29 October 2012

Terrorist (Bruce King One Tonner)

Terrorist was a radical IOR yacht designed by Bruce King in 1973. She featured twin asymmetric centreboards, angled outwards at 12 degrees and 'toed in' at 3 degrees to the centreline. Terrorist introduced the concept of internal ballast, a considerable change from keeping ballast as low as possible in a keel. The boards could be lifted independently or linked by a connected system that lifted the weather foil while the leeward foil stayed deep in undisturbed water, and combined with the slight angle to the centreline the boards created tremendous lift to weather. Off the wind both foils were retracted to reduce drag and wetted surface. Despite being an odd boat - short (10.8m LOA), wide (3.9m beam), high-wooded and relatively light (4,765kg), she was seen as a real threat in the 1974 One Ton Cup held in Tourquay.

Her wide beam provided additional stability - although she had a high ballast ratio the weight wasn't carried deep in the hull so its effect was minimised. Because of her wide beam the boat had to accept some trade-off in light airs in terms of wetted surface, but in a breeze the boat was almost unbeatable. 
One Ton Cup 1974 (Sea Spray)

But Terrorist also appeared competitive even in light winds against the types of boats predominant at the 1974 event and she won the first race of the One Ton Cup by nearly five minutes. Yachting journalist Jack Knights reported that fellow American crews were surprised that she had been able to win in light air - everybody else was amazed that the boat could win at any time. However, a broken mast in the short ocean race, which ruled her out of the following race as well, prevented any chance of an overall win. This let the Peterson design Gumboots through to take the Cup that year.

The long term future of Terrorist was seriously affected by the introduction of a 'moveable appendage factor' (MAF) to the IOR later in 1974, which raised her rating out of the One Ton rating limit of 27.5ft. Because she had been penalised out of the One Ton class, the owner, Al Cassell, decided to remove the hastily repaired old mast and to increase the height of her rig by about 2 feet to improve her light air performance. This change combined with the MAF penalty to boost Terrorist's rating to about 29.5ft.

Terrorist on a tight reach (Carter Cassel Collection)
Terrorist as she was found a few years ago (photo Craig/CRM)
Terrorist was re-discovered a few years ago sitting forlornly in a yard in the US. An American yachtsman Paul Tullos has been very busy refurbishing the yacht, and hopes to have her back in the water for the Northern Hemisphere spring. The hull fairing process is nearly completed, and the boat will be fitted with a new carbon mast, and dual rudders. There will be even less interior than originally, so the boat will be a big daysailer, at least initially. 

Undergoing hull fairing 2012 (photo Paul Tullos)

 Above and below - hull and decks all painted - February 2013 (photos Paul Tullos)

Update 16 August 2013: The new carbon mast (by GMT Composites) was recently fitted and Terrorist is now back in the water:

Photos of Terrorist sailing again in 2014 are here.

25 October 2012

Jameson 3 (IOR 50)

Today's featured yacht is Jameson 3, but she is less famous for her racing record than for this photo of her glorious broach during the 1993 Admiral's Cup series. Jameson 3 was the 'big boat' (50 feet) in the Irish team (the ex-Australian yacht Heaven Can Wait), but she was disqualified in race 6 and failed to finish race 7, the Fastnet. The team was bolstered by a strong showing by Jameson 2, which finished third overall, but were severely hampered by Jameson 1 which had to retire from the regatta when she sank after striking Gurnard Ledge in the first race. The Irish team finished seventh overall, of eight teams.

23 October 2012

Vibes (Farr One Tonner)

Vibes - One Ton Cup winner 1991 (photo Farr Yacht Design Facebook page)
This is the Bruce Farr designed One Tonner Vibes - commissioned in 1990 for US sailor David Clarke for the 1991 One Ton Cup and Admiral's Cup series. She was built by Cooksons in New Zealand and was fast out of the box - she went on to win the One Ton Cup that year, and made the US team for the 1991 Admiral's Cup which finished third overall, with Vibes finishing as the third One Tonner, behind Brava and Port Pendennis.   

