A new cat among the pigeons
HEADS were turning at the Evans Head boat ramp on Saturday morning as a fancy high-speed catamaran was launched among the usual prawn trawlers and recreational boats.
The bright red power craft is owned by former 18ft world sailing champion Scott Ramsden from the Gold Coast, who was taking it out for a test run after a series of modifications by Swan Bay boat builder Ken Newport.
“It’s a development boat designed by Stewart Freizer based on a concept of mine,” Mr Ramsden said.
“Ken’s my new boat builder so we brought it down for some modifications.
“We’ve raised the bow and added spray chines to improve performance offshore.”
Mr Ramsden has a successful business ferrying photographers, journalists and VIPs around the major sailing regattas for Audi – the regatta circuit’s major sponsor.
“As a sailor I know how to get them the good shots.
“We’ve done the Victoria Race Week, the Sydney regattas, Hamilton Island and Arlie Beach in the Whitsundays.
“We also cater for them, supplying food and drinks.
Mr Ramsden also covers surfing tournaments and other races, as well as catering for the odd film production.
The flashy vessel is powered by twin 250 horsepower Yamaha outboards and has a maximum speed of 38 knots (70km/h).
“It’s very efficient at high speed and can cruise all day at 30 knots. It has computerised finger-touch control with no cables.
“The modifications are to reduce spray inside the boat.
“It’s a highly scrutinised boat and has a 1E survey inshore for 20 passengers and a 2C survey offshore for 12 passengers.”
Mr Ramsden won the 18ft world championship in 1989 but retired soon after due to the strict amateur rules at the time.
He returned in 1999 and took out the title once more before ‘retiring’ to the Gold Coast.