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Vic-Maui Welcomes Ultraman III

by Event Committee, April 19th, 2021



Ultraman III, Jason Saunderson's Seahorse S-40, arrived from Japan via Hawaii in January 2019 and promptly dove into a race campaign that included Southern Straits, Swiftsure, and the VanIsle 360.  While the 2020 racing program and the team's 2020 Vic Maui Entry were put on hold during the Pandemic, the crew is looking forward to competing in as many qualifying distance races as possible leading up to the 2022 Vic-Maui, the crew's first.  Ultraman III is racing for co-host Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Vancouver Rowing Club.

The good news is the boat already knows the way to Hawaii!  Competing previously as Crescent III, the boat placed 2nd in Div 2 in both the 2013 and 2015 Transpacs; reaching a top speed of 26.7kts surfing on the deep blue waves on the way to Hawaii.  

Ultraman's crew have been racing together for the past 12 years and many have completed Vic Mauis and Transpacs themselves, although this will be the Skipper's first Pacific crossing.  The crew's experience in both the 2019 Southern Straits and the Ucluelet-Victoria leg of VI360 has shown that the narrow beam (only 3 metres), flat bottom, light displacement (4132kg) and large sail area (125m^2 kites) make the boat a weapon in heavy running conditions where it exhibits speed combined with stability and control.  As the Boat Captain succinctly explained at the Sea Trial (in a gruff Japanese accent): "Light air, upwind, not so good; Big air, downwind, very good!"

About the boat: the S-40 was commissioned by a now defunct Japanese company, Seahorse, designed by Joubert-Nivelt and built by Naval Force 3 in La Rochelle, France in 2006.  The yacht was designed as an economical One Design 12 metre day racer, but only four boats were launched: two in Japan, one in France and now one in Canada.  The boat has had some modifications since launch: including a strengthened rudder, CAT 1 crash bulkheads, additional ballast to the T-Bulb keel, a carbon rig and bowsprit.

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