Vibes after the finish of a race during the 1991 Admiral's Cup (photo: shockwave40 blog)

Vibes was later sold to the Japanese, and she was renamed Cha Cha. She went on to race in the 1993 One Ton Cup in Cagliari, Sardinia, where she performed a spectacular nose-dive in the first race, as seen in this sequence of photographs taken by Sandro Re below. 1993 was last hurrah for the prestigious One Ton Cup trophy under the IOR, and reflected the end of the line for top flight IOR racing.  

20 October 2012

Coastal Classic 2012 - Division 2 Perspective

Continuing the theme of this spring season so far, the 2012 Coastal Classic got away in very fresh conditions, with squalls coming through the start area to make the short run from Devonport and the gybe at North Head anything but straightforward, especially for those carrying extras.  Ran Tan in particular got laid down for over a minute with the canting keel on the wrong side, and only coming upright when the tack blew out of the gennaker.

Ran Tan
I was racing on the White 40 Nosaka and we had a great start, right at the wharf end of the start line and an inside track against the incoming tide. We ran with a poled out no.2 to lead the Division 2 fleet to North Head, pulling off an easy gybe and then setting off towards Tiri channel.  Although the A-sail was ready to go we stuck with a conservative sail plan, with further fronts looming behind the city and a forecast that predicted the breeze to increase. 

Nosaka approaching North Head
Valium passing Nosaka to leeward
Truxton were not mucking around and soon passed us flying their red gennaker, and Pretty Woman went past in quick order too, flying a masthead gennaker. Our good start had set us up well, but other boats were initially making gains but soon fell foul of an increase in the sou-westerly, topping out in the early 40s by Tiri Channel.  Valium went through in great style but snapped their rudder and broached, and having to retire. 

Others also had massive broaches and having some gear problems.  The Ross 930 No Worries had been going great but a delaminated transom saw them head to Gulf Harbour, and Division 1 boat Akatea broke their prod and were unable to hoist a headsail.  The Lambert 36 River Rebel was handling the conditions well with a fractional gennaker, looking very balanced and fast, and got past us before also eventually having to reduce sail.
Pretty Woman passing Nosaka just after North Head
 The breeze stayed very fresh for the reach to Kawau, we felt overpowered with full main and no.2 but were making good progress against those around us and the back of the Division 1 fleet, although it was getting hard to see Truxton and Pretty Woman.  We had already elected to take the low road around the back of the Hen and Chickens Islands, banking on the breeze easing late in the day, so started to split with the fleet as we left Cape Rodney, although had Frenzy nearby to keep us focussed.  It was hard to see the wind letting up though and we went to one reef, and then to two, while still lugging the no.2.  Our course saw us end up a bit more to the east of the Chickens than the previous year, and we even got reasonably close to the Poor Knights.  But the breeze did ease up slightly, and we progressively got the reefs out as we inched up towards Cape Brett on a pretty hot course.  Quite something to see the Brett in daylight and we rounded at about 20:30, very early for us!
Tongue Twister (Division 1) sets off at full noise
 The boat was in the groove for the sail in to Russell from the Brett, and an incoming tide saw us complete this section of the race in about 2 1/2 hours, finishing at 23:07, our new record.  We had passed Pretty Woman somewhere along the track to the Brett, and so finished second on line, although we later found out that Truxton, which had finished about 20 minutes ahead, had been over at the start so suffered a 30% time penalty and gave us the win.
The strong wind conditions saw a few records broken, notably Vodafone managed to break their 2011 time by 3 minutes (5hr 41m), and seeing a top speed of around 46 knots.  The new Elliott 35 Crusader finished in an extraordinary 10hr 2m to beat the previous fastest time for a 35 footer by 2 hours, and also broke the 40ft record.  To see why, check out this photo on Sail-world http://www.sail-world.com/NZ/Coastal-Classic:-Records-tumble-in-flight-north/103039.  The multihull 8.5 class record was also broken by Borderline, which finished just under 9 hours. Thanks to Stephen Craig on crew.org.nz for many of these photos.

