HSC Condor Rapide
ex Sea Leopard, SpeedOne, Winner, Incat 045, HMAS Jervis Bay, Incat 045
© Nigel Thornton
Aluminium catamaran built in 1997 by Incat (International Catamarans) Australia Pty. Ltd., Hobart, Australia (Yard No. 045) for International Catamarans Pty. Ltd., Hobart, Australia. (Registered in the Bahamas) as a car and passenger ferry.
- Length: 86.62m
- Breadth: 26.00m
- Draught: 3.628m
- Tonnage: 5,007 gross/2,059 net/415 deadweight
- Engines: Four 20-cyl, Ruston 20RK270 diesels.
- Power: 28,320 kW.
- Speed: 40,5 knots
- Capacity: 900 passengers, 200 cars
- Call Sign: MEPE8 (2004), C6YK8
- IMO number: 9161560
- Registry: Portugal, Bahamas, United Kingdom, Bahamas
- Sister ships: Condor Express (Incat 042), Incat 043, Incat 044.
November 25th 1996: Keel laid.
July 3rd 1997: Launched as INCAT 045.
© Justin Merrigan
July 12th 1997: Completed at her builders and registered owner recorded as International Catamarans Pty. Ltd., Hobart, Australia. (Registered in Bahamas).
July 1997: Chartered to Transport Tasmania, Devonport, Australia for two weeks. Operated between Melbourne – Devonport.
April 1999: Chartered to the Australian Fleet. Renamed HMAS JERVIS BAY. Rebuilt at Incat with, amongst other things, bigger fuel tanks.
June 10th 1996: Operated with the Australian Marine service.
May 11th 2001: Returned to her owners and renamed INCAT 045. Laid up with her builders.
© Justin Merrigan
April 2002: Chartered to Traghetti Isole Sarde, (TRIS), Italy. Renamed WINNER.
May 2002: Commenced service between Genoa – Palau.
September 2002: Charter to T.R.I.S. completed and laid up in Genoa.
November 2002: Laid up in Portland, Dorset.
January 2004: Chartered to Speed Ferries.
2004: Renamed SPEEDONE
© Speed Ferries
April 30th 2004: Sea berthing/trials from Portland to Boulogne. Then fitting out and storing at Dover
© Nigel Thornton
May 19th 2004: Maiden voyage between Boulogne – Dover.
August 28th 2004 – August 30th 2004: Blew a cylinder-head gasket, when leaving Boulogne, which brought exhaust fumes onto the car deck. The vessel was evacuated and the sailing cancelled.
September 7th 2004: One of her four engines failed, but continued whilst running repairs were made, resulting in a loss of speed to 10 knots.
September 2004: Went for a minor refit, lasting 1 week, including technical refit and interior update
2004 (winter): Continued service, although on reduced sailings.
October 7th 2004: Minor collision with SEAFRANCE CEZANNE in Dover. The problem was put down to a mechanical fault and resulted in minor paint abrasions.
© Stéphane Poulain
2005: Re-emerged for the season with added “advertising” (only on the starboard side of her hull)!
© Jean-Guy Hagelstein
April 11th 2005: Laid up at Admiralty Pier (safety procedure exercises)
April 12th 2005: To Portsmouth for annual refit (expected date of return 25th/26th April 2005)
© Ferry Boy
April 25th 2005: Arrived back in Dover.
© Nigel Thornton (both)
April 27th 2005: Resumed Dover – Boulogne.
© Nigel Thornton (all)
2005 (summer): Minor damage received to the bow after a collision with the breakwater.
© Peter Wearing
March 13th 2006: To Portsmouth for refit.
March 26th 2006: Returned to Dover.
April 7th 2006: Following a fishermen strike, the Boulogne port was blocked, so the SPEEDONE tried to berth in Calais. She was unable to do so, with SeaFrance seafarers blocking the berth.
July 16th 2006: “Whilst at berth 1 Eastern Docks suffered the effects of a bow wave from SEAFRANCE BERLIOZ. A motorcycle and car on her car-deck were moved by the force of the movement. Not known whether there were any injuries. An investigation is taking place where the outcome…………..”.
November 29th 2006: Operating but subject to delay of approximately 2 hours owing to technical problems.
