30 March 2013

Hustler 36 (Jones Three-Quarter Tonner)

I was recently contacted by the French owner of a Hustler 36 Caminata, a Stephen Jones-designed Three-Quarter Tonner from the late 1970s. The owner was trying to find the history about this boat, and with some great research from an English follower of this blog it has been possible to learn a little about her, and the Hustler 36 class. 

Jones designed some interesting boats during the IOR period, and from my understanding so far it would seem that he tended to push the long/heavy/large sail plan end of the rule, with his yachts often looking much bigger than some of the competition for any given level rating fleet.  In the Half Ton Cup in 1978, for example, his top yacht and second placed Smokey Bear was longer and carried some 80 square feet of rated sail more than the winner Waverider. This longer length was often paid for with a reasonably high level of distortion in the aft end around the after- and after inner girth stations to achieve a lower rated length to offset their larger sail plans. The Hustler 36 also features another interesting Jones trademark, with a slight flare in plan and sheer of the deck-transom intersection. This was part of what was particularly fascinating about the IOR in its hey day, the ability for so many different boats from around the world and from different designers to come together to compete on a level rating basis.

A recent photograph of Caminata displaying her IOR origins
The Hustler 36 had a long overhang, but with a reasonably upright transom. A further extension of the transom at deck level brought the transom-deck intersection forward to the hull crease at the after girth station, visible in the above photograph.

The Hustler 36 in plan view, the slight concavity at the after inner girth station is visible just ahead of the transom.
It transpires that the Hustler 36 in question was originally owned by Robin Aisher (of Yeoman fame with this father Owen), who raced her in the RORC class 4 (class 4 being the Three-Quarter Tonners), and Solent Points class 3 in 1979/80, and enjoyed very close racing with sistership Savage, although Halcyon prevailed in the UK Three-Quarter Ton championship and Cowes Week.  

Geoff Kaye's Savage competing during the 1980 RORC season, class 4
In the UK and Channel Race the Hustler 36 class was the boat to beat in the early 1980s. Only ten were built, and some of the others included Ace, Barna Pearl, Gunsmoke, Mercury of Mercer, Stomper, and the last boat Ten (named after the Dudley Moore/Bo Derek film and displayed at the 1980 Southampton Boat Show). The custom version on which the Hustler 36 was based was the cold moulded Silver Shadow which is still being actively raced (as The Great Panjandrum). The boats were later marketed by Oyster (around 1982/83), just as the Oyster SJ35 Three-Quarter Tonner was introduced to replace the 36, although the first boat or two were badged as Hustler SJ35's.

Another Hustler 36, Gunsmoke
Another Hustler 36, Stomper
Caminata sports the same topsides flashes as Halcyon, but a further clue to her origin was spotted in her sail number - as Halcyon she sported the number K 4711 (4 being the prefix for RORC class 4). The Aisher Yeoman yachts used the sail number 711. The yacht was acquired by the RORC as their new club boat for introducing new people into offshore sailing and was renamed Griffin - the RORC's previous Griffin was a Peterson OOD 34 which was lost in the 1979 Fastnet race, with the loss of at least one of her crew. The yacht was later sold in Ireland, and the country designation became 'IR' and was renamed White Rooster, and a Hugh Welbourn designed bulb was added to the keel. She was bought by her current owner in 2006 and renamed Caminata and sports the new registration FRA 4711. 

Caminata sailing in 2010, and below in Cowes

The current owner is an enthusiastic campaigner and has made some modifications since 2006 - her forestay was moved forward to the stem to increase her 'J' measurement, with shorter overlaps on her headsails, and a masthead spinnaker has been added. Caminata is still going fast and finishes regularly in the top three in the Round Isle of Wight race, and a new rudder is planned for 2013.  

27 March 2013

Mad Max (Davidson One Tonner)

Mad Max burst onto the New Zealand offshore scene for the 1985 trials to select the yachts that would defend the Southern Cross Cup later that year. Owned by Mal Canning, Mad Max was the first Davidson IOR boat of this size to be seen in New Zealand since Southern Raider. She was designed as a development of Davidson's earlier Pendragon which had been impressive in the US Admiral's Cup trials in early 1985. Mad Max was longer than her predecessor, with a slightly smaller rig for Southern Cross and Clipper Cup conditions. Although Mad Max showed her pedigree right from the start, she missed the first race and the team selection policy meant that she did not qualify for the New Zealand A team (made up of Exador, Swuzzlebubble V and Switchblade). Mad Max instead joined the Farr 43 Thunderbird and the Peterson 43 Barnstorm. 

The downside of the strict New Zealand selection process was eventually laid bare as Brad Butterworth steered Mad Max to be the top individual yacht in the series, winning all three inshore races, and finishing sixth in the 180-mile medium distance race and 11th in the 630-mile Sydney-Hobart finale. 

The first team was hampered by a lacklustre performance by Swuzzlebubble V, and the second team had to carry the outclassed Barnstorm, and so New Zealand failed to defend the trophy. The English team of three fast One Tonners, Highland Fling, Cifraline 3 and Panda, took the trophy by a good margin, despite Panda retiring from the Sydney-Hobart race with a fractured hull.

