8 February 2016

The Loss of 'Espada' (GBR-50R)

From the Quarter Ton Facebook page: There was a fire in the Medina Yard in Cowes on 25th January 2016 and very sadly the Farr Quarter Tonner Espada was lost.

Built in 1980 by Geoff Hunt for Michael Evers of West Mersea, she was one of five sisterships from Bruce Farr, another one of them being Anchor Challenge. Mike sold her and she became Silent Movie and lived down in the West Country before being bought by Terry Dinmore in Poole. Morty (Peter Morton) bought her from Terry in 2005 and started a complete restoration. 
Espada featured as one of the top Quarter Tonners of the fleet that contest the revived Quarter Ton Cup every year in Cowes - seen here in the 2014 edition of the series (photo Paul Wyeth, 1/4 Ton Facebook page)
Morty was running out of time to complete her for the Quarter Ton Cup in 2006 and fellow competitors Jim and George Webb, Tony Dodd and Spillers came over to Cowes to help out. Morty successfully compaigned her for two years, winning the Quarter Ton Cup in 2007 and lending her to Jamie McWilliam for Cowes Week 2006. Morty then found Anchor Challenge and passed Espada onto his wife Louise in 2008 who campaigned her for six years. Espada won the Quarter Ton Cup again in 2011 with Colette Richmond and in 2013 with Louise Morton. 
Louise Morton and the Espada crew winning the 2013 Quarter Ton Cup
She was sold in February 2015 to Julian Metherall who immediately prior to putting her away for winter storage had repainted the decks and smartened her up. She will be sadly missed. An iconic Quarter Tonner, much loved by all.

A full list of her results can be seen here, and she features in a previous post here on her original conversion to IRC by designer Mark Mills.

4 February 2016

Dr Feelgood (Farr 40)

Dr Feelgood was a US semi-production and masthead-rigged version (Design #143) of the Farr 40 Design #136 that had dominated the 1983 Southern Cross Cup and had finished first, second and ninth in the 40-boat fleet (Pacific Sundance, Geronimo and Exador), winning the Cup for New Zealand. Dr Feelgood was built by Garrett Marine, the first of what was to be a fleet of yachts known as the Garrett 40. Dr Feelgood was launched in Florida in early 1984 in quest of SORC glory.

Geoff Stagg, skipper of Pacific Sundance in the Southern Cross Cup and marketing director for Farr International, said at the time that his "light years" victory was particularly gratifying because the original design had proved fast in a wide variety of conditions, and on all points of sail.

Sail Magazine described Dr Feelgood and the Garrett 40 as a "production boat" in the sense that "one could be ordered tomorrow.  However, she goes toe-to-toe with custom-built boats in many important areas. Vacuum bagging and Kevlar laminates are part of her construction". The Garrett 40 was slightly shorter and heavier than her Design 136 grand prix sisterships. However, particular attention was still paid to keeping weight out of the ends of the boat, even down to the tapered faceting of her transom. 

Dr Feelgood during the 1984 SORC (Sail magazine)

Freeboard was also kept low compared to her IOR contemporaries. Sail magazine noted that Farr's distinctive, deep lozenge-shaped rudder, deep blade of a keel and practiced handling of the IOR hull shape (with a touch of emphasis on downwind power) all helped explain why their Southern Cross competition was far from happy with the Dr Feelgood sisterships. 

Garrett 40 internal arrangement plan
Dr Feelgood, and the Farr 40's generally, carried their maximum beam relatively far aft. This maximised the effectiveness of crew weight, but also afforded a wide, workable cockpit. The masthead rig chosen for Dr Feelgood and the Garrett 40's had three sets of spreaders, rod rigging and running backstays. Stagg commented "the secret of this design is in its simplicity. Not only does that save cost, it means that because you don't need a pack of experts aboard to make everything work, the average guy can race and really enjoy it". 

Dr Feelgood puts her bow down during the Ft Lauderdale race in the 1984 SORC (photo Larry Moran)

Dr Feelgood lined up against similar-sized One Tonners (30.5ft IOR) at the 1984 SORC, including the 1981 Admiral's Cup champion Diva, the J/41 Dazzler and Mark Soverel-design S-39 and Finot/Berret/Fauroux designed Evolution First One Ton, and sat very much in the middle of that company in terms of her key IOR measurements. Unfortunately Dr Feelgood was still be built on the SORC racecourse, and completed only the first two races (9/7 in class, and 41/24 in fleet) and so not much could be gleaned as to her overall potential.

