|NZ Half Ton Trials 1977|
Like her bigger One Ton sisters The Red Lion and Jenny H, Swuzzlebubble was as sleek as they come. She enjoyed extremely close racing with sistership Gunboat Rangiriri and the Laurie Davidson-designed speedster Waverider in the New Zealand Half Ton Cup trials, and all three were a step ahead of their fixed keel competitors. She won the series by the narrowest of margins, and then went on to dominate the Southern Cross Cup trials against mostly bigger yachts - even the One Tonners were unable to break clear of Swuzzlebubble on corrected time.
|Undergoing a pull-down test|
The Half Ton Cup, held in Sydney in December 1977, was not as happy a regatta for Gibbs and his team, where they finished 5th overall - although in contention for the Cup in the final race, they missed a crucial windshift and, along with Waverider, found themselves well behind the other contenders.
|NZ Half Ton Trials 1977 (photo Sea Spray)|
|Swuzzlebubble being loaded aboard a ship for her 1977 Australian campaigns (photo Gibbs Family Collection)|
|Swuzzlebubble during the 1977 Southern Cross Cup (photo NZ Yachting/Sail-world)|
|Swuzzlebubble during the 1977 Southern Cross Cup|
Gibbs sat out the 1978 Half Ton Cup, but re-entered the fray for the 1979 series, held in Scheveningen, Holland. By then the changes to the IOR, brought on as a reaction to the light displacement revolution spearheaded by designers Farr, Davidson and Paul Whiting, had taken effect, and like Waverider, Swuzzlebubble required urgent surgery to bring her into class for the series (later known as Swuzzlebubble II for the 1979 campaign). This involved much padding and filling out of the hull and more ballast to increase her displacement, and significant changes to her rear sections, including bringing the transom line for'ard. The centreboard was removed and replaced with a fixed keel. The advantage for the lightweights had been removed, but they were still some of the quickest yachts that year. Waverider won (following her victory in 1978) and Swuzzlebubble finished a close third.
|Swuzzlebubble following her revamp in 1979 and before being shipped to Holland (photo Gibbs Family Collection)|
|Swuzzlebubble (KZ-3494) has a poor start during the 1979 Half Ton Cup (photo courtesy of Jonathan Eastland's archives)|
|Swuzzlebubble during the 1979 Half Ton Cup (photo courtesy of Jonathan Eastland's archives)|
|Swuzzlebubble as found in November 2012 in Greece (photo Peter Morton)|