25 June 2016

Full Pelt (Dubois One Tonner)

Full Pelt was a One Tonner, designed by Ed Dubois and built by Neville Hutton for Stephen Fein in 1986, with that year's Sardinia Cup and later, the 1987 Admiral's Cup, in mind. The design featured an aggressive approach to the IOR, with an apparent close attention to minimising weight and maximising any hull shape advantages available under the rule.  
Full Pelt during the 1987 British Admiral's Cup trials (photo Seahorse/histoiredeshalfs.com)
While those were traits employed on most of her serious competitors, Dubois took it further, with flat decks (presumably to lower the overall centre of gravity of the boat) and a minimum sized coachroof, that finished just aft of the mast. With no windows, halyards and other control lines were led aft along the side of the cabin.  As with many IOR boats of that era, Dubois extended the maximum beam at the deck aft and between measurement stations so as to maximise the leverage of crew weight.
Full Pelt alongside the Tony Castro design Maiden Hong Kong in 1986, both showing distinctive kinks in the deckline between the BA and BAI measurement points (photo Seahorse/histoiredeshalfs.com)
Full Pelt proved her pedigree and the designer's approach when she emerged as the top individual yacht in the 1986 Sardinia Cup. The photographic record is unclear, but it seems that Full Pelt may have been altered after the Cup, with her original sloping transom remodelled and made more upright, but retaining the measured transom and deck intersection (the AGS measurement point) in the same position.  This would have allowed crew weight to be moved further aft when required. Many other yachts, such as the New Zealand One Tonners Propaganda and Fair Share.
Full Pelt during the 1986 Sardinia Cup (photo One Ton Facebook page)
Full Pelt narrowly missed selection for the British team for the 1987 Admiral's Cup, with Flying Dutchman helmsman Joe Richards at the helm. After good early season performances, she lost impetus after losing her mast in the De Guingand Bowl event, the first race of the trials, allowing Jamarella and Juno to make the running. 
Irish Independent Full Pelt rounding Fastnet Rock during the 1987 Admiral's Cup - she made good time to the Rock and went on to win this ocean racing classic (photo histoiredeshalfs.com/One Ton Facebook)
However, after sailing the Irish selection trials in the the chartered Irish Independent (ex-Mean Machine, ex-Rubin 85), Tom Power quickly negotiated a charter of Full Pelt when it became apparent that she was not going to make the British team. Power organised sponsorship with the Irish Independent newspaper, with the boat renamed as Irish Independent Full Pelt,  and she joined another Dubois One Tonner, Jameson Whiskey and the bigger 34.2ft rating Turkish Delight (ex-Itzanotherpurla). She was skippered by Tim Goodbody as helmsman, but kept the bulk of Fein's original crew, including Dubois, Joe Richards and Graham Deegan.
Full Pelt in light airs and sporting her near transparent Banks no.1 genoa (photo Sailing Year 1987-88)

Full Pelt had a somewhat average Admiral's Cup series overall, with results during the inshore and Channel Race of 13/15/18/31.  However, she found her legs in the Fastnet race finale - Full Pelt two-sail reached to the Fastnet Rock along the rhumb line,while those who went west looking for a forecast shift sailed needless additional miles. Unfortunately, as the main prizes were not at that time awarded to sponsored yachts, the Fastnet Trophy was awarded to second-placed Juno. Nevertheless, this result lifted her final placing to fifth overall, and elevated the Irish team to fourth overall.
Irish Independent Full Pelt seen here in Queen Annes Battery Marina in Plymouth after winning the 1987 Fastnet race (photo Shockwave40 blog)
Full Pelt was acquired by Swedish interests for the 1989 Admiral's Cup, sailing alongside the former New Zealand 43-footer Kiwi and Greve Duckula, but she had a disappointing series, finishing in 38th place (of 42), with placings of 14/39/35/25/37/39, and the Swedish team finished 12th overall.
Full Pelt was chartered for the Swedish team for the 1989 Admiral's Cup, seen here leaving Lymington Marina (photo Shockwave40 blog)
Her history from that time onwards is undocumented, but she has been featured recently on the One Ton Class Facebook page, and appears to have been upgraded and is now looking like new.
Full Pelt as seen in 2016 and following a recent upgrade (photo One Ton Facebook page)

20 June 2016

Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2016

The 2016 edition of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup was held on 15-17 June in Cowes, and was won by Louise Morton and her crew aboard Bullit, whose name will now be engraved on the trophy for the fourth time, a record only equalled by her husband Peter Morton. The podium for the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2016 is completed by second placed Blackfun, designed by Laurie Davidson for the 1980 Quarter Ton Cup in Auckland where she finished 8th, which was helmed this year by 2007 Etchells World Champion Oscar Strugstad who got a late call up to stand in for owner Tony Hayward; and Sam Laidlaw’s Aguila, which was designed by Rolf Vrolijk, in third.  Below is a gallery of photographs (by Fiona Brown) that capture some of the close racing in the event, and some of the thrills and spills of the first day when the breeze was on.
Illegal leads (right to left) Anchor Challenge, Bullit and Blackfun during a race on day one
Illegal (5th overall) comes to grief on a downwind leg during blustery conditions on day one
The distinctive curved sheer of the Joubert Nivelt design Whiskers (4th overall), to windward of Blackfun, on day one
The Jacques Fauroux design Tiger (11th overall)
Another Fauroux design, Cobh Pirate, sets its spinnaker skyward on day one (13th overall)
The winner of the 2016 Quarter Ton Cup Bullit (with Hellaby in the background)
A packed startline on day two
The revamped Laurie Davidson and ex-New Zealand Quarter Tonner Hellaby (above and below) - Hellaby finished 16th overall

8 June 2016

The return of the One Ton Cup

The Fast40+ class announced today (7 June 2016) that they will compete for the prestigious One Ton Cup at their event in September to be hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble between 16-18th September 2016.

The One Ton Cup is steeped in history and reputation in the world of yacht racing. Created by the Cercle de la Voile de Paris (CVP – Paris Yacht Club) back in 1899 and widely recognised as a masterpiece of art nouveau style, initially raced for in regattas between one tonner sailing yachts. The trophy itself was designed in 1897 by the jeweler Robert Linzeler and was made by Bratiau in 1898. It is made of solid silver and weighs 10 kgs standing at 57cm high and 58cm wide.

The One Ton Cup has been raced for in International 6-metre yachts, and for a short time on 6.5m SIs. In 1965 this trophy moved into the world of ocean racing, and from there into the RORC and IOR ruled racing circuits. Most recently, in 1999, the Cup was presented to the Corel 45 Class. Winners of the Cup include many legends in our sport such as Syd Fischer, Harold Cudmore, Henrik Soderlund, King Harald V of Norway, Paul Cayard and Russell Coutts.

The One Ton Cup was sailed in 1995 in ILC40's (under the IMS rule)
The hosting of this event and the realisation of getting the magnificent One Ton Cup trophy to the UK has been made possible through the support of a number of organisations and individuals, especially Cercle de la Voile de Paris for recognising the profile of this growing class and agreeing that this is an event worthy of such a trophy, and Hamble Yacht Services who will be the Presenting Partner for the event.
The Fast40 class competing at this year's Vice-Admiral's Cup in Cowes
Francois Laborde (President of the Cercle de la Voile de Paris – Paris Yacht Club), commented, "We are excited to announce this partnership with the Fast40+ Class for the 2016 edition of the One Ton Cup. The boats have amazing performance characteristics, are fun to race, and are attracting top sailing talents. Those characteristics are exactly in line with the tradition and objectives of our Cup".

The Fast40+ class represents the modern day One Ton race yacht, light displacement race boats, with IRC TCCs of between 1.210 and 1.270. This narrow band of high performance race yachts is designed to deliver fast, close inshore racing.
Close and fast racing in the Fast40 class at the Vice-Admiral's Cup (photo Rick Tomlinson/Fast40 Facebook page)
Robert Greenhalgh, Class President, came up with the concept in 2014 and, after engaging the commitment of a number of interested owners and sailors, this year the class will host a fleet of 14 race boats competing at the highest level over a circuit of five UK based events. The boats hail from seven countries – UK, Ireland, Scotland, USA, South Africa, New Zealand and Germany – and the fleet is growing quickly in competitor numbers and profile.

Robert commented, “The owners of this exciting class take their racing seriously – we are already experiencing incredibly close and exciting inshore racing and it seems to be ticking all the boxes. To secure such a significant trophy as the One Ton Cup to be our showcase trophy for 2016 is sure to add pressure and focus to the racing – this is THE trophy to win this year.”
Close and fast racing in the Fast40 class at the Vice-Admiral's Cup (photo Rick Tomlinson/Fast40 Facebook page)
Traditionally the One Ton Cup regattas consisted of inshore racing, a coastal race and a proper offshore race. Reflecting the changing times and demands of race circuits today, the Fast40+ One Ton Cup will be raced between 16th and 18th September hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club and will consist of eight scheduled races over the three days with event rankings for each boat being multiplied by two for the overall 2016 Race circuit results. The courses will be a mixture of windward – leeward and coastal courses sailed in Solent Waters, each race lasting between 45-180 minutes.

