The design for Waverider followed the theme established in Davidson's earlier Quarter Tonner Fun (see earlier post, October 2012), with light displacement of just 5,200lb and utilising a centreboard (of 250lb, with a draft of 6ft) and a hefty amount of internal ballast (2,600lb), an approach that had proved successful both by Fun and, on a heavy displacement platform, by the Britton Chance One Tonner Resolute Salmon. The major difference to Fun was in the hull design, which was narrower (10ft 1in) with less depth forward than the Bruce Farr and Paul Whiting boats of the era. By having less beam Davidson believed the yacht would have less inclination to get out of balance in fresh conditions and would not lift its stern or bury its bow when overpowered. She also featured flared topsides to provide greater righting moment from the crew.
|Waverider under construction at John Rea's yard|
|Waverider on a tight spinnaker reach during the 1977 New Zealand Half Ton Cup trials (photo Jenny Green)|
|Waverider leads Gunboat Rangiriri during the New Zealand Half Ton trials (photo John Malitte)|
|Waverider being loaded aboard a ship for Sydney (photo John Malitte)|
Waverider scored consistent places throughout the series of 2/3/1/3, giving her a chance to win the Cup in the 250 mile ocean race finale. Although Silver Shamrock III won, Gunboat Rangiriri finished in second, which was enough to win the Half Ton title, by just one point. Although Waverider was in contention they missed a crucial windshift on the second night and crossed the line in a lowly ninth place, to finish fourth overall for the series.
|Sailing downwind to victory in the 1978 Half Ton Cup, Poole (photo Seahorse)|
|Photo courtesy Jonathan Eastland|
The regatta finally bought success to Bouzaid's Half Ton campaign. Waverider stamped her mark on the fleet in the first race, the only one to feature any breeze, but she didn't have it all her own way in the subsequent races, entering the final ocean race with only the narrowest of leads over Phil Crebbin's Indulgence, after placings of 1/8/3/2. The final race was sailed in the lightest of winds, back and forth across the English Channel, and Bouzaid and his crew of Helmer Pedersen, John Sumitch, John White and Tony Basadone sailed brilliantly to win the race convincingly, and defend the Cup for New Zealand.
|Sailing upwind during the 1978 Half Ton Cup|
|Waverider during the 1979 One Ton Cup (photo courtesy of Jonathan Eastland archives)|
|Waverider competing in the 2009 Half Ton Cup|
|Fairing work on the underside of Waverider's long counter (photo Halfton Class Europe)|
|Waverider, May 2012|