A Letter from Ron Nolan - Schock 40 #5
I'd like to give you a recap of our recent participation in the 2002 Chicago to Mackinaw Island race July 20/21.
We started the race in an 8 to 12 knot easterly. Since the rhumb was approximately 23 degrees, much of the fleet set a jib and held pretty tight. We set a Code O as soon as we were well clear of the start line and sailed somewhat east of the rhumb anticipating a southerly back with more velocity. For the first five hours we stayed in the moderate winds and maintained boat speed in the 8 to 10 knot area. By late afternoon the wind began to back and increase in strength. From approximately 1700 hrs on Saturday until 1300 hrs on Sunday we were sailing in 15 to 25 knot wind out of the south/southwest. For the first 225 miles of the race we averaged over 13 knots of boat speed. During this time we had peak winds of 28 to 30 with waves in the 3 to 5 ft range. Our top speed was 18.5 knots. We endured one knockdown, but the boat popped right back up when we centered the keel, and we lost no time.
At that point of the race we were well ahead of our competition (closest class boats were 15 miles behind). Unfortunately, we ran into a patch of light winds (4 to 6 knots) that lasted for approximately 2 hours. This allowed the boats behind us to catch up. Finally, the wind picked back up for us and we were able to pull away again.
We continued to sail in 15 to 25 knot winds at high speeds for the next 4 to 5 hours. We blew up our AP spinnaker but put another back up immediately without hesitation.
At about 1700 hrs Sunday we were approximately 5 miles from Grey's Reef, a narrow channel 1/2 mile wide by 2 miles long with 5 ft depth of water on each side. We had weather confirmation of a major storm front moving through the area at approximately 50 miles an hour toward us. Reported winds were 50 to 70 knots. We saw the black wall of the storm approaching us from the North and were able to get our spinnaker down before it hit. The front edge hit us at 50 to 60 knots with our main fully up. We sheeted fully out with the ballast fully canted to weather and took the blast. The boat shuttered but took the blast and started planing toward the reef opening at 20 knots. I couldn't believe how well the boat was taking the conditions but I knew that if we hit the reef we were in big trouble so I ordered the main down to ride out the storm. The high winds only lasted 15 to 20 minutes but what a blow!
We pulled ourselves together and got our sails back up and finished the race at approximately 2300 hours Sunday night. What a ride!
During the storm, several boats suffered major damage. The 78 ft yacht SASSY lost its entire rig and was pulled in. I saw much carnage at the dock Monday morning as I walked around. It was not a pretty sight. But I can't say enough about how well J SWIFT held up. There was never a time that I had any doubts about how solid our boat was and how well it took the constant pounding of this high wind race. You can be proud of your product. Keep up the good work, pal.
Ex-Yassou in Waikiki
Posted on SailingAnarchy Web Site by SR CHIEF
Tuesday, July 2, 2002
Took the twins down to the YC today to check out the Schock 40 which arrived today from Long Beach. My buddy delivered it; and I literally had to beat the grin off his face for two hours after they arrived. The trip took 12 days (slow) because of light air, although they shook the reef out of the main last night to make an early eta and enjoyed some surfing. Tom Schock spent an entire day with the delivery crew on his coin, walking them through the boat. Dave could not say enough of T.S. I crawled through the boat and jumped in the water for a closer look, and I am thoroughly impressed! The crew reported a smooth ride, and the boat was incredibly stiff. Can't wait to go for a sail! Clearly an awesome boat. Wish I had a 100 grand.
Paul Parks had this to say about his Schock 40:
"As a follow up to our season I would like to give you all a wrap up. We sailed 21 Wednesday Night races over the summer in three series and won the over all for the season. As far as the Chesapeake Bay Races we did 25 for the season and it looks like we finished second in our class... in Sept and we also got a rating changed from -12 to -6..."
"The competition for the season was comprised of a couple of Farr 39s, Farr40 OD, Custom Farr40, J125, Sidney 41 and various other boats including a modified Santa Cruz 70... Once we turned the corner and went down wind nothing could stay with us in any condition. In Annapolis Race Week (labor day weekend) we got the gun every race and corrected out to second and missed first by one point. The last series we sailed was Annapolis Yacht Club fall series sailed over three weekends. We missed the first race as we were out of town but the last two we took a Second and a First corrected. A very good way to end the season."
"A few last thoughts would be that Kathleen has said this boat was her favorite. We found the boat easy to sail, very fast off the wind, motored well and in general very much lived up to its billing as being fast and be able to be sailed with a lot less crew. Good luck to all and HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Let us hear from you."
Paul & Kathleen
Jim & Nancy Demetriades explains why they ordered Schock 40 hull #6:
"We briefly considered the J125, but after seeing the performance of the boat up on the bay, which by the way was loaded with pro's, it was clear that the boats were somewhat close in performance upwind. But the Schock 40 steadily pulled away down wind. The choice was obvious after sailing the Schock 40 for an afternoon that this was the boat for them. We never bothered going up to San Francisco to sail the J125, the decision was academic."
"The three primary reasons for going with the Schock 40 are:
- The Schock 40 is just plain faster than the J125.
- The Schock 40 has more room down below than the J125.
- The Schock 40 is less expensive than the J125."
"Secondarily we went with the Schock 40 because:
- The Schock 40 is truly trailerable, which opens up many more regatta opportunities.
- There is a better chance of sailing one design in Southern California with the Schock 40.
- They are dealing with a local builder instead of a marketing/design company and separate builder on the east coast."
"I have been following the boat for several years and have tracked its performance at several regattas which used both professional and amateur crews and charted the performance against the J125. But on December 2, I called in and requested an information packet, and on December 11, we took them all out for a sail. If I liked the boat I was going to buy one. We did in fact like the boat and our decision was sealed. Now I'm holding the February building slot."