And check out the great video of the start here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0PUQ7NoAJ0.

18 October 2012

ETNZ: Oracle gives cause to pause....

ETNZ had an 'on the edge' day, and you'll hear in this clip Grant Dalton's response by the crew to button off a bit after hearing about Oracle's disastrous capsize

RNZYS Wednesday Night Series - Race 1

There was plenty of wind for the first race of the Squadron's Club Marine Wednesday series - the wind was blowing from the west which sent the various divisions scuttling down the harbour under spinnaker or gennaker, some more successfully than others - and a strong flood tide helped bring the boats back up harbour. Photos by Stephen Craig.

The Bakewell-White 52 Wired sends it on the run down to Flax Point buoy

The new Elliot 35 Crusader on the beat to the finish

Jim Farmer's modified TP52 Georgia
Angie Crafer's Elliott 40 Mojo

I was racing on the Farr 1020 Flashwave - an excellent run to the bottom mark under the small kite was undone by a genoa tack fitting failure, the division honours going to Hard Labour.
Hard Labour (Cameron Thorpe)
Sandy and Giles Grigg's Farr 1020 Flashwave

12 October 2012

RAYC Gold Cup - Race 2

The second race of the RAYC Gold Cup series, incorporating the Roy McDell Memorial, was held on Saturday 13 October - and it was fresh! A reduced fleet of 14 yachts in the monohull division took the alarming forecasts in their stride and braved the conditions, with deep reefs and small headsails the order of the day. The fleet got away from the start off Orakei Wharf at 09:05, into a strong nor'westerly and the promise of a long and hard slog up to the first mark at Navy Buoy off Whangaparaoa Peninsula.  The yachts would have been sent reeling when a front and associated squall blasted its way across Auckland at around midday.  The wind swung to the nor'west after the front, leaving the boats with a hard sail home once around Rakino and Motutapu Islands.  

Here are some photos from the start:

Kim McDell's Zamzamah during pre-start manouevring

Truxton (Chris Skinner) sporting her smallest headsail
Farrago II (Cam Maher's Farr 38)
Akatea heads off from the start to weather of Outrageous Fortune and Starlight Express
Ponsonby Scow retired about half way through the race, the conditions exposing a serious gap in the sail wardrobe - the lack of a no.4 jib.  She was joined by John Muir's Absolute Leisure and Urban Cowboy, with just 11 boats completing the course.
Gray Dixon's Ponsonby Scow powers away from the start

Farrago II follows the Scow on port after the start
The first yacht home, Equilibrium,finished the 30 mile course in just under 4 hours, followed by Akatea. Starlight Express finished 3rd on line, 18 minutes behind Equilibrium, and took first place on PHRF. Outrageous Fortune has taken the overall lead on PHRF, with Equilibrium in second and Whitebait third. The reduced fleet means that many of the 27 yachts entered in the series will now have to count this race as their discard.

Starlight Express finishing off Orakei Wharf

9 October 2012

Racing in San Francisco 27 years ago...

This clip has been around for a while now, but is a rare glimpse of the thrills and spills of IOR racing in the late 1980s. It also provides a nice demonstration of the handling problems that resulted from the focus of the rulemakers on forcing increased displacement which was combined with diamond-shaped hull forms, lofty rigs and high centres of gravity. The clip features wipeouts by the Swedish IOR 50 Carat (possibly during the 1988 Big Boat Series), followed by the Bruce Nelson designed Challenge 88 during the windy second race of the 1988 One Ton Cup (where she finished top non-Farr design at 7th overall, and which was won by New Zealand's Propaganda). Bodacious can be seen taking evasive action. The third boat is another IOR 50, Diane, which loses her rig, and then a crewman....

