Beginning of October 2013:
In the middle of the usual autumn business frenzy; in our part of the world (i.e. Central Europe) also usually the end of the sailing season - not a real happy time. The phone rings and Werner Stolz (Corsair’s representative in Austria, Germany and Switzerland) announces in his famous well know sailor voice: “He – the Corsair Cruze 970 - has finally arrived; the first one in Europe is here (in Munich). Want to see it? Want to even try it out soon?” Well, there is certainly no better way to cheer-up a busy autumn day.
A few weeks later - end of October - Northern Adriatic / Golf of Trieste / Marina Sant’ Andrea:
Meeting Werner and Conny to do the first sailing trials with the brand new Corsair Cruze 970 in Europe. And here he is already in the water, moored at the jetty in the marina. First impression: big boy – bigger floats, very nice raised side seatings (the two benches inspired by the Corsair 37), which very quickly become my favourite cockpit place – in the harbour as well as when sailing. Basically the usable cockpit space has doubled compared to the traditional 31. Inside: very comfortable headroom in the new saloon. I’m 1,88 m (74 in) tall and can move around easily without any issues. The new white liner finish gives a fresh and light ambience. Way more space in the pantry. And here is another new thing: The Cruze 970 has a two burner propane stove (no more spirit required for cooking). There is a decent toilet between the saloon and the forward cabin. I love sailing trimarans (not swimming apartments), so I don’t need a grand toilet / bath. On the other hand, a little privacy is appreciated even on a regatta when the ladies are not aboard. There is proper space for a big cooler-box between the pantry and the aft cabin. The aft cabin is quite huge – we dubbed it “the suite”.
So far so good, now what about sailing? Will the slightly shorter mast (compared to the 31) be an issue? How will the Cruze 970 handle?
Good strong sailing wind: ENE, 5 to 6 Bft in the morning, this wind is called “Bora” in the Adriatic and can be quite nasty, but we are lucky today as the wind is decreasing during the course of the day. The upside: the Bora clears the sky and we are enjoying some late October sunshine when leaving the marina and crossing the lagoon of Grado on the way to the open sea. Werner prefers to stay on the safe side of things on these very first few miles and we put two reefs in the mainsail. Very easy and comfortable mainsail handling (the slightly shorter mast has obviously its benefits). Upon leaving the lagoon the typical short and steep Northern Adriatic waves greet us. Course SE to beautiful Piran on the Slovenian side; a close hauled tack. The traditional 31 could be sometimes demanding in this conditions, but the extra buoyancy in the new floats are providing us with more comfort, more upright sailing. All in all, we feel totally fine, confident and in control.
And what about the speed and the shorter mast?
Well, 2nd reef, close hauled tack: speed over ground easily in the double digits (mostly between 11 to 13 knots). The more powerful mainsail in combination with the more upright mode of sailing works beautifully. The new Corsair Cruze 970 feels as nimble and fast as the 31. The hull and the new floats handle the short nasty waves gracefully. We are flying to Slovenia.
But no time to visit Piran, just a brief snack while in the more protected waters of the bay of Piran and then directly back to Italy. Wind is decreasing, hence we shake out the reefs and early afternoon we are sailing back to Italy with full mainsail. 2/3rds on the way back we meet Conny’s brother, who has just picked up his new yacht (a sleek 35ft French monohull). They are probably 2 miles ahead. We are closing the distance swiftly and then the magic moment: the Cruze 970 passes the other boat at close quarters just 2 boat-lengths to leeward of the French monohull racer. Bad air from the boat to windward; not an issue. Big smiles all around; at least on our wonderful Cruze 970 ;-) What a perfect way to end the first day of sailing.
Day 2 – November 1st:
Wind has been further decreasing. It’s now quite soft; just 1-2 Bft. Great contrast to day 1. How will the Cruze 970 handle in the lighter wind conditions? Will the few more kilos vs. the 31st be an issue? All the other sail boats are either motoring or not moving at all. It is a beautiful autumn day – magic soft sun light, the sea is sparkling like a diamond. And the Cruze 970 moves gracefully with virtually no wind on course WSW to Lignano. Today we have two additional guests from Italy, who also can’t wait to experience the latest Corsair model. Everyone is very happy. Easy autumn sailing under a beautiful sky, while all the other sailing boats seemed to be glued on the spot.
My personal summary:
The Cruze 970 has stayed true to its family DNA and kept all the qualities of the 31st. It is a true sporty trimaran – as nimble and fast as its older siblings –, but with improved float design, more powerful mainsail and a more comfortable interior. Welcome to the next level!
In times like these also important to note: the Corsair Cruze 970 comes with main and foresail and has an excellent price / value relationship; i.e. about 1/3rd less costly than another fairly new 32 feet trimaran. So if you have a chance, go for it! I definitely will (the earlier, the better).
Andreas, 47 years old living in Vienna (Austria), was introduced to trimaran sailing by Werner Stolz’s trimaran academy a couple of years back. Since then Andreas had the privilege and pleasure to sail the whole Corsair trimaran range (from the 750 to the 37). No more monohull miles have been logged since entering the exciting world of Corsair trimaran sailing.