Captain Kirke prepares Enterprise Next Generation for maiden east coast voyage

White Bay 6 Marine Park are very happy to host ‘Enterprise Next Generation’

Antony Kirke will make the trek across the country with his crew from the west coast, returning to the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore for the first time since 2019, when he competed on his Farr
40, Enterprise.

This time he’ll be racing on his Botin Carkeek GP42, Enterprise Next Generation (the headlines write themselves!).

Having only had the boat for half a season, Kirke and co. wouldn’t have been quite ready for the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart, even if they had been able to make it across.

But now with a full season of offshore racing in the books and success in its home state, Enterprise Next Generation is raring to take on the east coast races.

“We wanted to make the step up into a faster boat,” Kirke said. “There are a couple of GP42s in WA and they’re very suited to offshore conditions here, because there is quite a bit of reaching.

“Particularly when you go south, you generally get a pretty strong breeze for a return leg and the planing boats are very competitive in the weather conditions.

“The GP is a very exciting boat to sail compared to the Farr, it really gets up in the sea breeze.”

Kirke last raced to the Gold Coast on Enterprise in 2018, finishing 9th on IRC. That year, he was named the CYCA’s Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year.

To the 2022 race, Kirke brings some of the crew from his Farr 40 and recent additions, including those picked up from the crew of Indian, which was sold late last year.

Paul Eldrid, the former Boat Captain on Indian, offers plenty of offshore racing experience as the Navigator of Enterprise Next Generation, while Kirke skippers alongside Andrew Nuttman (also a co-owner in the GP42).

“We’ve done the Ocean Racing WA Siska Series with 13 crew and 11 on the boat, so we’ve had very good consistency,” Kirke said.

“We’ll have 10 of that crew with us for most of the Blue Water Pointscore and that makes a huge difference.

“We’ve had two full seasons over the last couple of years. There have been a couple of times where it looked like we might get locked down, but the offshore program has been pretty uninterrupted.”

Enterprise Next Generation, which sails out of Fremantle Sailing Club has been on the hardstand with rudder and keel out, in preparation for the trip to Sydney in late June.

“We’re doing a bit of work on the boat and there are a few upgrades we’re doing, including upgrading the winches,” Kirke said. “The boat is extremely sensitive to backstay.

“We’re pretty happy with the performance of the boat, but weight is critical. One thing we’ve seen with carbon 40-footers is you’ve got to be careful not to put too much weight on them when you go

“We’re putting a watermaker on so we’re not carrying too much water. We’ve got to pay attention to detail to try and keep weight down on the boat; it does affect the planing performance.

“We’ve played a bit with the rating and I think we’re looking pretty good. We’re very happy with how we’re going.”

Kirke says Enterprise Next Generation will “certainly be stepping into a pretty competitive” arena during the east coast campaign in 2022.

“But that’s the idea!”

Story first published in the CYCA’s quarterly magazine, Offshore. 

Photo: Shooting the Breeze Photography

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