|Shockwave on launching day|
|Shockwave in early sailing trials on Auckland Harbour (photo Shane Kelly)|
|Above and below - early trials on Auckland Harbour (photos Shane Kelly)|
|Shockwave competing in the Australian 1983 Admiral's Cup trials|
|Shockwave is loaded on a ship back to New Zealand (photo Australian State Library of NSW)|
After the Australian trials, Crichton went back to Auckland to re-open negotiations with fellow offshore sailors and the NZYF. It resulted in a revised decision to send a team to Cowes led by Shockwave and to charter two European yachts. Ian Gibbs chartered Wee Willie Winkie from her Irish owner, Seamus Gallagher. The boat, which had been in the previous Kiwi team, was similar to Swuzzlebubble III which Gibbs had sailed in 1981, and he re-named her Swuzzlebubble IV for the series. The third boat was to be a production version of a Shockwave derivative, the Beneteau 456 Lady Be. The boat had just missed selection for the French team and Peter Blake, who was to skipper her, felt that there was a lot of unrealised potential.
|Shockwave powers off the start of the second race in the 1983 Admiral's Cup. Team-mate Lady Be can be seen up to windward (photo Jonathan Eastland)|
In the end, however, the 1983 team were unsuccessful and finished in sixth place overall, dropping from their fifth place effort in 1981. A third place in the breezy second race and 2nd in the fourth races were the highlights for Shockwave in a regatta in which she was otherwise plagued by bad luck,including a penalty in the first race, losing out in a very light airs Channel Race that favoured the minimum raters, and poor tactics in the Fastnet Race. In the end Shockwave finished with results of 45,3,33,2,27 to finish in 27th place overall.
Shockwave was shipped back to New Zealand and competed in the trials for the 1983 Southern Cross Cup team. Although she started strongly, Shockwave couldn't hold out the new Farr 40's Exador, Pacific Sundance and Geronimo, and withdrew from the final race with structural damage to a couple of ring frames.
|Shockwave nearing the end of the 1983 Fastnet Race|
The record is a little unclear, but it is understood that Australian selectors changed their previous stance when the selection trials for the Australian's own Southern Cross Cup team came round. Under charter to Jones again, Shockwave won the trials and was selected to race for Australia. Strangely, too, this came after she had been eliminated from the New Zealand team. It is unknown how Shockwave performed in this regatta, but in any event all other boats and teams in the 1983 series were humbled by the dominance of New Zealand's team of Farr 40s.
Shockwave had the chance to join two of the Farr 40s, Sundance and Exador in the New Zealand 'A' team for the 1984 Pan Am Clipper Cup in Hawaii. Overall victory in the series was lost when Exador's rig came tumbling down in the Round the State race, and the team finished second to the US 'White' team. Shockwave finished 12th yacht overall and second in class C.
Shockwave was later based in Southern California and was very competitive against other yachts of the era, such as Juno and Victory, and went on to win its class in the San Francisco Big Boat Series in 1988 and 1989. It would be interesting to know if she is still sailing.
|Shockwave sails downwind under spinnaker and shooter in the 1984 Pan Am Clipper Cup|
|Shockwave on a reaching leg during the 1984 Clipper Cup (photo NZ Yachting)|
|Shockwave during the 1987 Big Boat Series (San Francisco), being chased by High Risk|