Mad Max surfs downwind towards a dominant individual performance in the 1985 Southern Cross Cup
Mad Max went on to sail in the 1986 Kenwood Cup as reserve yacht for New Zealand's A team. She had been poorly prepared for the trials series and missed out on a team place, but was quickly signed on as reserve so she could not be chartered to an Australian or US team. She was skippered by Ray Haslar and sailed well to finish in ninth place overall. 
Mad Max during the 1986 Kenwood Cup

By 1987 had, relatively speaking, become something of a veteran performer. For the 1987 New Zealand Admiral's Cup trials the yacht was extensively revamped and lightened by Davidson and the skipper, Tom Dodson, and sported new black and gold livery and a new name reflecting a new sponsor, Goldcorp. 
The new livery and design details for Mad Max/Goldcorp
The all new Goldcorp, sailing in the Auckland Anniversary Regatta in January 1987, sailing in a gusty southwesterly along the Auckland waterfront (photo P Macalister/NZ Yachting)
Although she was up against a number of new boats, Goldcorp won the trial series to secure her place in the New Zealand team and join the Farr One Tonner Propaganda and the Farr 43 Kiwi.
Goldcorp rounds a windward mark during the 1987 New Zealand Admiral's Cup trials

Goldcorp on the wind and seen here just astern and to weather of Propaganda
The New Zealand and English teams established themselves at an early stage in the 1987 Admiral's Cup at the head of the fleet, and were evenly matched boat for boat, with Goldcorp needing to keep a close watch on Juno III.
Goldcorp during the 1987 Admiral's Cup (above and below)

A conservative and risk-free approach by the New Zealand team was only interrupted by Goldcorp in the first race when she was over the startline early and suffered chop and disturbance from the spectator fleet after re-starting. But the team put in a convincing performance in the second race, with Propaganda recording a second win, backed up by Kiwi in third and Goldcorp in tenth. 

Goldcorp sailing downwind (above) and rounding a leeward mark (below, from One Ton Facebook page) during one of the inshore races on Christchurch Bay 

Goldcorp tactician Terry McDell keeps a close eye on the competition in the early stages of the Fastnet race (photo A Sefton)
The third inshore was sailed in a medium strength breeze that favoured the big boats, with only two One Tonners making the top ten, being Propaganda in sixth and Goldcorp in eighth, both boats displaying a definite upwind edge on their rivals. Although Juno III went on to finish second in the Fastnet race, the New Zealand team boats maintained a tight cover on the British to ensure that they won the Admiral's Cup for the first (and only) time, with Goldcorp finishing sixth yacht overall.
Goldcorp entering Queen Anne Battery Marina after the Fastnet Race (photo Shockwave40 blog)
Dockside photos of Goldcorp at Cowes, 1987, above and below (photos Ian Watson)

Goldcorp was bought by yachtsman Wink Vogel who had observed the boat during the 1987 Admiral's Cup, and negotiated the sale in 1988, before shipping the boat to the US in 1989. There she underwent a refit and was painted in her original colour scheme (white with a magenta stripe). 
Mad Max, circa early 1990s

 Vogel and his crew raced her in the 1990 Vic-Maui and the 1990 Kenwood Cup. Two years later she was chartered by a European syndicate headed by Irish yachtsman John Storey to be part of the European team in the 1992 Kenwood Cup, alongside the Spanish Larouge and France's Corum, and was skippered by Gordon McGuire with Harold Cudmore calling tactics. The team won the Cup, with Mad Max winning her division and finishing 4th or 5th overall. This was an excellent result for the old campaigner, with the regatta being held in conjunction with the 50ft and Two Ton World Championships and the competition was hot.
Mad Max during Canadian racing events in 2007

After the demise of the IOR in the mid-1990s Vogel put a new keel on the boat and removed some of the internal lead ballast, and increased the mainsail with a longer boom. Mad Max is currently based in False Creek, Vancouver (British Columbia) where her crew continue to win races and regattas.
Mad Max as she appeared in 2013 at her home in Vancouver
Mad Max in 2016, following more recent upgrades (above and below)

For more on Mad Max (presently for sale, as at July 2016), please see her website at www.madmaxracing.info and Yachtworld listing here.

25 March 2013

Auckland Regatta 2013

Near perfect conditions rounded out the final day of racing in the Auckland Regatta on Sunday with the final results going to the wire in several divisions. A 12-15-knot easterly had the yachts powered up and flying in bright autumn sunshine. The regatta attracted 85 entries over 11 divisions. 

V5  leads Wired, Icebreaker and Georgia One in Division A (photo Stephen Craig)
Chris Hornell's Bay of Islands entry, Kia Kaha, won DIvision A on line, PHRF and IRC, holding out the Bakewell-White 52 Wired who had little chance to stretch her legs on the short windward-leeward courses, and the Botin & Carkeek 52 Georgia in the line results, and the Ker 40 Icebreaker in IRC.

