26 April 2015

Smiles (J/41 One Tonner)

Smiles was one of about twenty J/41's that were built by J/Boats between 1984 and 1987, and were notable campaigners in the IOR scene in the US over that period. The J/41, designed by Rod Johnstone, was designed to rate as a One Tonner (30.5ft IOR), with a different shape to many of its peers, with a notable rocker, fine ends and low wetted surface, giving it an edge in light airs.

The design first came to prominence in the 1984 SORC, when Dazzler finished third in Class E and third overall, while a fractional-rigged version Alethea finished fourth in class and fifth overall (Alethea and Dazzler were both built by Tillotson and Pearson in a bare nine weeks). The masthead design carried a bit more ballast than the fractional variation, while Alethea carried a larger headsail and smaller mainsail than other fractionally rigged boats of the size.

Smiles in the marina, displaying some IOR optimised bow-down trim (photo Histoiredeshalfs)
The J/41's followed up their 1984 SORC success by taking the first three places in the  USYRU North American One Ton Championships, with Charlie Scott's Smiles winning, followed by Road Warrior, owned and skippered by America's Cup yachtsman John Kolius, with Dazzler taking third. Smiles followed up her One Ton Championship performance by winning the Onion Patch Trophy that year.
The crew coax Smiles along upwind in moderate breeze during the 1985 SORC (photo Histoiredeshalfs)
 Smiles went on to win the 1985 SORC overall - a large calm some 60 miles from the finish of the Miami-Nassau race benefited the smaller boats such as the One Tonners and gave Smiles a significant points edge over her larger competition. Indeed, the weather in the 1985 series was lighter than usual and this ideally suited the light air orientation of the J/41 design. 
Smiles powers along downwind with spinnaker and blooper set (photo Histoiredeshalfs)
The win by Smiles was an impressive result for a production boat and caused some consternation for the many custom boat owners. Scott had even finished Smiles himself, although he went to some effort to centralise the deck equipment and the internal arrangement amidships to minimise weight in the ends.
Smiles (above and below) sails upwind during the 1985 SORC



21 April 2015

Kiwi (Farr 43) - for sale

Kiwi, a Farr 43 and member of the winning New Zealand team in the 1987 Admiral's Cup, is now for sale. She is located in Norddeutschland, Germany, and now named Vincemus. The history of Kiwi is in this earlier article here, and sale details can be seen here. She looks in original and well-maintained condition, and according to the advertisement she has had a repaint in 2012.
Recent photos of Kiwi, now Vincemus - she still sports one of her original headsails from her 1987 and 1989 Admiral's Cup campaigns (below)





19 April 2015

Jockey Club (Billoch One Tonner)

Jockey Club (A 3232) was an interesting, if unsuccessful, One Tonner from the design board of Martin Billoch. She was designed and built in 1989 for the One Ton Cup and to compete in the Argentinian team for the Admiral's Cup in the same year.
Jockey Club sails upwind in the Solent during prior to the 1989 Admiral's Cup
While Jockey Club carried a conventional rig in terms of spar manufacture (Sparcraft) and sails (Norths), the yacht had a number of obvious differences from the typical One Tonners of the period, with her rig set reasonably far aft, with the forestay well inset from the stem and the boom overhanging the deck/transom line. This meant that the cabin top mostly sat for'ard of the mast, and appeared to require an aftward extension to the cabin top to provide space for the companionway area. It also seems from the photo below that the vang strut was attached to the mast below the cabin profile.  One can assume that the internal accommodation was somewhat compromised as a result of this arrangement.
Jockey Club heads out of Lymington Marina on her way to a race during the 1989 Admiral's Cup - note the aftwards placement of her rig, and stepped cabin-top profile
The hull featured an attractive sheer, not dissimilar to earlier European One Tonners, but did not take advantage of IOR rule changes that had been invoked for the 1989 season that allowed a more upright transom arrangement that did not affect the measurement of the after girth stations. Jockey Club displayed the typical IOR hard point in the topside area of the maximum beam measurement, and this was married to an apparent concavity in the stern area with possibly less of a bustle around the skeg.
Jockey Club sailing upwind in the Solent off Hurst Castle
These design characteristics did not point to a new trend for One Tonners, as Jockey Club put in only a very modest performance in the 1989 One Ton Cup in Naples, finishing 22nd of 28 boats, with placings of 25/24/27 in the first three races, before showing some improvement to finish with a 13th and 12th in the final two races.
Jockey Club sails her way back to Lymington Marina (note the aft rake in her rig)
Three months later Jockey Club joined team-mates Daphne and Tango Too in the 1989 Admiral's Cup, racing with a slightly increased rating of 30.66ft. Unfortunately Jockey Club was again an also-ran, finishing 37th of 42 boats in the series (with placings of 33/38/27/18/36/38), and 17th (of 22) One Tonner. Her team-mates were equally unspectacular and the Argentine team finished in last place.

