Paul Whiting delivered a very fast Quarter Tonner, that was slightly longer than the 727, with a much more pronounced maximum beam, hollow waterline for'ard and a long flat transom. Murray Ross applied his dinghy sailing prowess to the design of the rig and sails, incorporating many small boat tricks into the overall set up. These included headsails flown from their own wire luffs and spinnaker launching tubes which allowed sail changes to be largely managed from the cockpit.
Magic Bus was launched in early 1976 in time to contest the Balokovic Cup, and easily won her division and would have won the overall fleet title had one been declared. She went on to contest the 1976 South Pacific Quarter Ton Cup, hosted by Panmure Yachting and Boating Club. The new boat put in a commanding performance, winning all but one race and against a large number of 727s and other top boats of the day. Her single loss was in a race that exposed her small Archilles heel - tight reaching. This was a result of excessive bow down trim which was rectified before she went on a one way trip to compete in the 1976 Quarter Ton Cup in Corpus Christi, Texas.
|Magic Bus during the 1976 South Pacific Quarter Ton Cup|
|Magic Bus and Potent Star|
|Magic Bus on her way to winning the 1976 Quarter Ton Cup|
|Magic Bus in a close tussle with Business Machine|
|Magic Bus and the Farr One Tonner Sweet Okole seen here in San Francisco circa 1979 (photo CRM)|
Magic Bus was sold in the US and never returned to New Zealand. She is now reportedly in Alameda, San Francisco, and will hopefully be restored one day. She was a very innovative design and an important boat for her designer.
|Magic Bus, now located in Alameda, California (photo Patrick Kohlman/Half Ton History website)|