Kia Kaha - PHRF and IRC winner in Division A (photo Ivor Wilkins)

The Botin & Carkeek 52 Georgia in the first race of Division A (photo Stephen Craig)
Division B saw a mighty battle between three Elliott 12 yachts for PHRF honours, with Sure Thing, skippered by Andy Anderson, edging past overnight leader Bullrush (Anthony Robinson) and Mojo (Angie Crafer) to take the overall win, while Bullrush won on line.

The Elliot 12 Mojo powers off the start in the first race in Division B (photo Stephen Craig)
I was racing onboard Giles and Sandy Grigg's Flashwave in the Farr 1020 Division, which doubled as the class championship for 2013. After an average first day things came together in the lighter breezes on the second day when we recorded a second and three back to back wins. Although our placings were down the ladder on the last day we had built up enough of a buffer to win the championship title on countback, and to win the championships and the Auckland Regatta on handicap. An excellent result for our first Farr 1020 regatta! 

Flashwave sails off the startline to leeward of Share Delight on the first day of the Auckland Regatta (photo Stephen Craig) 
Flashwave finishing a race on the first day before going on to take overall honours in the Auckland Regatta and Farr 1020 Championship (photo Stephen Craig)
For full results, please see the event website: www.aucklandregatta.co.nz

21 March 2013

Container (Judel/Vrolijk One Tonner)

This post follows an earlier feature on the 1985 Admiral's Cupper Container, and the earlier 1981 and 1983 yachts of the same name, all of which were owned by German Udo Schutz and named after his industrial container business. The dominance of One Tonners in the 1985 Admiral's Cup saw a flurry of new One Tonners for the 1987 edition. In response, the RORC introduced a minimum aggregate rating for each team of 95ft IOR, as well as an adjustment to the Time Multiplication Factor curve used to generate the time allowances that would provide some easement for bigger yachts. 
Container powers upwind during the 1987 Admiral's Cup
Thus Schutz' choice in 1986 to commission a new One Tonner (30.54ft IOR) for the 1987 Admiral's Cup was not an uncommon one, but with another One Tonner in the team, Saudade, a bigger yacht was required to meet the minimum team aggregate which was a position filled by Diva, rating 34.4ft. 

View of Container at her Cowes berth during the 1987 Admiral's Cup (photo IanW)
 The new Container, designed by Judel-Vrolijk, as was usual for the German teams of the era, was built by Schutz's boat building arm of his business, Schutzwerke. This was a new style of Judel/Vrolijk One Tonners, but came into the Admiral's Cup with experience only of 5-10 knot and 25-30 knot breezes, and it took her crew until the middle of the third Admiral's Cup race to get their VMG numbers right.

Container helmsman Gerd Eirmann liked plenty of weather helm, something that did not match the characteristics of the yacht's keel. The crew finally found that by easing the running backstay, the rig was depowered, the keel worked better and the VMG came up to target by jumping a full 0.3 of a knot.

Container finished as 11th yacht overall, a respectable result but not enough to save the German team from one of their most disappointing results (fifth), their series undone by calamitous results in the third inshore race when Diva and Saudade both came to grief at the fourth weather mark, incurring significant points penalties. It was the year when New Zealand finally won the Cup, by following the approach of previous German teams that combined fast boats with sailing in a way that minimised risks, mistakes, protests and penalties.
Container 87 - note the more upright transom enabled by IOR changes and allowed crew weight to be placed further aft when needed, and below, clipper bow profile, and stowage of spinnaker pole on boom

The backstay and cockpit arrangement on Container (photo IanW)
Container in more recent times, but still flying her original North's 'Gatorback' no.3 headsail and Ulmer/Kolius 'Tapedrive' mainsail
Schutz's next Container for the moved up the scale to 50 feet, and that will be featured in a future post (here).
Container as seen recently (March 2016) in Santander, Spain (photo G Arnal)

19 March 2013

Onion Patch Series 1978

These photographs from the 1978 Onion Patch Series were recently posted by Paul Mello on Sailing Anarchy, and presented here in gallery format. The Onion Patch Series is a three-event series of international races, sailed for both individual and three-boat team prizes. The series starts with round-the-buoys sailing in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, and then sailed out of Newport, Rhode Island, and then moves on to the historic Newport Bermuda Race (with a crossing of the Gulf Stream). The series concludes with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's Anniversary Regatta. 

For 1978 a new handicapping system had been introduced in response to growing angst about the direction of the IOR. This new Measurement Handicap System (MHS) requirement machine measurement of hulls and was a forerunner of the IMS. The MHS was designed to improve the chances for more cruising-oriented yachts, and MHS proponents were delighted when the 1978 series was won by Babe, a 40 foot yawl, but even Babe's owner acknowledged "we have set yacht design back 30 years".

Carina, the 1974 winner of the series
English yacht Saracen, a Bruce Farr centreboard One Tonner and sistership to Downtown (converted to a fixed keel for the One Ton Cup in Flensburg later that year)
The MHS machine in use at the Newport Shipyard on one of the competing yachts
The winner of the 1974 One Ton Cup, the Peterson design Gumboots

Wa Wa Too