All photographs are from the Shockwave40 blog.

11 April 2015

Dazzler (J/41 One Tonner)

Dazzler was one of about twenty J/41's that were built by J/Boats between 1984 and 1987, and were notable campaigners in the IOR scene in the US over that period. The J/41, designed by Rod Johnstone, was designed to rate as a One Tonner (30.5ft IOR), with a different shape to many of its peers, with a notable rocker, fine ends and low wetted surface, giving it an edge in light airs.

The design first came to prominence in the 1984 SORC, when Dazzler finished third in Class E and third overall, while a fractional-rigged version Alethea finished fourth in class and fifth overall (Alethea and Dazzler were both built by Tillotson and Pearson in a bare nine weeks). The masthead design carried a bit more ballast than the fractional variation, while Alethea carried a larger headsail and smaller mainsail than other fractionally rigged boats of the size.

Dazzler had some interesting duels with Diva during the SORC, which was one of the first of the new breed of fractional lighter displacement yachts designed by Joubert/Nivelt. Dazzler was sailed by Bill Shore and Perry Harris, and breezed home in the heavily weighted Lauderdale race ahead of Diva, Allegiance (an Alan Andrews-designed One Tonner) and Alethea.  
Dazzler during the 1984 SORC (photo Historiedeshalfs)
Dazzler held onto her overall lead for two more races until Diva and Allegiance had a memorable first and second in the Miami-Nassau race, separated by just 3 seconds. 
The J/41 hull profile (above) and deck and internal arrangement plan (below)


The J/41's were also noted for their structural integrity, when five of them survived the rough 1984 Bermuda Race, and both Dazzler and Alethea survived the whole SORC that year without failure. Construction nevertheless pushed the limits of the time, utilising vacuum bagged unidirectional aircraft-grade Baltek Contourkote sandwich and 1/8th inch unidirectional carbon fibre skins for increased rigidity and impact resistance in critical areas.
Dazzler sails upwind in light airs during the 1984 SORC
The J/41's followed up their 1984 SORC success by taking the first three places in the  USYRU North American One Ton Championships, with Charlie Scott's Smiles winning, followed by Road Warrior, owned and skippered by America's Cup yachtsman John Kolius, with Dazzler taking third. Smiles went on to win that years' Onion Patch Trophy, and then went on to win the 1985 SORC (Smiles will feature in a future article).
Leeward mark action aboard Dazzler (photo Robert Hagan/Sea Spray)
The J/41 performance assessment at the time commented that "fractional designs (including J/41s so rigged) have the edge when jib reaching and occasionally downwind under 5 kts TWS (when gybing angles are tighter downwind), but the J/41 is unbeatable upwind over 10 kts AWS or downwind over 12 kts TWS. The exceptions are in conditions over 25 kts AWS upwind where small rig Farr 40s excel or in some marginal surfing/wave conditions when close spinnaker reaching." 