November 29th 2006 – December 8th 2006: A period of severe gales interrupted operations from the Western docks with a number of crossings cancelled.
Speed One stormbound at the Prince of Wales pier in Dover on the 8/12/06. © Ray Goodfellow
March 2nd 2007:Arrived at Portsmouth for refit.
March 3rd 2007: Dry docked.
March 28th 2007: Arrived back in Dover and berthed at the Hoverport ramp.
© Robert Fournier (both)
March 30th 2007: Commenced service from the refurbished Hoverport ramp at the Western Docks.
Speed One seen departing on her second commercial crossing from the hoverport on the 30/3/07 © Ray Goodfellow
December 28th 2007: Whilst manoeuvring to her lay-by berth Speed One made contact with the Prince of Wales pier and holed herself below the waterline and started to take on water.
Posted 23:07 GMT “COASTGUARD COORDINATE PUMPING OPERATION FOLLOWING FERRY INCIDENT
At just after 8.00 pm this evening Dover Coastguard was informed that the ferry Speed 1 had been involved in an incident whilst alongside at Dover. The ferry was holed by the Port engine and was beginning to take water. Speed 1 was out of service so there were no passengers onboard , but there were eight crew.
The Coastguard requested Dover Lifeboat to launch and bring its pump and the Folkestone Coastguard Rescue Team picked up another pump and brought it to the ferry. Kent Fire and Rescue Service also attended and brought their four pumps, whilst a liaison officer worked alongside Coastguards who were co-ordinating the incident in the Dover Coastguard operations room. The crew remained onboard the vessel to assist with the pumping operation.
The flooding is now under control. Divers will inspect the damage inside the vessel and make temporary repairs tonight. Weather on scene has been challenging with 30 knot winds gusting to 42 knots.”
January 9th 2008 (09.00hrs): Due to arrive at Portsmouth for refit.
January 30th 2008: Left Portsmouth bound for Dover (ETA 20.30 hrs).
January 31st 2008: Resumed service.
© Robert Fournier (both)
May 20th 2008: Incat announcement made that Speed Ferries had purchased the craft
November 6th 2008: Arrested in Boulogne for non-payment of port taxes.
Under arrest in the Port of Boulogne © Jean Guy-Hagelstein
November 13th 2008: Announcement made that Speed Ferries had gone into Administration with assets to be sold.
November 19th 2008: Sailed to Tilbury to await disposal.
January 14th 2009: It appeared that SpeedFerries owed Dover Harbour Board £238,000 and Port of Boulogne £1.3million.They also had a Marine Mortgage of £10million with Bank of Scotland. They owed Incat just over £1.5 million.
March 11th 2009: Information suggested that the vessel would be available for sale with sealed bids to be in by April 21st
May 12th 2009: Media reports stated “Epic Shipping are the new owners of SPEED ONE and she has been renamed SEA LEOPARD. She will remain at Tilbury until a charter is secured but she has lost her Speedferries markings
August 8th 2009: Left Tilbury bound for refit at Falmouth.
August 10th 2009: Arrived at Falmouth.
Dover Ferry Photos Archives
August 21st 2009: To dry-dock number 3 at Falmouth.
September 14th 2009: Completed refit and returned to Tilbury where she continues to be laid up.
March 26th 2010: Announcement that she had been sold to Condor Ferries to operate St Malo – Jersey – Guernsey.
April 1st 2010: Renamed CONDOR RAPIDE and departed Tilbury for Weymouth.
April 1st 2010: Arrived in Weymouth
May 13th 2010: Commenced services between St Malo – Jersey – Guernsey.
September 2010: Suffered mechanical problems and taken out of service for repairs.
September 2012: Still in service.
© Nicholas Levy (all)
February 6th 2014: Off service and laid up in St Malo owing to industrial action.
February 20th 2014: Resumes sailings between St Malo and the Channel Islands.
March 2014: Refit at A&P Falmouth, resumed service with a new livery.
Departing St Malo 19/04/2014 © Ray Goodfellow
© Nicholas Levy (both)
We would like to thank: Robert Fournier, Incat (Incat), Nicholas Levy, Stéphane Poulain, Justin Merrigan (Sealink-Holyhead), Peter Wearing and Andreas Wörteler their assistance in producing this feature. All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions.