|Wai Aniwa training in blustery conditions on Auckland Harbour, 1972|
|Pathfinder sailing in the New Zealand trials|
|Wai Aniwa during New Zealand trials|
|Ydra in winning form during Cowes Week 1972|
|Profile and general arrangement plan of Dick Carter's Ydra|
In her first series, the 1972 Cowes Week, and skippered by 1968 Cup winner Hans Bielken, she was completely dominant, taking six firsts and a third. She also had to carry a DSQ for being over the line early in one race, and a DNF after a collision with a larger yacht). She trained for one more month in Germany, before being shipped to Australia. Yachting journalist Jack Knights proclaimed Ydra to be the fastest One Tonner in the world and all those that saw her perform in that regatta fully expected a great performance in the Cup.
The 1972 One Ton Cup consisted of five races, as was normal for these level rating events, including a medium offshore (1.5 points) and a long offshore (2x points), and a winning campaign could not afford a poor result in the longer races. What was not typical was that the offshore races were aligned along the coastline south of Sydney. As a result, navigation was not a major factor as nearly all the racing took place within sight of land, and visual bearings were the order the day. The main tactical consideration was to determine what the Southerly Set was doing (speed and direction).
|The 1972 One Ton Cup fleet assembled in Sydney, Australia|
|Wai Aniwa finishes one of the ocean races in tight reaching conditions|
|Second placed Pilgrim (Australia)|
|Ydra with spinnaker and big staysail set|
|The extreme beam of Ydra is evident in this photo|
|The differences between Wai Aniwa (solid line) and Ydra (dashed line)|
|Ydra sail plan|
In terms of sail plans, there was no apparent move towards larger mainsails, and only Wai Aniwa had taken extra mainsail area under Mk III. Most other mainsails were very close to the minimum permissible area, but the aspect ratios of foretriangles were slightly higher than in 1971.
The next competition for the One Ton Cup would be held in 1973 in Sardinia, where Ydra would herself be surpassed, but once again the series would prove that having the fastest yacht was only one part of a winning campaign...