The J/41's were not widely regarded as the fastest boats on the track, but were marketed at the time as being easier to sail than their fractional competition. Consistency was emphasised, with higher average speeds across the wind range which was considered to compare favourably to the "moments of blinding speed interspersed with unbelievably slows" of their competition. 
Dazzler during the 1984 SORC (photo Larry Moran)
Despite their initial success, the J/41's represented the end of the competitive masthead boats at the One Ton level, and after the 1985 season were considered something of an anachronism in the emerging trend towards fractional rigs in top level racing at the time.

2 April 2015

The One Ton Cup


Where is the One Ton Cup now? 

This article provides some background of this famous trophy, and will hopefully renew efforts to locate it and make it available again for competition for ex-One Ton class yachts.

One Ton yachts were the glamour level rating class in the era of offshore yacht racing. Level rating was the non-handicap form of racing under the IOR, where each boat was designed to the same rating, or ‘Ton’ class. The One Tonners had the ‘Coupe Internationale du Cercle de la Voile de Paris’, or the One Ton Cup, as its holy grail. The impressive trophy was designed in 1897 by Parisian jeweler Robert Bratiau in the Art Nouveau style, and formed of hammered silver, and weighs 10kg, and stands at just under a metre high. 
Rainbow II - winner of the last One Ton Cup held under RORC rules in 1969, and winner of the One Ton Revisited regatta held in Auckland in 2015 (photo Ivor Wilkins)
The One Ton Cup was so named because it was presented in 1899 by the Cercle de la Voile de Paris (CVP) for competition by boats with fixed keels, rated at one ton or less under the French tonnage (or Godinet) rule of 1892. These small boats, approximately 5m on the waterline, raced in Cowes or on the Seine until 6-metre class yachts were used for the trophy following the advent of the IYRU International Rule.  
Wai Aniwa - winner of the One Ton Cup in 1972, seen here racing in the One Ton Revisited regatta in 2015 (photo RNZYS)
The last One Ton Cup in 6-metres was held in 1962. In 1965 the CVP declared that it should be used for yachts racing boat for boat at a maximum specified RORC rating, set at 22ft. The clubs at La Rochelle soon after gave the Half Ton Cup for boats with an 18ft rating, and the Quarter Ton Cup for boats with a 15ft rating. The additional international racing that occurred under this arrangement became a major influence on the whole process for a change towards an international rating rule. With the arrival of IOR in 1970, it was agreed to use the same level rating concept. Thus in 1971 the One Ton class limit was set at 27.5ft IOR, yielding similar sized yachts, if a little larger, than their RORC equivalents, and was raced at this level until 1983. 
Gumboots - winner of the Cup in 1974 (held in Torquay)

In this period the One Ton Cup was the premier offshore series for true international competition - a hotbed of design development led by the likes of Dick Carter, Sparkman & Stephens, Doug Peterson, Ron Holland, Bruce Farr and Laurie Davidson. The winning yachts of the One Ton Cup during this era were (designer, skipper, country):

1971   Stormy Petrel (S&S, Syd Fischer, AUS)
1972   Wai Aniwa (Carter, Chris Bouzaid, NZL)
1973   Ydra (Carter, Mme Spaccarelli, ITA)
1974   Gumboots (Peterson, Jeremy Rogers, GBR)
1975   Pied Piper (Peterson, Lowell North, USA)
1976   Resolute Salmon (Marseille, Chance, Dick Deaver, USA)
1977   The Red Lion (Farr, Stu Brentnall, NZL)
1978   Tilsalg (Holland, Klaus Lange, GER)
1979   Pendragon (Davidson, John MacLaurin, USA)
1980   Filo da Torcere  (Vallicelli, Stephano Roberti, ITA)
1981   Justine III (Castro, Francis Woods, IRL)
1983   Linda (Sciomachen, Mario Pellaschier, ITA)