Peter Morton, owner of Girls on Film, added his thoughts, “I have seen a new lease of life injected back into the Solent racing scene through the Fast40+ Class since 2015. Close racing, passionate owners and competitors who reveling in the competitive scene, a good onshore social scene and all run by a professional organisation – and now with the addition of this slice of history to win, what more could we want!”
A new Fast40 design from the Farr office and due for launching in 2016 (Farr Yacht Design/Fast40 Facebook page)

24 May 2016

Quarter Tonners at the Vice-Admiral's Cup 2016

12 Quarter Tonners lined up for the 2016 RORC Vice-Admiral's Cup (20-22 May), including the top four teams from 2015. Sam Laidlaw's Aguila was back to defend last year's final race win, along with last year's runner up, Rickard Melander's Alice II, as well as Tony Hayward's Blackfun and Louise Morton's Bullit (third and fourth respectively last year).
Louise Morton's Bullit, early leader of the Quarter Ton division in the 2016 Vice-Admiral's Cup (photo RORC/Paul Wyeth)
Day 1
Bullit placed third in the first race and went on to win the last two races to lead the Quarter Tonner Class ahead of Sam Laidlaw's Aguila. Blackfun was third.

"We had a really good day today despite the tricky conditions with wind against tide and breaking our pole in the first race was not ideal" commented Morton. "We did have a couple of wipe-outs but we were not alone, Quarter Tonners can be a handful downwind. Well done to Stuart Childerley and his team for getting six classes off for three good races each, I am sure the race committee was as tired as us by the end of the day."
Windward mark action in the Quarter Ton division at the RORC Vice-Admiral's Cup (photo Rick Tomlinson/Sailing Anarchy)
Day 2
Bullit started of the second day of racing with a bullet and a second to take a firm grip on the class, but was adjudged over the line at the start of the last race of the day and having restarted correctly slipped to ninth place. Bullit still leads the class but only by a single point from Sam Laidlaw's Aguila. Tony Hayward's Blackfun remains in third. Rickard Melander's Alice II is fourth having scored two podium finishes today and Eric Reynolds' Magnum Evolution won race five to end the day in fifth position.

Joker bashes her way upwind on Day 2 of the Vice-Admiral's Cup (photo Rick Tomlinson/1/4 ton zeilers Facebook page) 
"Bullit is going well but we can still catch her" commented Aguila's Brett Aarons. "Bullit is a bit larger than Aguila, so she goes a bit better in the heavier air but tomorrow looks to be a bit lighter, so we definitely have a chance. The standard of racing in the Quarter Ton fleet is as good as it gets in the Solent. The boats may be old but a lot of time is spent getting them into perfect condition, and as we sail at about the same speed, it is just like one design racing."
Bullit in action on Day 2 of the Vice-Admiral's Cup (photo RORC/Rick Tomlinson)
Day 3
Aguila won the very last race to take the series by a half point. Aguila, designed by the German design duo Judel/Vrolijk in 1990, was helmed by Sam Laidlaw; all of his crew, from the Isle of Wight, were not born when the boat was built. Bullit had led the regatta from the first day and agonisingly lost the title by just half a point.

Aguila on her way to winning the Quarter Ton division of the 2016 Vice-Admiral's Cup (photo RORC/Rick Tomlinson)
"Very tough close racing" summed up Laidlaw. "I felt that we were capable of beating them in both races but if it hadn't been for Magnum Evolution getting between us, we would have lost by half a point, so we were very fortunate in that respect. This fleet produces really close racing, which is also good fun and bodes well for the Quarter Ton Cup."
The immaculate Aguila, winner of the 2016 Vice-Admiral's Cup Quarter Ton division - seen here during the 2016 RORC Easter Challenge (photo RORC/Paul Wyeth)

21 May 2016

Hamilton Island Race Week 1984

An interesting post and photos regarding the inaugural Hamilton Island Race Week appeared in Sailing Anarchy recently. Huey 2 writes:

Colourful memories of the inaugural Hamilton Island Race Week in 1984 have surfaced this week, with the discovery of historic photos taken at the event.

