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The following program, Sydney GTS43, is classified RGF
by John Curnow

It contains, strong adult themes, sexual references and occasional coarse language, too! Now the RGF stands for: really good fun, which sums up the owner, just as much as it does the vessel itself.

Additionally, another rating that the Sydney GTS43 is bound to receive as well, is A+++ for keeping jobs in Australia. Warwick Sherman is the proud owner of the first of the new Ker Design boats from the revitalised Sydney Yachts at Nowra, on the South coast of New South Wales, Australia.

The opening line of the article is the boat’s new name, which pays homage to the Cookson 40 Warwick’s been driving so famously for 10 years now.

He had been looking around for a new boat for about 18 months or so for a variety of reasons and just could not get inspired. As part of the process, he’d reviewed the typical European production boats along with some soon-to-be-on-the-market super quicks, as he wanted to be at the back end of the 50s and locked in amongst all the 40s.

‘We don’t use the boat for cruising at all really, but I’m getting to a point in life where I don’t want it to be too hard and uncomfortable anymore, either. I spoke at length with Anthony Patterson from Tow Truck, who indicated to me that the top end of the market that I am in, did not provide for a lot of comfort and you had to sail them really well, all of the time, to extract all the performance from them. After that, I heard that Sydney Yachts were re-doing everything, so I had a round table chat with Jason Rowed and my friend Ritchie Allanson from North Sails. Alas, here we are with Hull 1’, said Warwick.

He prefers to sail a 40footer, as the sails are not too cumbersome to carry, you can crew it with 8-10 souls and still manage to talk directly with the bowman. ‘With a core of five, you can go sailing just about anytime. I wanted to move up to a boat that may be a little softer, but absolutely in no way slower. The other thing about the Sydney GTS43, is that I wanted to buy a boat straight out of the box and not be modifying it massively to suit me. It is the right concept for me. I’m buying local and the value of the stuff coming in to be fitted to it is virtually parity at present. The really big thing is that I get to see it being built’, Warwick added. In fact, he’s off to see the initial works as this is being written.

Warwick was also impressed with the quality of build on the Marten boats that came out of Nowra and the team that will be deployed on his boat. He’s happy to have a bit of input as the first customer too. ‘We’ve put in lockers for the rafts back aft and I’m thrilled with the way there will be consistency from the first hull onward, with any later modifications being able to be retrofitted, as well. I like playing in the sandpit with the other 40s. After the start the leaders clear off and then we have a race within the race. It’s just fantastic. This new vessel will be great for twilights too, with it’s fully enclosed head, nice cushions and a look of sophistication’, enthused Warwick.

So he may have started a bit later in life with the sailing thing, but Warwick has certainly taken to it well. The first boat was a Cavalier 350 called A Crewed Interest and from their it was a off to the 5500kg Cookson 40 that he’s had for 10 years and got up to 24 knots out of. ‘We’ve certainly enjoyed it and had no need to change. We’re only doing it now because the right mix has been found and I suppose were more comfortable with our abilities too. It’s definitely about keeping it fun’, he said.

Naturally, that begs the question, what has gone in to the Sydney GTS43 that is going to make it fun. For that, it was best to see what Jason Rowed who was part of that original round table meeting and Sydney Yachts Managing Director, Darren Williams, both had to say.

Jason was first to comment with, ‘In essence, the design philosophy is 75% racer and 25% cruiser. It is a fast and exciting boat to sail, which will exhilarate when required. The emphasis has been placed on sailing efficiency, styling and build quality. At 6700kg, she is significantly below that of comparable production boats and not a lot more than an all-out 42’ Grand Prix racer. I think we offer competitive pricing, an Australian made and therefore inherently tough product, that has a very complete specification and high quality finish.’

That specification is definitely a clear and true indication of the boats intent, much like the effort that went in to getting the Ker design correct. Darren was keen to point out that the GTS series has been conceived with the true performance oriented sailor in mind. In addition to features like local jobs, race faired cast foil with lead bulbs, three-speed primary winches and carbon rudderstocks, along with racing rope package and custom-built alloy spar. If you prefer, you can order the optional Hall Spars New Zealand, Hi Modulus carbon mast.

Presently there are the GTS37 and GTS43 in the range ‘… and yes there will be another model, as we have a commitment with Ker for three boats. Strength and durability is what Sydney Yachts is renowned for and being a semi-production yard, all our vessels are hand-built, utilising the best materials available. We see the GTS series of yachts as a step up in performance to most production vessels on today’s market.’

Darren explained a little further, ‘The Sydney Yachts brief to Ker Designs was for performance first, with an interior capable of cruising. We consider Ker to the best IRC designer currently in the Racer/Cruiser category. The GTS series has been designed to out perform any other similar vessel in its class, both on the water and on IRC rating.’

What is not being completely revealed by that statement is the serious amount of computational work done by Ker Design to ultimately come up with the voluminous hull form shape that works under both IRC and ORCi. In addition to the increased below deck area, this formula, in conjunction with the low weight, long waterline and inherent stability of both hull form and a foil/bulb appendage set up, means the Sydney GTS43 will sail with the 45s point to point and then plane away as the pressure builds. Given the vessel’s rating, you’d have to think this would mean there is a better chance of an appearance on the podium, too.

Darren also highlighted proudly, ‘We’re an Australian company utilising some of the best boat building talent available in this country. Traditionally, Sydney Yachts has manufactured boats which are more performance oriented than the competition and have been proven in numerous Sydney to Hobart races and other offshore events, all around the world. Approximately 10% of the Sydney to Hobart fleet this year are from Sydney Yachts.’

Jason Rowed said of the new program, ‘The GTS43 is right for Warwick, we didn’t need to sell it: he bought it. Our time and effort went into the design concept with Ker, making sure we had a fun exciting yacht our clients would want to own and will enjoy sailing. It’s about being fast and exciting, not the typical rate low and go slow scenario.’

Warwick finished with, ‘The one thing I enjoy the most is the respect within the yachting community – it is a nice feeling to compete with others. I remember doing some boat on boat stuff with Nigel Holman, before he passed away. It was great stuff and he was a happy guy. We always try to remember that were not curing cancer out there, so it is a case of play hard, but be careful not to get in front of oneself. I really love the sport and it is great to see people understand the passion when we take them out for charity events or the twilights. They seem to really love the starts and the gybes’.

So ultimately, as of April, 2011 you’ll be able to see the Sydney GTS43 program, Adult Themes, Sexual References and Occasional Coarse Language Too, for yourself, live on Sydney Harbour. It’s bound to be a fun program with a bit of education thrown in, as well.

All in all, it’s thoroughly deserving of its RGF rating.

If you would like to get your own program on air, then call Jason Rowed now on +61414 332 255 or visit to find out more.

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