Jiminy Cricket - winner of the White Horse Trophy awarded to the winner of the long offshore race in the One Ton Cup 1976 held in Marseille
While the One Ton Cup was awarded to the winner of the series, other race-specific trophies were also awarded, being the Trophee de la Societe Nautique de Marseilles, for the winner of the short offshore race, and the White Horse Trophy, for the winner of the long offshore race.
The Red Lion - winner of the 1977 One Ton Cup held in Auckland
The event hit a stumbling block in 1982 when it was due to be hosted in Brighton but had to be cancelled due to insufficient entries. The Offshore Racing Council decided that the only way to revitalise the Cup was to change the maximum IOR rating from 27.5ft to 30.55ft, consistent with the lower rating limit for Admiral's Cup competition and giving the class a dual purpose and a new lease of life. However, this could not be done until 1984 as the Cup was scheduled to be held in 1983 in Brazil (won by Linda), and there were some yachts being built specially for that event. 
Linda - winner of the Cup in 1983 in Brazil, the last held for yachts to the original 27.5ft IOR rating

The decision to change the rating limit was soon vindicated with 24 boats from 12 nations competing in the 1984 series, and in 1985 the Cup was held in Poole, before the Admiral's Cup of that year, and saw 38 yachts from 15 nations competing. 
Passion 2 - winner of the Cup in 1984, the first event under the new IOR limit of 30.55ft (held in La Trinite)
The winners during this era were:

1984   Passion 2 (Briand, Philippe Briand, FRA)
1985   Jade (Humphreys, GBR)
1986   Andelsbanken (Jeppesen, DEN)
1987   Fram X (Farr, Crown Prince Harald, NOR)
1988   Propaganda (Farr, Richard Dodson, NZL)
1989   Brava (Farr, B Finzi, ITA)
1990   Okyalos VI (Jeppesen, George Ertsos, GRE)
1991   Vibes (Farr, David Clarke, USA)
1992   Brava Q8 (Farr, Paul Cayard, ITA)
1993   Pinta (Judel/Vrolijk, Peter Lester, GER/NZL)
1994   Pinta (Judel/Vrolijk, Rod Davis, GER)

Okyalos VI - winner of the One Ton Cup in 1990 held in Marstrand
Pinta - winner of the One Ton Cup in 1993 and 1994, the latter being the last time it was held under IOR
But like the IOR generally, the One Ton class suffered from the effects of the design and materials arms race, and numbers slowly dwindled to the point where only seven yachts competed in the 1994 event in Marseille, a significant drop from 1976 when 43 yachts had arrived in the famous French port. 
Brava Q8, seen here to the right on port tack - winner of the 1995 One Ton Cup, held in the ILC40 class under the IMS rule
The One Ton Cup was raced in ILC40's, a level rating class of yachts of a similar size to their One Ton forebears, designed under the IMS rule. The event was not sustained under this arrangement for long, however, and like the IMS rule itself the series fell into abeyance until 1999 when the One Ton Cup was raced for as the world championship event for the Corel 45 class (re-named IC45), a one-design yacht designed by Bruce Farr. It appears that it was contested by the IC45's on four occasions, with the final series in October 2002 in San Tropez - the regatta was marred by protests affecting the fourth and sixth races, with the jury ruling in favour of Ortwin and Stephane Kandler's K-Challenge One (photo, right) and K-Challenge Two over Atalanti X and Cavale Bleue. This gave the Cup to the Kandler's K-Challenge One (GER-7331), skippered by Dawn Riley.


IC45 class yachts racing for the One Ton Cup in 2002 - the winner, K-Challenge One, to the left (photo Latitude 38)

The photographs of the One Ton Cup at the 2002 prizegiving seem to be the last time that it was seen as part of a competition (photo, left). K-Yachting announced a new K-One Design 33 which would contest the One Ton Cup in 2004 in Monaco, but it does not appear that this class was ever established. It was hoped that the Cup could be found for the 'One Ton Revisited' event held in Auckland in February 2015, but enquiries were unsuccessful. If the Cup is ever found it will probably need to revert to the CVP to determine what future it might have. It is understood that there are efforts underway to host a regatta in France for European-based One Tonners, and such a regatta could only benefit from reinstating the impressive One Ton Cup trophy as its overall prize.
Part of the 24 boat fleet just after the start of a race in the 1988 One Ton Cup held in San Francisco

30 March 2015

The Legend of Imp

A new video has been released by William Barton featuring a collection of great photos of Imp, the Holland 40 footer that scored a number of memorable firsts in offshore racing in 1977 - the SORC, Admiral's Cup and Big Boat Series. 



