It’s not every new boat owner who gets to sail his new boat for the very first time with two sailing world champions on board! Such was the case for delighted new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 509 owner in Melbourne yesterday.
The owner was joined by Victorian Jeanneau distributor Rohan Veal, twice world champion in the foiling Moth class, along with Lindsay Irwin, a local sailmaker and International 14ft skiff world champion and three other accomplished sailors. The weather played its part too, turning on a sensational evening with clear skies, temperatures in the low 30s and a pleasant 15-18 knot south easterly breeze with smooth seas off Sandringham. You simply could not have had more perfect conditions.
Following a detailed introduction to his new Sun Odyssey 509 Smooth Operator (the owner wanted to pay homage to the Sun Odyssey marque, hence the S O name!) the Yanmar diesel engine was fired up and Smooth Operator slipped quietly and quickly from her berth and out on to Port Phillip for her maiden sail.
The powered halyard winch made short work of hoisting the mainsail as the owner took the helm for the first time. Bearing away towards the west the call was made to deploy the Code Zero which had been hoisted and furled earlier in the day. It was great to watch the grin spreading on his face as the big reaching sail unfurled and Smooth Operator picked up speed to around 10 knots under perfect control.
Several gybes, furls and deploys later the grin was even wider. Furling the Code Zero for the final time it was then time to unfurl the genoa and sail the new yacht upwind. Smooth Operator climbed high and fast in the lovely evening breeze, again under perfect and easy control. Tacking was a dream with the powered sheet winches close by the helm. A few adjustments to sail trim by the on board world champions soon had her sailing even faster with a steady 7.7 knots upwind speed showing on her Raymarine electronics.
All too soon it was time to head back to the marina berth at Sandringham so the headsail was furled. Once again under engine power the big mainsail was quickly lowered into the boom bag and packed away, ready for her next adventure.
The skiper was instructed in the art of reversing his yacht into a confined marina berth, a task he accomplished with ease having excellent control from the engine and bow thruster. On arrival back in the berth, following just a few minutes tidying up of sails and lines, he was joined by a group of friends eager to inspect his lovely new Sun Odyssey 509. Refreshing beverages were soon shared, ice cold from the fridge as the sailors and friends sat around the spacious cockpit in the warm evening breeze to later be treated to a glorious red sunset signalling the perfect end to a perfect day.
Smooth Operator was leaving Sandringham the next day and heading down the bay to her new home at Martha Cove on the Mornington Peninsula where the owner’s his family and friends will enjoy her over the next few days before kindly bringing her back to Docklands where she will be on display at the Melbourne on water Summer Boat Show from Friday January 31 to Sunday February 2.