3 July 2015

Half Ton Cup 1976

A film of the 1976 Half Ton Cup has been recently found. This regatta was held in Trieste, Italy, and attracted some 70 yachts. It was a light air series, so the sailing footage is not very dramatic, although the musical score tries hard to give it a lift, but it is interesting to see the wide range (and shape) of yachts competing, and at times the close proximity of the spectator fleet. The footage appears to cover the first two Olympic races, and part of one of the offshore events.


The 1976 Half Ton Cup was won by the Ron Holland-designed yacht Silver Shamrock, which can be seen leading the fleet at the first weather mark. New Zealand was represented by Ian Gibbs' Paul Whiting design Candu II, which was not at her best in the prevailing light winds, and finished sixth overall. Details of Candu II and other photos from the 1976 Cup can be seen here.

1 July 2015

Italian Half Ton Classics 2015

Gunboat Rangiriri, the legendary and revolutionary Bruce Farr-designed Half Ton world champion in 1977, has won the 2015 Italian Championship Half Ton Classics. Gunboat Rangiriri owned and skippered by Claudio Massucci with tactics from Palermo Maurizio D'Amico and the sailmaker Antonio Incarbona dominated by winning six of the seven races, in a well organised series run by CVFiumicino that attracted eight Half Tonners. 
Claudio Massucci's Gunboat Rangiriri - winner of the Italian Half Ton Classics Cup 2015
Loucura, the Farr 31 owned Fabrizio Gagliardi, finished in second place, and benefitted from tactician Pino Stillitano's knowledgeable of the course off Fiumicino. In third place was Stern-Pragma Multimedia (Morasca / Orestano / Sorge), the former Stern Weber designed by G.Ceccarellli in 1987 and third in the Half Ton Cup in the same year, and assisted by sailmaker Alessandro Scarpa. Her overall points tally was affected by a poor sixth place in the long race.
Defending champion Loucura finished second in 2015
In fourth place was the Vallicelli designed Moments, which has been recently restored by owner Luciana Morino, and helped on the first day of racing by the Olympic yachtsman Gabrio Zandonà. Eulimene, the Comet 303 (Pietro Fois), was well sailed by Francesco Codacci, taking an excellent third place in the long race.
Stern-Pragma Multimedia finished third
Charts and other news is here, and some video footage of the racing is here. Photos by Christophe Julliand.

Loucura leads off the startline, ahead of Cicci 7
Moments finished fourth overall
Gunboat Rangiriri to weather of Stern-Pragma Multimedia
Gunboat Rangiriri rounds a weather mark
Prydwen (Davide Castiglia), a Ziggurat 9.10, finished seventh overall

28 June 2015

Downwind Fun

Tony Hayward's Davidson-designed Quarter Tonner Blackfun has a hairy moment while running downwind during the Irish Quarter Ton Cup, forming part of the Sovereign's Cup sailed in Kinsale (25-27 June 2015). Blackfun went on to win the series convincingly with six bullets and a second (photo by David Branigan).

20 June 2015

Lone (Farr Three-Quarter Tonner)

Lone was commissioned by English yachtsman Mr Jan Nielson in the fall of 1989, with the aim of winning the 1990 Three-Quarter Ton Cup (24.5ft IOR). She achieved that objective, and went to be one of the most successful level rating yachts in the IOR era, winning the Cup on two further occasions in 1991 and 1992.

The Farr Yacht Design website notes that the design for Lone (Design #229) was able to draw on previous experience from the One Ton, 50 Foot and Maxi arenas, but also from feedback on the 1988 Three-Quarter Ton design Aphrodite (Design #201) which had placed first in class and fleet in the 1988 Japan Cup. Aphrodite also had a creditable fourth place finish at the 1989 Three-Quarter Ton Cup in Pharilon, Greece. Lone was shorter overall (by 0.22m), lighter (122kg), narrower (0.1m) and with a deeper keel (0.04m). The sail plan was larger (with a 'P' dimension 1.18m more), with more rake in the mast.
Lone (as Xacobeo 93) - Three Quarter Ton Cup winner 1990-92 (photo FYD Facebook page)
Lone underwent her first sea trials in the Mediterranean in the spring of 1990, before going on to win at Kiel Week, and then taking out the Three-Quarter Ton Cup in Flensburg, Germany, in convincing style, with placings of 1/1/1/1/2, in a 26 boat fleet representing eight countries. She later won Class IV in the Copa del Rey regatta, and in 1991 Lone defended her Three-Quarter Ton Cup title, held in Denmark, with Pedro Campos as skipper. She was bought by Spanish interests in 1992, and renamed Xacobeo 93 she won the Cup again. The boat did not compete in 1993, but raced in the 1994 series (as Azur de Puig), the last time the Cup was held, where she finished in tenth place, of 14 boats (all from Spain).