Dr Feelgood sails upwind in light conditions (photo Farr Yacht Design)
Compared to the dinghy-like Diva, Dr Feelgood was beamier and fuller aft, with a proportionately finer forebody. A review by designer Bruce Kelley, for Yacht Racing & Cruising magazine and focused on the 1984 SORC One Ton fleet, suggested that the boat would have been happier with a fractional rig in deference to her relatively more trim-sensitive hull shape. Kelley also considered that the boat was slightly heavier than intended, with a SHR (sail/hull ratio) of 15.62, lower than expected for a Farr design, and a DLF (displacement/length factor) of 1.0022 that was also lower than typical.

Dr Feelgood during the 1984 SORC (photo Larry Moran)
It is unclear how many of the Garrett 40's were built, but on the racecourse Design #143 was certainly eclipsed by her fractionally-rigged sisters, and later developments of that design that were consistent top performers in the One Ton class throughout the 1980s.

25 January 2016

One Ton Cup Revival 2016 - Update

Just over 50 years, after the first One Ton Cup was sailed at le Havre, France in 1965 and just 20 years after the last One Ton Cup in Marseille 2004, the event is back in Europe. A group of enthusiastic One Ton owners decided to organise the event ONE TON CUP revival 2016 at Breskens, the Netherlands from 25 – 28 of August.
The event will be open for all types of One Tonners and their sisterships, like the Oyster 41, Oyster 37, Standfast 36, X-1Ton, X-402, J-41, Huisman 37, Contessa 35, Sprinter, Optimist A + B, Swan 36, Ranger 37, Tina, Norlin 37, First Class 12, Swan 37, High Tension 36, Baltic 37, Swan 371, etc.
Vincent de Vries' classic Carter-designed One Tonner, Esprit du Morbihan
At this moment over 20 One Tonners are pre-registered, including yachts from France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands. There are even rumours that Chris Bouzaid will try to get Rainbow II over to Breskens! Rainbow II was the One Ton Cup winner in 1969 and the winner of the One Ton Revisited regatta in 2015, held in Auckland, New Zealand.
Rainbow II - a first generation One Tonner (27.5ft IOR) and winner of the One Ton Cup in 1969, and the One Ton Revisited regatta 2015
Over the years there have been three One Ton classes: 22 ft RORC; 27.5 ft IOR; and 30.5 ft. IOR. During the years yachts were more and more built dedicated for the One Ton Cup and evolved from cruisers to cruiser/racers to flat-out racers.
French One Tonner, Fiere Lady (30.5ft IOR) - fifth in the 1985 One Ton Cup
The One Ton Cup revival 2016, will be sailed under IRC rules and IRC rating system, in the three above mentioned classes. The yachts will sail in one division, the results will be separated over the classes, per day. The best One Tonner over the event will be honoured with an overall prize. There will be a mix of races: from short windward-leewards to 30 nautical mile round the buoys courses. All races will be on the beautiful Westerschelde estuary.

The ONE TON CUP revival 2016 is a part of the Breskens Sailing Weekend 2016, the Dutch Open IRC Championships. In a few weeks’ time the website www.breskenssailing.org and www.onetoncuprevival.org will be launched to fully inform you and to welcome your registration. In the meantime please contact Vincent de Vries at info@onetoncuprevival.org.

