‘El Toro’ ready for the Fight & Fun

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Sleek and razor sharp, the 9-metre trimaran, “El Toro” is a
labour of love, brought to life by some of the country’s top talent and has
undergone her commissioning at The Boat Works.

El Toro is 9-metres long, 7.2-metres wide, weighs
1,200 kilograms and bears a mast 14.5-metres tall.

Led by Ben Kelly, Asia Pacific multihull specialist from North
Sails, the project has taken the team over seven years, as he explained.

“I used to race The Boat Works Extreme 40 with Julian Griffiths
from Noosa Marine, and since then, a group of sailing mates and I have been
building our dream racing trimaran.

“We designed and built the boat ourselves with a team of four
owners including two boatbuilders, a painter and me in charge of sails and
rigging. It’s taken us six years of weekends to build, no paid labour just
ourselves in a shed at Tweed Heads. We have been very grateful for
industry support and there is a wide range of hardware brands on show in
the boat’s fit out.”

The design was completed by co-owner and boat builder, Aaron
Carle and Ben, with the design name “Cassius 9m” – a tribute to Aaron and
his wife, Julie’s son, Cassius who tragically passed away during the build
process.

Boat Builder Doug Fuller, well known on the Queensland
multihull scene, brought a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to the team.
Painter and now almost a boatbuilder himself after six years of experience,
Russell Kerr achieved a fantastic finish on the vessel after many hours of
fairing and painting.  

The sails are all North Sails and a mix of panelled and 3di
technology.

“The concept was for a fast upwind platform that is wide and stiff
and can handle the sails power,” Ben continued. “The boat is to be as
simple as possible and easy to sail. We also had to use build processes we
could achieve on our own.

“The vessel is an 80 percent epoxy glass build with the boards,
mast, boom, beams and extra reinforcement all done in Carbon Fibre. We took our
design cues from many successful Trimarans globally, such as the awesome
French boats.”

Naming the beast was as drawn out as the build. Ben admits he
spent most of the six years dreaming up names, and it wasn’t until the
day the platform was first bolted together and all four of
them were standing back admiring their work when one noticed the
self-tacking jib track’s resemblance to bull horns.

“Then somebody else said ‘El Toro’, and I said that sounds like a
good name. We all agreed on the spot.”

After sailing Extreme 40s for several years, Ben admits El Toro
will not achieve that level of performance, but he is confident they will be
successful in their own class.

“We will race to a rating rule called OMR and the boat has been
tailored to achieve results in this fleet of racing. We hope to have many years
of fun racing and ultimately try to achieve winning a national title along the
way.”

At The Boat Works, El Toro is enjoying the finishing touches,
including final coats of Jotun paint, supplied by Marine Trade Supplies &
Chandlery onsite, and all the accessories.

“We have relied on many of the trades at The Boat Works
over the past seven years. Most importantly, it’s the best location for works
and as a launch space for our team.

“I enjoyed being part of Owner, Tony Longhurst Extreme 40 race
crew for years and I have been coming through the gates at least once a week
in my job as a Sailmaker ever since. All my clients always rave about
how great the experience, the staff and amenities are.

Finally, after many years building this boat, we also get to
sample this for ourselves and it is the perfect ending to a long and hard
build process. 

“Such a real milestone for us; putting together the pieces we have
built over the past seven years and then lifting her in the water for the first
time,” said Ben. “It was a proud moment for all of us.”

Overall the facilities at The Boat Works
worked in perfect as a centralised destination for the launch. Post launch our
crew, family and friends were even able to enjoy a celebration conveniently
onsite at the new Boat Works restaurant Kokomo Kitchen & Bar whilst
overlooking El Toro within the superyacht basin.

LtoR: Russell Kerr, Aaron Carle, Ben Kelly, Doug Fuller

Now, looking ahead to competition season, Ben is keen to test
their mettle in the Queensland Multihull Championships regatta in April at
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.

“From there we would like to do the Bay to Bay, Surf to City
and a couple of other events on the east coast.

“The other key aim is for the boat to be able to just go out for fun and weekend overnighters in the bay for family and friends to enjoy. My 12-year-old son, Luca has been waiting half his life for this boat to be finished so it will be incredibly rewarding to share some of these experiences with him.”

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