15 November 2012

Flirt of Paget (Holland 40)

Flirt of Paget is a 40ft Ron Holland design built in New Zealand by Brin Wilson Yachts in 1981 for the Admiral's Cup of that year, and featured a kauri planked hull (around an aluminium space frame) and her varnished finish made her instantly recognisable. 

The yacht was designed as a 'minimum rater', coming in at 30.1ft on IOR, to meet the 30.0ft minimum set by the rules for the Admiral's Cup. Unusually for a racing yacht at this size she was fitted with a masthead rig, and this was expected to make her more competitive in lighter airs.  

Spritzer, as she was originally known, competed against other seven other yachts in the New Zealand trials, and finished in fifth place, with individual placings of 5/4=/4/5/3=/5. The line up for the series was notable for the resurgence of Holland designs (such as Ian Gibbs' Swuzzlebubble III) which had gained some ascendancy since the changes to the IOR that had severely penalised the light displacement designs of the likes of Bruce Farr and Laurie Davidson. There was little of the light airs which was expected to be her forte, but as it turned out her best results were in the fresher winds. Crucially, however, Spritzer couldn't foot it with the fractional-rigged yachts on a two-sail reach and although she was well sailed tactically, and often made up places by going the right way, she didn't have the boat speed of the others. 

Spritzer during the 1981 New Zealand Admiral's Cup trials
Spritzer crosses behind the larger Inca in the New Zealand Admiral's Cup trials 1981 (photo Sea Spray)
Spritzer in close company with Feltex Roperunner (4499) and Swuzzlebubble III in the NZ Admiral's Cup trials, and below, as Flirt of Paget during the 1981 Admiral's Cup

Flirt of Paget competing for Japan in the 1983 AC

Spritzer went on to compete for the Bermudan team in the 1981 Admiral's Cup, having been bought by a Mr Trimingham (of Paget) and renamed Flirt of Paget.  She generally failed to fire, although it was a year when Swuzzlebubble III was the top yacht of the series, and the Bermudan team finished last of 16 teams. Her result was not helped by losing her mast in the Channel Race. She went on to compete for Japan in the 1983 Admiral's Cup, although that team also finished last (from 15).
Being lifted for transport to the shed (L Klingstrom, 2007)

The yacht went on to compete in other regattas overseas, including the 1983 SORC where she finished third in Class E with placings of 11/9/3/3/2/4, and 27th overall. She also raced in the 1984 series, where she finished sixth in Class F, and 54th overall. 

Competing in the 1984 SORC (photo Larry Moran)
In 2007 she was bought by Swedish yachtsman Lars Klingstrom. Lars has embarked on an incredible restoration of Flirt of Paget, and has applied a level of perfectionism and attention to detail that has drawn many admirers through his regular posts and updates in the Sailing Anarchy forums. She was shown to the public at the Gothenburg Boat Show (Sweden) in 2013, and more photographs from that and her restoration can be seen here. She was  relaunched in July 2014.

Flirt of Paget's kauri hull gets the high gloss treatment (photo L Klingstrom, 2012)

 Rudder fitted and nearing completion, January 2013 (photo Claus Axtal)

Launched! July 2014

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