Emirates Team New Zealand stunned the sailing world in 2012 by “foiling” its wingsail-powered AC72 catamaran. Now Gunboat founder, Peter Johnstone, owner Eduardo Perez and the Timbalero III team made sailing history by foiling Perez’s new Gunboat G4 performance “cruiser” at this year’s Les Voiles de St. Barth. While ETNZ’s AC72 was a purpose-built Cup boat, Timbalero III carries a comfortable interior, but this didn’t stop the orange cat from repeatedly exploring the 30-plus knot range. Unfortunately for the Timbalero III team, what Johnstone refers to as a “combination of nine different factors” caused them to capsize and then promptly turtle on the last day of racing. Fortunately, the vessel and all crewmembers were fine. As Johnstone wrote in a Facebook post about the adventure, “The fridge managed to keep our sandwiches dry and our beer cold.” Down but never out, Johnstone and the Gunboat team took the trophy for their class during Antigua Sailing Week just a week later, with Timbalero III grabbing five bullets in six races. Props to Johnstone, Perez and the Gunboat team for making “Corinthian foiling” a 2015 reality.
For a first-hand account of sailing Timbalero III, go to sailmagazine.com