14 January 2016

Quarter Ton Cup 1989

The 1989 Quarter Ton Cup was held in Falmouth, and ended in a close tussle between two rival Italian crews, with Pompero Busnello taking the honours in his two-year old Massimo Paperini-designed Meridian, which had finished fourth in 1988. Meridian won the opening and closing Olympic races, seeing off a strong challenge from B & BV, a 1979-vintage Alain Jezequel design which had also come close to winning the 1988 series until she lost her rudder, finishing second. Meridian was well sailed, and was fast in the smooth water and medium breezes that prevailed.
Meridian - winner of the 1989 Quarter Ton Cup (photo Seahorse)
B & BV won the 120-mile offshore race, after neatly side-stepping the calms that trapped most others, but slipped to seventh in the second offshore race which let Meridian back into the reckoning for the last race, which she won.  Although old, B & BV had benefited from rule-grandfathering that allowed her to carry a lot more sail area than with which it had been originally designed. She did not enjoy light conditions however.
The 1981-vintage B & BV remained in the running for the title until the last race (photo Seahorse)
Saniflo (photo Seahorse)
Third placed Saniflo was a particularly interesting boat, but having only been launched just in time for measurement before the series she lacked the preparation time that would have given her a winning chance. The Jacques Fauroux-design, with its huge mainsail and tiny foretriangle, proved particularly fast downwind, but she also had sufficient upwind speed to beat Meridian in a 20-minute tacking duel during the 110 miler. Saniflo's rig was clearly influenced by Fauroux's experience in the Star class, with a rig supported by upper and lower checkstays, but no standing backstay. Although fast downwind, her spinnakers were very unstable due to their high aspect ratio, and this appeared to be something that would require further work if the rig concept was to be pursued further.
Meridian sails upwind in flat seas and moderate breeze, conditions that were her forte (photo 1/4 ton zeilers Facebook page)
Fourth placed Scandinavian Seaways was affected by a late building programme, and a boat that was 10cm too long, which required urgent modifications that affected her displacement and sail area. She took two wins in the inshore races in good breeze, but did not seem to show all-round speed. This Tony Castro design failed to match the progress of the Italian teams in light airs.
The fifth placed Canard (Italy) (photo 1/4 ton zeilers Facebook page)
The top English yacht, the Humphreys-designed Quest Original Knitwear, had more sail area than in her earlier 1987 guise (when she finished second) due to a favourable remeasurement. She appeared to be a good all-rounder, but lacked practice time for the 1989 series. A poor result in the short offishore race saw her finish in seventh place.
The Humphreys-designed Quest Original Knitwear (photo Seahorse)
The result of the Australian team was disappointing. They had arrived in Falmouth three weeks before the regatta, determined to win with good crews and big budgets, and to redress an 11th place by Imazulutu in 1988 at Kiel. But their two boats, Imazulutu and Imazulu, designed by Kell Steinman, were out of touch, slow and old fashioned looking in comparison to the European designs that clearly benefited from better competition. 
Australian entry Imazulutu (photo Histoiredeshalfs website)
Footnote: remarkably, B & BV went on to win the 1994 Quarter Ton Cup, contested by 19 boats in Warnemunde.

10 January 2016

CGI (Andrieu One Tonner)

This article features two French One Tonners from the 1987 and 1989 period, designed by Daniel Andrieu and sponsored by French company CGI (Credit General Industriel). Both were built by Jeanneau Advanced Techniques. 

The first CGI (F-9213) was a development of Cifraline, featuring the signature trademark of the Andrieu IOR yachts of the period, with characteristic oval cabin windows and a gently curved sheerline that merged to an elegantly rounded transom. 

While showing promise in the early stages of the 1987 season, in light airs, she missed selection for the French Admiral's Cup team for 1987 (finishing fifth in the French trials, of 11 yachts) and was chartered by the Belgian team for the 1987 Admiral's Cup. CGI 87 finished as the best placed of that team, at 30th overall (26/24/36/32/21), but the rest of the team (Val Maubuee and Port du Crouesty) were lacklustre, and the team was well off the pace, finishing last.

The second CGI (F-8907) was less recognisable as an Andrieu yacht, with a straighter transom design that responded to the IOR rule changes to the measurement of the after girth station for the 1989 season, and with a windowless cabin top. 

CGI 89 started with a fourth in Spi Ouest France, but was a lowly 20th in the 1989 One Ton Cup held in Naples. She was selected for the French Admiral's Cup team for the 1989 Admiral's Cup, and contributed to the team's fourth place of the team (alongside Corum 89 and Xeryus de Givenchy), finishing 17th yacht overall (23/7/42/26/25/11). Her result was bolstered by strong showings in the offshore events (the Channel Race and Fastnet Race), but with average placings inshore, and a disastrous last place in the second inshore race (following a penalty).  

CGI 89 became Argonaut and competed in the 1990 One Ton Cup in Marstrand, Sweden. 

22 November 2015

Quarter Ton Cup 1988

This video recently surfaced of the 1988 Quarter Ton Cup, held in Travemunde, Germany, and featuring the German yacht Polyant, which finished third overall, behind Mac Donald (the winner in 1987 as well) and B & BV. The video is narrated in German, and features some nice sailing shots both upwind and down.

