the bay such as 'Living Doll', 'Scarlet Runner', 'Veloce', 'Terra Firma', 'Spirit of DownUnder' , ' XLRB' and 'Shogun'. We were able to transfer much of this big boat technology into our own project through the inclusion of rig tuning aids such as an adjustable mast foot, easy rig set up with an internal mast jack and shims to adjust the rig tension and performance aids such as a mainsail halyard lock.

Penfold Audi Sport’s spar being being loaded at Auckland Airport
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NZ Rigging did a wonderful job of putting together our new carbon fibre mast for the Melbourne based Archambault A31 'Penfold Audi Sport'. The mast was stepped on Monday, the boat went sailing on Wednesday and won its first race, Division 2 IRC heat one of the Club Marine Series on Saturday. The attention to detail in a relatively small project is superb with low windage terminations on the rod shrouds and flush fastenings to minimise spinnaker tears.

New Zealand Spars and Rigging, incorporating Foster Masts, is New Zealand’s largest locally owned Yacht Rigging and Spar Making operation

From the traditional dinghy classes, right through to high end international racing and cruising projects, we are fully involved in:
• Manufacture of Carbon Fibre and Aluminium masts
• Full mast and rigging service and maintenance
• Support and systems for Kitset and DIY projects

The sailing scene has changed. Cost is important, but quality, longevity, and suitability for our challenging sailing conditions, is paramount.

We are located at Northcote and Westhaven, Auckland, New Zealand, and we export all over the world. Contact us to discuss your upcoming project. Contact: Bart@nzrigging.com