17 February 2013

2269 (Farr Half Tonner)

That's Life (2269) during the Dunhill series
2269 was an Australian sistership to the New Zealand Farr centreboarders Gunboat Rangiriri and Swuzzlebubble, designed for the Half Ton Cup held in Sydney in December 1977. The yachts were 'big' Half Tonners, with more length and sail area than Farr's earlier 920 design, and a higher ballast ratio. The engines on all three yachts was placed alongside the centreboard and just behind the mast - this assisted with bow down trim for rating purposes, but was central enough to reduce the yacht's pitching moment and ensure that it would be fast through the expected Sydney chop.

2269 was built in New Zealand and then transported to Australia for the Dunhill sponsored Australian Half Ton trial series. The centreboard class of 1977 were a step ahead of their fixed keel competitors, although 2269 had not enjoyed the same tuning period as Gunboat Rangiriri and Swuzzlebubble and was not up to speed with her New Zealand sisterships. After the Dunhill series their Fraser sails were changed to Norths and John Bertrand was brought on as tactician.
Hull profile and deck plan of Farr's 1977 Half Ton design (Farr Yacht Design)
Aside from the controversy that was developing at the time about the stability and construction of the new centreboarders during the 1977 season, the owner of 2269 Graham Oborn found himself in the middle of further debate about the yacht's original name, That's Life. Oborn had gained some sponsorship from the electronics firm Sanyo and the organising authority the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron presumably recognised the name as the company's slogan, with obvious commercial overtones. Like the Australian One Tonner of the same period, B195, Oborn elected to change the yacht's name to her sail number so that his entry for the Half Ton Cup could be accepted.
That's Life (2269) during the Dunhill series with her original Fraser sails (photo courtesy Graham Oborn)
2269 enjoyed some very close racing in the Half Ton Cup with her New Zealand sisterships and the Irish yacht Silver Shamrock III and the other New Zealand entrant, Waverider. 2269 took advantage of some poor performances by Swuzzlebubble and Waverider in the light airs of the final ocean race to finish in third place overall, with placings of 4/6/4/7/3.

2269 is seen here in the 1977 Half Ton Cup to leeward of Swuzzlebubble (photo DB Yachting Annual)
The strong effort by 2269 in the final race meant that she held the fate of both Gunboat Rangiriri and Silver Shamrock III in her hands - the resurgent 2269 hammered away at Gunboat Rangiriri on the final 40 mile leg up the New South Wales coast, with the yachts coming into the shallow waters off the coastal cliffs to keep out of the southerly set. Peter Walker had to fight every inch of the way to the finish to secure second place and take the Half Ton trophy from Silver Shamrock III by the narrowest of margins, just one point.

2269 in her more recent guise as Night Raider above (photo Chris Furey) and below

The yacht was later renamed Night Raider and was painted black. As with her sisters, the centreboard was removed and a keel fitted.

A sad sight as Night Raider washes up on the beach
She was recently beached in a storm and considered an insurance write off, with lots of damage to the hull and holes in the deck. However, her new owner is currently undertaking a complete rebuild in her current home of Melbourne and hopes to have her back in the water in late 2013. Modifications include installing a new Yanmar 13hp engine under the companionway stairs, and new swept spreader rig and an open transom, and strengthening of the deck which had become soft over time. 

Night Raider arrives at her new owner's home for her rebuild
With only three of these original boats in existence, the rebuild of 2269 is great news and coincides with Peter Morton's rebuild of Swuzzlebubble in England.

External hull fairing and painting completed April 2013
Deck fittings in place and just awaiting electrical work, October 2013

Close to completion (January 2014)
Photos of 2269, now named 2 Farr, can be seen here.

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