27 October 2015

Quarter Ton Cup 1981

The 35-boat fleet that assembled for the 1981 Quarter Ton Cup in Marseilles, France, included qualifiers from the well-attended French and Italian selection trials (a total of 70 boats competed in these two events), and several boats from other countries. The winds ranged from Force 2 to Force 11 (4 to 60 knots), and in the last race of the series, only three boats were able to reach the finish line.
Protis, winner of the 1981 Quarter Ton Cup
The pre-regatta favourites were the many custom and semi-production boats designed by Frenchman Jacques Fauroux, whose Bullit had won the previous two editions of the Cup. Fauroux sailed one of his designs, La Concorde, which, like many other of his boats in 1981, had less extreme stern sections than Bullit, in response to changes in the IOR. The best competition for the Fauroux boats promised to come from the Italian Willy Willy, designed by the Fontana/Maletto/Navone team, and from New Zealand, the Davidson-designed Hellaby that had finished second to Bullit the previous year. 
Cifraline in trouble on a downwind leg during the 1981 Quarter Ton Cup
The opening race was an Olympic triangle sailed in Marseilles’ South Bay in a 17-33 knot easterly. Hellaby took the start and kept the lead throughout the race, with a careful cover over a new custom Fauroux design, Protis which was co-skippered by Bruno Trouble (interestingly, Protis was the only boat in the fleet to carry an inboard engine, which allowed her to be a little bigger and to carry a little more sail area). As the wind freshened, Hellaby extended her lead and won by more than two minutes, with Protis second, and Petite celte, another Fauroux design third, and Willy Willy fourth. 
Adelaide - her ability to carry her spinnaker during the fourth race gave her a big advantage over the rest of the fleet
The second inshore race, sailed in similar conditions to the first, was won by Adelaide, yet another Fauroux design, owned and skippered by Dominique Caparros, who had co-skippered Bullit in 1979 and 1980 and had Adelaide built from the same mould. She led the race convincingly from Protis, while Willy Willy finished fourth and Hellaby sixth. 

The photo to the left is of Lorraine, another new Fauroux design owned by Hong Kong sailor Gilbert Ng and skippered by Helmer Pederson. The photo was taken by Beken of Cowes, on the first day of racing - another reef was needed on the second day and was too fresh for the photographers.

Due to the hard going in the first two races, only 29 entries began the 80-mile middle distance race, which started in much lighter conditions, with La Concorde taking the early lead. Protis moved up to second on the next downwind leg before passing La Concorde to move into first, a position that she would not relinquish. La Concorde was subsequently disqualified for rounding a mark incorrectly. 

Protis during typically fresh downwind conditions during the 1981 One Ton Cup
In the next race, another Olympic triangle held in West Bay, the seas were less rough but the wind was much stronger than the previous inshore races. Adelaide again showed excellent speed in these conditions, gaining the lead early and setting her spinnaker on the reaching legs and opening up a huge lead in dramatic planning conditions. Several other boats tried setting spinnakers and suffered broken masts as a result. While Protis held second place at the start of the run, she too broke her mast after setting her spinnaker. 
Protis - possibly during the first race, and before the more wild conditions of the second and fourth inshore races
Only 21 boats started the 180-mile final race, and four more dropped out in the early stage. The fleet beat their way east in a moderate breeze towards St Raphael, the only mark of the course save for the requirement to stay seaward of the islands along the shore. Protis, which had been allowed to install a new and stronger mast after her fourth race mishap, took over the lead on the first leg and turned the St Raphael mark early the next morning. La Concorde, the early leader, reclaimed her position at the head of the fleet as they worked their way southwest to the islands again. 
Willy Willy
As the fleet entered the last stage of the race in the late afternoon, a mistral wind began blowing from the west at 35-60 knots. Willy Willy, built of plywood, broke some frames and retired as did a number of others, including La Concorde and the New Zealand crew on Hellaby, who professed to never having encountered winds of mistral force before. 

Protis above and below caught in the mistral wind in the fifth race

Greg Dagge from Lorraine recalls that by evening they were just holding station off the Isle de Hyeres against huge waves that were coming off the land. They were in a good position when the compression strut between the chainplates gave way and they were forced to retire, but sailed back to Hyeres under bare poles and incredibly recorded speeds of up to 18 knots.

New Zealand's Hellaby, sailed by John Lasher and which finished in fifth place overall
Another photo of Cifraline in trouble on a downwind leg
By early evening, there were only three boats left in the race. Gyptis, a Jezequel design, was anchored far to the east and would not finish for two more days. Cifraline, a steadily improving Daniel Andrieu design, was battling with Protis which, unbeknownst to the crew, now only needed to finish the race to win the series. Both boats managed to beat past the dangerous Cape Sicie, but then found it so rough that they ran back into the lee of the Cape and anchored for most of the night. They began racing again in the morning, but since Cifraline weighed anchor half an hour earlier, she made it home against the still heavy mistral ten minutes ahead of Protis.
Her second place in the final race gave Protis the Cup, and Fauroux his third consecutive Quarter Ton title. Cifraline finished second and Gyptis third. Willy Willy was fourth, while Hellaby finished the regatta in fifth place.
Protis as seen in 2015