Design 136 was pitched to excel in the lumpy and windy Australian and New Zealand conditions, with less sail area and more length than boats intended for Northern Hemisphere racing, but it went on to do well everywhere. The boat was considered to be extremely stiff, with small straightforward trapezoidal keels. The design proved a phenomenal performer upwind, and in their day were fast reaching and reasonable running.
|Geronimo during the 1983 Southern Cross Cup trials (photo Diana Littler/Sea Spray)|
|Geronimo sails upwind back to Auckland city (photo Greg Paul)|
|Southern Cross Cup trial start off Orakei Wharf - Geronimo to the left (photo Farr Yacht Design)|
|Sailing downwind in the Southern Cross Cup trials(photo D Littler/Sea Spray)|
|Geronimo sails upwind (above) and downwind (below) off Sydney Heads during the 1983 Southern Cross Cup|
The British yacht Panda squeezes over the pin end of the line during the 1983 Southern Cross Cup. Team-mate Indulgence breaks off to port, and Geronimo can be seen to the right of the photo (photo Diane Littler/Sea Spray)
|Surfing downwind during the Sydney-Hobart race |
(photo Farr Yacht Design)
The 1983 team made up for disappointing efforts in 1979 and 1981 with a devastating and all-conquering performance, taking wins in three out of five races. The yachts finished first (Pacific Sundance), second (Geromino) and fourth (Exador) overall, following a sixth, eighth and ninth (in the same order) from a 160 boat fleet in the Sydney-Hobart finale. This cemented the team's win, by a massive 100 points over the second-placed New South Wales team, an even more dominant performance than 1977, and on a par with New Zealand's first win in 1971.
|The victorious New Zealand Southern Cross Cup team 1983: L-R Geronimo, Exador, Pacific Sundance (photo Farr Yacht Design)|
|Cockpit detail, Total Eclipse (photo credit P Bishop)|
|Total Eclipse in Newport, 1984|
|Total Eclipse - ex-Geronimo (above and below) during the 1985 SORC)|
|Total Eclipse between races during the 1985 SORC|
|Stern view of Total Eclipse, 1985 SORC (photo credit P Bishop)|
Geronimo (now Aurora Borealis) was later bought by a North American yachtsman (circa 2000) and converted for cruising. This included shortening her keel to a wing type to cater for restricted water depths in the Great Lakes where she has been sailed since that time, as well as a new cabin top. She competed in the Mackinac Race in 1999 and 2000, and was first in her class in the 2009 MacMan. She has recently been sold and will be based on Lake Ontario.
|Geronimo as Auroro Borealis circa 2000, and below, in May 2017 (photos courtesy Hagberg Staffan)|