|Pendragon sailing during the 1978 Three-Quarter Ton Cup and sporting her experimental mylar headsail|
Pendragon was another legendary Laurie Davidson IOR yacht, that made a name for herself by winning the Three-Quarter Ton cup in 1978, and then went on to win the One Ton Cup in 1979, a feat not achieved by any other yacht in level rating competition.
After the success of Waverider, and despite penalties being introduced to the IOR rule to slow the light displacement type of yacht, Davidson remained in demand. US dinghy sailor John MacLaurin wanted a flat hulled New Zealand-style centreboard yacht and asked Davidson for a Three-Quarter Tonner. The result was Pendragon, a development of and big sister to Waverider, and also built lightly in wood by Tim Gurr of Ocean Racing Yachts in Auckland.
|Pendragon being lifted for inspection ahead of the 1978 Three Quarter Ton Cup (photo courtesy of Doug Wardrop)|
|Builders plaque (photo Craig CRM)|
|Pendragon undergoing inspection (including by her famous designer, second on right) before the 1978 Three-Quarter Ton Cup (photo D Wardrop)|
|Pendragon sailing during the 1978 Three-Quarter Ton Cup (above and below) and sporting her experimental mylar headsail|
|The specific changes for Pendragon's rig to move her up to One Ton class|
The alterations required to bring the yacht up to a One Ton rating (27.5ft) were, however, extensive. Further displacement was required to achieve the increased minimum centre of gravity factor, and for this Gurr travelled to the US to oversee the addition of 15mm of lead around the midships area, which was then glassed over and faired in. The sail plan was increased by approximately 20%, through the addition of a longer boom and a small bowsprit for larger headsails (see diagram above). A bigger centreboard was also fitted, although this proved to be slightly too thin in section. The yacht sailed with the centreboard pinned down to avoid the new moveable appendage factor penalty, and Pendragon was the only centreboard boat in Newport in 1979.
Other changes were also needed to meet the different regulations for the normally bigger One Tonners, with more headroom needed and accommodation for an extra crewmember. During the North American One Ton series, held a month before the Cup, Pendragon showed that she had the pace against the top boats, but was making too much leeway upwind and finished in fifth place, with results of 2/5/4/8 in the fifteen boat fleet (won by the Cook design Firewater). Additional width was added to the centreboard before the One Ton Cup series.
|Pendragon during the 1979 One Ton Cup (photo Sail magazine)|
|Pendragon during racing (above) and afterwards (below) - photos by Paul Mello|
|Pendragon's increased sail plan is clearly evident in this photograph taken during the 1979 One Ton Cup|
|Pre-regatta preparation by crewmember Kimo Worthington on Pendragon's centreboard|
|Startline action in the 1979 North American One Ton series, Indulgence to weather of Pendragon|
|Pendragon rounds a windward mark during the 1979 One Ton Cup|
|A delighted John MacLaurin (centre) receives the One Ton Cup, September 1979|
|Pendragon as she was seen in 2017 (photos Craig CRM)|
|Recent photographs of Violetta (Yachtworld)|