Barton has written a book called "The Legend of Imp", and the link to buy the book can be found at the end of an earlier article about Imp on this site here.

24 March 2015

Legende (Peterson One Tonner)


Legende was a Doug Peterson-designed One Tonner, based on and moulded from the production Jeanneau Sun Legende 41, with the mould 'blocked off' to improve its rating under IOR. The yacht was built as a promotion for the Sun Legende, and wanted a boat that could compete with the Beneteau One Tonners such as Coyote and the first (1984) version of Fair Lady. Legende was built to compete in the 1985 SORC, and was similar in proportions and aesthetics to many of the fractional One Tonners of the era, including the Farr yachts such as Total Eclipse (ex-Geronimo).

Legende was the first high tech custom racing boat that Jeanneau had ever built, and unfortunately she was delivered two months late and she ended up being launched on just the day before the 1985 SORC. The first time the sails were hoisted was on the way to the startline and she simply hadn't been properly optimised and rated about 0.2ft higher for the series than she should have (30.7ft IOR), and just higher than the One Ton limit of 30.55ft.
Legende being launched a day before the start of the 1985 SORC series (photo credit P Bishop)
The main problems were that Legende's keel was too heavy, and she had too much internal ballast. Jeanneau had installed the same engine used for the production Sun Legende 41's and it was too heavy and was fitted with the wrong propeller. The boat was skippered Buddy Melges, and performed strongly on the triangles, exhibiting strong upwind speed, but was less successful in the long distance races. Legende finished the regatta in eighth in class and ninth overall, in a year dominated by One Tonners, but could have been in the top five if the rating had been tuned to 30.55ft.
Legende heading out to the start of a race during the 1985 SORC
The original owner of Legende, Jack Bush, advises that the boat was fitted with a new keel, designed by Bill Tripp, installed in May 1985. Her engine installation issues were resolved at the same time. In July 1985 her hydraulic controlled rigging was removed and replaced, making for a much lighter setup. By the end of July 1985 she was fully optimised to her originally planned One Ton rating. Legende's upwind performance remained strong and she became much quicker downwind. The boat went to the One Ton North Americans later that year and was skippered by Bill Tripp, but lack of preparation resulted in an unsuccessful campaign.
Legende in the marina during the 1985 SORC, alongside the Joubert/Nivelt Innisfree (photo credit P Bishop)
From 1986 to 1991, Bush recalls, Legende was campaigned heavily throughout New England, including in Newport, Marblehead, Maine and the New York end of Long Island Sound. She was a consistent winner, winning her class in the New England PHRF Championships several times and in the Monhegan Race in 1987 and 1989. She finished second in class in the 1985 (IOR) and 1990 (PHRF) Monhegan Races. Legende won many other regattas and season championships too. 
Legende sailing upwind during the 1985 SORC
In the fall of 1991 Bush sold Legende to two partners from Charleston, SC. However, shortly afterwards they had a falling out and their bank foreclosed on their loan and assumed ownership, storing the boat at Knight Marine, Rockland. In spite of many offers over the years the bank never sold Legende and just let it sit there. Finally, they sold it for a partial payment on the accumulated yard fees to a longtime Legende crew member who restored her.
Above and below - Legende lies in Knight Marine in Rockland, circa 1992

Legende has been recently (April 2015) located in Thomaston, Maine, still on dry land but by all accounts in good condition, although the deck needs some cosmetic work and the engine would require replacement.