12 June 2015

Italian Half Ton Class - Asteria Cup 2015

The Italian Half Ton fleet have had a recent warm up for their National Championship during the five race Asteria Cup held from 30 May to 2 June.  This was won by the Farr design Loucura overall on IRC (Fabrizio Gagliardi), following a 1/2/2/2/1, and confirming victory after the final race by one point over Claudio Massucci's Gunboat Rangiriri (3/1/1/1/2), another Farr design, by just one point, with Moments (Luciana Morino) taking third (2/3/4/4/3).  

Loucura - winner of the 2015 Asteria Cup (photo Half Ton Class Italia)

The series started with a 115 mile long race, from Anzio to Ponza and Ventotene which carried a 1.5 points loading. Two days were allowed for this race, but was completed by Stern-Pragma Multimedia in just 25hr 40m, just 8 minutes ahead of Loucura, which took out the win on corrected time. This was reported in the Italian Half Ton Class website as "A beautiful route between the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean with a sunset to remember and an exciting step in Ventotene, the wind on 8 knots allowed good speed and continued to blow the night allowing a good upwind in the ascent towards Anzio". 
Gunboat Rangiriri has a good start in the mixed IRC Class 1 and 2 fleet
However, the breeze faded at Circeo and that was the turning point of the race.  Loucura choose the edge on the ground, while Gunboat Rangiriri stood off, Stern-Pragma Multimedia held between the two, followed by Moments. Stern gained the wind from the west first, but it was not enough to overcome the time allowance for Loucura, which also finished third in the overall IRC fleet. 
Gunboat Rangiriri finishing a race in first place in the earlier Anzio Winter Cup
The two days of racing following the long race involved inshore races in breeze of between 5 and 10 knots with smooth seas. Gunboat Rangiriri carried sailmaker Antonio Incarbona and tactical Maurizio D'Amico aboard and demonstrated incredible pace, winning three races and just missing a fourth win to Loucura by two seconds. Some new sails are planned for Gunboat Rangiriri which should fill the gap in her wardrobe and see her become even faster.
Moments during the 2015 Asteria Cup
The 2015 Italian Half Ton National Championship will be held in Fiumicino on 24-28 June.
The Ceccarelli designed Stern-Pragma Multimedia finished fourth overall with placings of 4/4/3/OCS/4


6 June 2015

Magic Bus - back in New Zealand!

The 1976 World Quarter Ton champion, the Paul Whiting designed Magic Bus, arrived back in New Zealand in May, after a one month journey by ship from Alameda, San Francisco.  Magic Bus was launched nearly 40 years ago, in February 1976, and left New Zealand later that year for the Quarter Ton Cup held in Corpus Christi, Texas. A dedicated team have now brought this famous yacht back for a full restoration, and you can follow their progress here.
Magic Bus during the 1976 South Pacific Quarter Ton championships on the Hauraki Gulf
Magic Bus as found in Alameda, San Francisco and looking somewhat the worse for wear (photo above and below - Magic Bus Facebook page)
Magic Bus emerges from the container on her arrival back in New Zealand, 9 May 2015

4 June 2015

Allegiance (Andrews One Tonner)

Changes to the One Ton rating limit in 1983 provided the opportunity for a new breed of dual purpose 40 footer aimed at level-rating as well as grand prix competition. The design of Allegiance was born from this new potential, and the design was commissioned from Californian-designer Alan Andrews in the summer of 1983 following a Transpac race with the owner, Bill Ostermiller, aboard his previous boat, the Peterson-designed Serendipity 43 Celerity. 