The German Frers-designed Two Tonner Hitchhiker gets some air time while working upwind in fresh conditions during the 1984 Hamilton Island Race Week (photo Sandy Peacock)
The images are the work of Sandy Peacock, a Sydney-based advertising agency owner, who worked at the 1984 regatta as a yachting journalist and photographer. Peacock found 62 transparencies and a copy of the story he wrote about the event, in a long-forgotten box of images stored at his northern beaches home.
Jack Rooklyn's Ben Lexcen-designed Apollo slogs upwind during the 1984 Hamilton Island Race Week (photo Sandy Peacock)
For its first eight years, Hamilton Island Race Week was staged two weeks after Easter, but the unstable weather pattern at that time of year led to the series becoming known as 'Hamilton Island Rain Week' in the 'Wetsundays'.
An unknown yacht gets into trouble on a tight reach, the Holland-designed Too Impetuous to leeward (photo Sandy Peacock)
Fleet numbers were strong and the parties were legendary, but organisers eventually succumbed to the pressure of the wet season and rescheduled the series to late August.
The Doug Peterson-designed 44 footer Inch-by-Winch in post-race mode during the 1984 Hamilton Island Race Week (photo Sandy Peacock)
Sandy Peacock's images certainly reveal the mood swings of the weather that first year and they also confirm that among the impressive fleet of 93 competitors were some of the great yachts and famous names of the sport in that era.
Syd Fisher's Ragamuffin sails downwind under spinnaker and blooper (photo Sandy Peacock)
The two big maxis at the regatta in 1984 were Jack Rooklyn's Apollo, affectionately known as 'The Gherkin', because the hull was dark green, and Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin.
Apollo has a hard landing during the 1984 Hamilton Island Race Week (photo Sandy Peacock)
The sailing identities were too many to name, but there was no one more saluted than Hugh Treharne, who in September the previous year was tactician aboard Australia II when she won the America's Cup in Newport, Rhode Island. Ironically, it was when the island's then owner, Keith Williams, was in Newport watching Australia II win the cup that he came up with the idea for race week.
Inch-by-Winch's narrow lead over Hitchhiker looks short-lived after her spinnaker tears badly during the 1984 Hamilton Island Race Week (photo from Australia's Year of Sail - 2)

16 March 2016

Bloopers are back!

From Scuttlebutt USA (15 March 2016 edition):

The 2016 edition of the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) rating system has been released, with a change that has now made bloopers legal for boats built during the era of bloopers. This was a concern about ORR for many older boats, and ORR has found a way to properly rate them and have thus made them legal.
Italian yacht Vanina leads the charge of blooper-wielding yachts during the 1979 Admiral's Cup
ORR – 2015 Edition
4.01 Bloopers.
Bloopers are prohibited. When a spinnaker is set, no jib shall be tacked in such a way as to cause or permit the luff or forward edge of that sail to lie outside of the spinnaker or spinnaker sheet and, when a spinnaker is set, no sail shall be sheeted to the main boom except the spinnaker itself.

Bloopers tended to keep the bowman busy!

ORR – 2016 Edition
4.01 Bloopers.
The intent of this section is to allow bloopers on boat’s where they were once popular and in the way they were flown. If bloopers generate a pronounced speed benefit, that benefit will be properly assessed and rated in future versions of ORR. All of the following shall apply to boats rating with bloopers:

a) Bloopers are only permitted on boats with an age or series date earlier than Jan 1, 1985.
b) Bloopers are only allowed on boats rated with a spinnaker pole, and not with a bowsprit.
c) Bloopers must measure in as a headsail, since two spinnakers cannot be flown at the same time other than when changing. The LP of the blooper shall not exceed 150% of rated J. The half width must be no greater than 50% of the foot. The luff of the blooper shall not exceed the luff of the largest headsail for which the boat is rated. The tack pennant for a blooper shall not exceed 2.5 feet and must be tacked aft of the forward end of J.
d) The blooper shall be counted as headsail for purposes of the limit on number of headsails carried while racing.

All we need now are some old sailmakers that still know how to make bloopers. For more information on the 2016 ORR… click here.

