anyone know anything about an Open 60 from 1996ish "Global Challenger"

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by capt vimes, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. capt vimes
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 379
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 247
    Location: Austria

    capt vimes Senior Member

    i have been crawling the internet for any information on this boat, but to no prevail...

    does anybody here know a thing or two about this particular boat?

    the reason for my curiosity is the rather unconventional rig it had - it was a cat schooner and the only other open 60 with such a rig was sponbergs project amazon...
    i would really like to gather some more information on how this "global challenger" performed, technical specs and what happened to it...
    thanks in advance!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
    Posts: 2,002
    Likes: 205, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2917
    Location: On board Corroboree

    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Hi Capt. Vimes,

    Global Challenger was built for Tony Bullimore in England for a late campaign entry in the 1992 Vendee Globe Challenge. Tony was not able to get the boat completed by the start, so he had to wait until the next Vendee Globe in 1996 when he had finally found some sponsorship and entered the race with the boat renamed Exide Challenger. See two articles from my archive attached, the first from Seahorse magazine in November 1992, and the second from Sailing World magazine in April 1997.

    As you can imagine, the design of Global Challenger influenced me quite a bit in the design of Project Amazon. GC's masts were stayed, however, while PA's were unstayed. GC had a forward sweep to her keel, whereas PA's keel was swept conventionally and slightly aft.

    I followed the '96-'97 Vendee Globe race very closely and reported events in a private newletter I was sending to about dozen potential clients who expressed interest in my designs for future campaigns. None of those people was ever able to make a commitment, but that's another story. In a race preview in Seahorse magazine in the November 1996 issue, there is a capsule summary of all the competitors, and it had this to say, in part, of Tony Bullimore and Exide Challenger:

    "Somewhat less successful with his subsequent ultra-light Noble/Smith designed trimarn, Spirit of Apricot, Bullimore made the switch to long distance monohulls with the building, in 1992, of his current Noble/Smith designed Global Challenger--this is the boat on which he will race the Vendee Globe.

    "One of the first monohulls to be fitted with (twin) wingmasts, Challenger struggled in light airs during its early races due to the perceived shortage of sail area. This should have been remedied in recent months with the boat unergoing an extensive re-fit and partial re-rig with larger sails."

    Sadly, during the race, Challenger lost her keel, flipped over,and was abandoned. Bullimore was pulled alive off the up-turned boat. That's her in the cover photo of the second article I posted. From my tracking record, I have these details: At the start of the race, Bullimore had steering troubles and he had to go back to the start. After restarting, apparently, he had some trouble with the fore mast--don't know what. He also had electrical problems that eventually got solved under way. His desalinator broke, but he said it rained and snowed often and he had 15 liters on board. By 4 January '97, Bullimore was 5,000 miles behind the leader, and two days later, on 6 January, Challenger's keel broke off and she flipped over in 50 knots of wind. He was 2,000 miles SW of Australia and 1,000 miles north of Wilkes Land in Antarctica. Bullimore lost a finger and suffered hypothermia, dehyrdration, and frostbite by the time he was picked up 3 days later on 9 January. The boat was abandoned in the southern Indian Ocean.

    Boy, reading back through all that brought back some memories.

    I hope that helps. I never saw any other details of the boat except what you see in the first article.

    Eric
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  3. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
    Posts: 2,179
    Likes: 145, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1244
    Location: UK, USA and Canada

    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    It was all long ago, but I know the builder well.

    IMHO Tony Bullimore should not have had any racing boat. Look at the boats he lost, starting with Toria. He was always looking for the cheapest deal, one reason his boats took so long to finish.

    IIRC Tony added a bigger bulb to the keel before the Vendee, against the designers wishes and without changing the scantlings. It was a very tender boat and not fast

    Richard Woods
     
  4. capt vimes
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 379
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 247
    Location: Austria

    capt vimes Senior Member

    Thank you eric for these files...
    It is a shame that those rigs did not succeed...
     
  5. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
    Posts: 2,002
    Likes: 205, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2917
    Location: On board Corroboree

    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    The interest in wingmasts is alive and not doing too badly, if judging by the responses on BoatDesign.net. Eventually, someone is going to get the right boat built with such a rig, have the wherewithal to campaign it, and do well in a major race or races.

    It's biggest drawback is due to the fact that such a rig has to be custom-made for the boat at hand. And to build one requires more money than most people are willing to spend. Which is not to say that such rigs are necessarily that expensive, it's saying that most people who build their own boats try to do so VERY cheaply--they have no idea how such rigs are built, nor do they have the skills and equipment to build them. They really should be built by professional builders who have the equipment and skilled warm bodies to build them. And, of course, not everyone wants to race around the world.

    I contend, however, as I always have, that they make good cruising rigs.

    Eric
     

  6. capt vimes
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 379
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 247
    Location: Austria

    capt vimes Senior Member

    Regarding race boats with such a rig, IMOCA has put an end to it...
    Open 60s have to use a one-design mast and keel... They tried to address all the keel and rig failures over the past years by forcing anyone to use the same IMOCA approved type...
    Sad - one of the greatest race boat classes for developing new technologies has gone to pure hull design alone... :(

    edit:
    i am with you... ;)
    i can see the advantages - and disadvantages as well -and hence my interest in such rigs...
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.