The challenges of performing in mixed and level-rating fleets was highlighted by Andrews, who commented at the time that the two styles of racing - corrected time on one hand, boat-for-boat on the other - made it hard to create a specialised boat. "I've just tried to get the best performer I could from the IOR. We have concentrated on upwind ability". The hull was low in freeboard to save weight and windage and to add stability, while the keel was not that generous in terms of lateral plane, but was balanced by a deep, high-aspect, rudder. Her for'ard sections were reasonably fine, but not as deep as some of her competitors.
The deck plan for Allegiance - courtesy Andrews Yacht Design
Allegiance was built by Dennis Choate's Dencho Marine from carbon fibre inner skins and unidirectional S-glass outer skins laid over a Divinycell core, while an aluminium H-frame was designed to accept the mast, keel and engine loads. Allegiance was also one of the first boats with a composite rudder stock. The weight savings achieved through her exotic construction had to be offset by ballast to achieve the necessary rated displacement figure, and this contributed to a high ballast ratio of 56 percent that, along with powerful mid-ship sections, provided excellent upwind performance. Andrews noted that while Allegiance could carry as many as 12 crew for the SORC, in One Ton Cup competition they were limited to eight which would place a premium on inherent form stability.
 Allegiance approaches a weather mark during the 1984 SORC (Sail magazine)
Sail magazine observed that, beyond the refinements in her hull design, Allegiance's performance stemmed from being a lightweight boat, and having an adventurously light Sparcraft mast, although it was not dissimilar to other fractional rigs emerging at this time. This was a thin, three-spreader spar tapered over its top 12 feet, controlled with jumpers and two sets of runners. Her "maximum depth" boom (whereby the limit to depth was a function of the 'E' measurement) was chemically etched to shave off some 10 pounds. 
Interior plan for Allegiance
Allegiance was launched and sailed in California in December 1983 which made the Age Date cutoff, and enabled an IOR rating just below the One Ton limit, at 30.4ft. Early in 1984 she was trucked to Florida and re-assembled for SORC, the first attempt at this regatta for Ostermiller. Andrews recalls that the sailed at least the pre-SORC regatta, "before launching into that marathon of distance and day races". Allegiance went on to be a stand-out performer in the 1984 SORC, and was an impressive IOR debut for Andrews who had previously been known for designs to the MORC rule. Andrews recalls that he was well pleased with the boat, and that her performance benefited from a good crew for the series.  The crew (with some rotating in and out for parts of the series) included Olympic Soling sailors Robbie Haines (helm) and Ed Trevelyan (mainsheet), as well as Andrews himself (headsail trim).
Allegiance during the 1984 SORC (photo Larry Moran)
Allegiance had a close contest with the French One Tonner Diva for overall and Class E honours - each manged to beat the other three times. Included in that was the Miami-Nassau race, when, after 26 hours of hard reaching, beating and countless sail changes made in darkness, Diva managed to dive across the Nassau finish line just 3 seconds ahead of Allegiance. The differences between the boats were subtle, Allegiance was a bit heavier but carried more sail. Diva was light, but also a bit fuller in her stern sections. In the end, Allegiance won Class E, but Diva took out the overall fleet prize, the Governor's Cup.
Allegiance during the 1984 SORC
"As the series developed we had quite a battle with Diva that went down to the last race", says Andrews. "Allegiance pointed a bit higher and when truly upwind had better VMG but Diva had greater sailing length and could jib reach/fetch faster. We didn’t learn early enough about playing to our strengths versus boat-for-boat covering. We beat them in class but they beat us in fleet for the overall". 

On the strength of this performance, Allegiance was selected to the US Sardinia Cup team (alongside SORC Class C yachts Secret Love and Scaramouche). Following the SORC, Allegiance went on to race the One Ton North Americans in Annapolis where Haines and Trevelyan had to leave to prepare for their Olympic Soling campaign, and Lowell North, David Miller and Peter Stalkus joined the boat.   

Allegiance during the 1984 One Ton Cup (photo Histoiredeshalfs)
Allegiance was then shipped to France for the 1984 One Ton Cup in La Trinite Sur Mer. "Some factors of the rig tune were inadvertently adjusted/lost in transit and we didn’t get up to speed until near the end of the series" says Andrews. Allegiance finished in 11th place in the 24 boat fleet (won by Passion 2), with results of 11/19/7/7/12. 

Allegiance can be seen here to leeward of Nuova, Fair Lady and Cifraline 3 at a start during the 1984 One Ton Cup (photo Histoiredeshalfs)

"Most of the crew stayed the same for Sardinia but Lowell and Peter left and were replaced by Dave Ullman, Steve Benjamin and Rob “Magellan” Vaughan. Sardinia was a tough series with the Argentinean Red Rock clipping our backstay and bringing down the topmast in a day race. We fixed it in an all-nighter and started the distance race the next day in 20+ knots of building Mistral. That was one of the windiest races I’ve sailed with the wind instruments blown off the masthead. We know it was really windy when the boatspeed went up after we changed to the storm trysail from three reefs in the main". Allegiance's overall place is not known, but the US team finished the series in fifth place, of 16 teams.

Following Sardinia, Allegiance returned to Southern California and was fitted with a new rig. After another year or two of racing the boat moved on to a new three-person partnership of owners who had great racing at the top of the Long Beach/LA fleet for many years competing against the Dubois One Tonner Victory. "We helped them with a major refit that opened the transom, reduced interior weight, a new rudder, reduced deck hardware, etc" recalls Andrews. "After a few other owners the boat is now in San Diego named “Sugar Sue” and club racing there. Not bad for a 31 year old boat!"


Andrews also notes that Allegiance has a near sister Impact, which was ordered after the owners sailed in Allegiance’s sea trials. The main difference was Impact had a masthead rig and slightly wider stern. Impact has won many California races including the San Francisco Perpetual Cup match race in which she defeated Irv Loube’s Beneteau One-Tonner Bravura and the SoCal IOR Championships.