7 October 2012

ETNZ avoids a pitch-poling Oracle

Great drama in the first fleet race of Day 4 of the America's Cup World Series, when Oracle (James Spithill) pitchpoled at the first mark, just behind Emirates Team New Zealand.  Terry Hutchinson on Artemis was right behind Oracle and did a great job of bearing away to avoid being hit by Oracle's rig as it hit the water.  ETNZ went on to win the race, before posting a fourth in the second race and a sixth in the final race to finish the series fourth overall. Spithill's team made a remarkable recovery to win the series.

For the full photo sequence see: http://www.sail-world.com/NZ/Americas-Cup:-Spithill-cartwheels-World-Series-style-in-Race-1/102677 

or watch the clip at http://www.youtube.com/user/AmericasCup?feature=watch

6 October 2012

Fun (Davidson Quarter Tonner)

Laurie Davidson had made his mark in the early 1970s with his heavy displacement Half Tonners Blitzkreig and Tramp. However, after they had been beaten by Farr's Titus Canby, Davidson, as with Paul Whiting, began looking more closely at the light displacement concept, the validity of which had been further underscored by the success of the 727 design in the 1974 Quarter Ton Cup. He felt that the 727 and Titus Canby were too long in terms of rated length and disproportionately short on sail area. 

Davidson also sought to take advantage of the loophole in the IOR that had been exposed by the Britton Chance designed centreboarder Resolute Salmon in the 1976 One Ton Cup. With stability able to be achieved with internal ballast, the boat would gain a huge advantage over conventional fixed-keel Quarter Tonners, and so a centreboard was a designed as a central component of the yacht (the centreboard was just heavy enough to sink). The centreboard also allowed the yacht to be trailerable, so long as the beam was confined to the NZ trailering limit of 2.49m. A lifting rudder and skeg was contained in a cassette slot in the cockpit.
Fun soon after her launching in mid-1976
The boat was a beautifully proportioned design, with a graceful long sloping transom and a gentle slope to her stem, and featuring what would become the Davidson trademark curved forefoot. Two boats built in the US, but modified to meet more restrictive beam requirements and moded for lighter airs. The success of these boats convinced Davidson to proceed with his own version to challenge for the 1976 Quarter Ton Cup, named Fun.
Fun finishing second in the first race of the 1976 QTC

Fun wasn't launched in time for the 1976 NZ Quarter Ton nationals, but in the brief period before being shipped to Corpus Christi (Texas) she showed her competitiveness against the Whiting Magic Bus. Fun finished 5th overall in the Quarter Ton Cup, where a lack of time for tuning and crew training proved costly and meant that Fun was not able to reach her full potential, and a disqualification in the second race did not help her cause. Observers considered that Fun was the fastest yacht overall, however, especially on broad reaching legs

Fun sails to weather of the Holland design Business Machine (photo Gary Baigent Collection)
Fun's campaign to the US proved to be another one way trip for a New Zealand yacht, with return shipping costs being too high for a campaign that had been run on a strict budget. Fun was sold to North American Clay Bernard, who went on to win the North American Quarter Ton championship in 1977.
Featuring new 1970s graphics, Fun went on to win the 1977 North American Quarter Ton championships with a come from behind win over the Peterson design Blitz
Fun later sailed in the 1977 Quarter Ton Cup held in Helsinki where she finished a creditable 5th in a fleet of 53 boats, with results of 1/13/9/13/1. She started and finished well, and was a pre-series favourite, but fell away in the middle part of the series. She finished 2nd in the North American Quarter Ton series, but in a reduced fleet of just nine yachts.

Fun undergoes a stability test in Helsinki (Quarter Ton Cup 1977)
Fun, circa 1997
The yacht has since been restored and sails today in San Francisco - she now has a new retractable keel, and a transom mounted rudder, and a new custom design has provided the correct balance for the yacht.
 Fun as she is today in San Francisco, US (photo courtesy of Craig aka CRM)