Triple Jack, the 44-year old Derek Kelsall designed one-off trimaran, will be making her ocean racing return in the Caribbean 600 on February 19 after a 39-year hiatus since the Ostar in 1984.
Triple Jack was a fixture on the Caribbean racing circuit ever since she was sailed to the Caribbean by Richard Wooldridge and Steve Davis in 1997. However, since September 6, 2017, she has been undergoing a major rebuild and remodel after Hurricane Irma left her upside down on a bridge, rigging lost, coach roof crushed, hatches ripped off, and sponsons hanging on by a thread.
“The aftermath of Hurricane Irma was not a pretty sight” said Richard. “Triple Jack’s ‘lucky break’ was to be somehow somersaulted out of the water and up on to a concrete bridge that connects Nanny Cay to the outer peninsula. Earlier her storm lines tore through her front beams allowing her to cartwheel across the new marina breaking the mast in four places as she went.”
In a five-year labour of love at Nanny Cay Marina, thousands of man-hours have been spent chopping, grinding, filling, fibreglassing, epoxying, fairing, and painting.
The crew will be the first corinthian team from the Virgin Islands to enter this race in its 15-year history and they aim to make their mark. Triple Jack will also be competing in the Caribbean Multihull Challenge starting February 1.
Triple Jack reappeared at last year’s BVI Spring Regatta for her first shakedown event and the windy conditions proved the repairs are sound. The Caribbean 600 is a RORC race with World Sailing Category 2/3 requirements that include an engine, liferaft, AIS and a kitchen sink – all have been added to ensure Triple Jack’s compliance.
For Steve and Richard it is now payback time. No stone has been left unturned and the final touches are now being made to get her ready for ocean racing once more. “She was built for offshore racing and it’s time to get back out there,” Richard concluded.