3 December 2012

Shockwave (Davidson 46)

The first of Neville Crichton's famous Shockwave series of offshore racing yachts was a Davidson 46, designed and built for the 1980 Clipper Cup series.  However, she missed the first set of trials for the New Zealand team and was only launched in time for the second evaluation series.  While the number of new yachts being built during 1979/80 for regattas such as the Clipper Cup was low, the fractional-rigged Shockwave joined two other new Davidson yachts, the masthead rigged Snow White (47ft) and the fractional Brother Dominic (41ft).

Like her near sisters, Shockwave sported fairly radical stern sections, with a very square and straight aft run behind the trademark Davidson bustle, this area being so flat that it formed a chine where it met the aft topside area. The transom was reasonably upright in around the centreline, but the transom/sheerline intersection was moved aggressively forward by a triangular-shaped cutout at the point where that intersection met the after girth station measurement as defined by the IOR rule. Most IOR boats tended to achieve the same result by more angled transoms, but this arrangement allowed a longer deck area, and an aftward and central position for the running backstays.
Shockwave sails to windward in the 1980 Clipper Cup - her chiselled aft sections clearly visible

Another view of the stern sections of Shockwave, with Ragamuffin ahead and to leeward (photo Adrian Herbert/Seahorse)

Shockwave was sailed in the Clipper Cup by Stu Brentnall and his crew from his earlier Red Lion and Export Lion campaigns. She didn't make it into the New Zealand team, but went on to finish second overall, just two points behind the Australian Davidson Two-Tonner Sweet Caroline which spearheaded an Australian team win, joined by the S&S-design Challenge and the Peterson-design Ragamuffin. The New Zealand team of Anticipation (Lexcen 50), Brother Dominic and Country Boy (Farr 36) finished fourth.

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