Bloopers fly during the 1983 Australian Admiral's Cup trials
Bloopers came onto the scene during the 1971 Southern Cross Cup series, when New Zealand's Wai Aniwa hoisted a light air no.1 genoa outside the spinnaker (here). The resulting protest was dismissed, and overnight the blooper became an indispensable part of the IOR racing wardrobe before falling out of favour in the early to mid-1980s.
They may have been detested by some sailors, but they made for some great photographs!
Bravura during the 1984 SORC (photo Larry Moran)

Lady Be (sailing for NZ) leads Scarlett O'Hara (US) during the 1983 Admiral's Cup, by which time the use of bloopers was starting to wane (photo NZ Yachting/Alan Sefton)

15 March 2016

Jamarella (Farr One Tonner)

After sailing the three-year old Daniel Andrieu design Cifraline 3 to a very creditable fifth place in the 1986 One Ton Cup in Palma, Alan Gray commissioned Jamarella, a new Farr One Tonner for the 1987 Admiral's Cup and One Ton Cup. The boat was similar to the New Zealand yacht Propaganda (Design #182), but was a slightly different design (#184), optimised for racing in large fleets in UK conditions, and was particularly fast upwind in light and medium airs. This performance was helped by a deep draft fin keel with a fibreglass tip to avoid the boat becoming too stiff (under the onerous 'centre of gravity factor' measurement of the IOR), but still taking a draft penalty.  

Jamarella was skippered by Rodney Pattisson, who helmed the One Ton Cup champion Jade in 1985, and teamed up with Lawrie Smith (who helmed Panda to her Fastnet win in the 1985 Admiral's Cup), to create a very strong force at the back of the boat. Jamarella was built by Killian Bushe with Nomex honeycomb core. She carried a Sparcraft mast, which was held up with cobalt rigging, and flew a combination of Banks, Shore and Sobstad sails. 
Jamarella sailing downwind during the 1987 British Admiral's Cup trials (photo Seahorse/Histoiredeshalfs website)

Jamarella proved to be the most consistent of the new British One Tonners that lined up for the 1987 British Admiral's Cup trials, with three first places in the series, and she joined team Juno and Indulgence in the British team in a determined campaign to wrest the Admiral's Cup back from the Germans, who had triumphed again in 1985.  
Jamarella (above and below) showing her upwind form (photos Histoiredeshalfs website)
She sailed the 1987 Admiral's Cup with a slightly lower rating than Propaganda (30.54ft, to 30.59ft IOR), and the two boats, both sporting the fastest shapes of 1987 and expertly sailed, had a series-long duel, with Jamarella outscoring her Kiwi rival in the first inshore and the Fastnet race, and in the latter demonstrating a slight edge downwind in light airs. The two finished first and second in the Channel Race, separated by just 16 seconds. In the end, Jamarella finished the series second overall, 30 points behind Propaganda (with placings of 14/2/4/24/3), and supporting the British team to second overall in the Cup proper. 

Jamarella rounds a windward mark during one of the inshore races on Christchurch Bay (photo Sailing Year 1987-88)
The boat went on to win Class II in the 1987 RORC series, and was named the RORC Yacht of the Year. 
Jamarella - RORC Yacht of the Year 1987 (photo Sailing Year 1987-88)
Jamarella (photo One Ton Facebook page)
She then went to Kiel for the 1987 One Ton Cup, where she finished sixth overall, although she had initially finished third overall following placings of 8/17/5/3/3, but was slapped with a "2 x 30 point" penalty, because of the discovery of an unsecured five gallon fuel tank. The crew insisted it was spare fuel carried for seamanship reasons - this became an issue of whether it was a tank under rule 202.2 of the IOR, or 'ship stores' under rule 109.4. In this respect she was perhaps an innocent victim of suspicions of cheating that had come to the fore as a result of allegations (later proven) against the German yacht i-Punkt. 
Jamarella in action during the 1987 Admiral's Cup, and crossing the stern of US yacht Blue Yankee
Jamarella became Rush for the 1988 One Ton Cup in San Francisco, where she finished 11th overall, Alan Gray went on to commission a new Jamarella, a bigger Farr 50-footer, for the 1989 Admiral's Cup and the burgeoning 50-foot circuit
Hitchhiker III during the 1989 Admiral's Cup
It is understood that the original Jamarella was chartered by Australian yachtsman, Peter Briggs, of Hitchhiker fame, and the boat became the third yacht to wear the Hitchhiker moniker. Her stern was altered in response to the 1989 IOR rule changes, but Hitchhiker didn't make the Australian team, and sailed for Ireland instead. A shadow of her former self, she finished in 32nd place (with results of 22/32/34/35/32/28), but was the best placed of the lowly 13th placed Irish team.
Rush, ex-Jamarella, during the 1988 One Ton Cup
Now known as Ace, the ex-Jamarella is located in Muiderzand, Holland (photos below).