16 March 2013

Mr Jumpa (Farr One Tonner)

Mr Jumpa started life as Mr Jump, one of four new Bruce Farr designed centreboard One Tonners built in Auckland for the 1977 One Ton Cup. She was commissioned by top New Zealand yachtsman Graeme Woodroffe, who had campaigned the earlier fixed keel Farr One Tonner 45 South II at the One Ton Cup in Marseilles the year before. As with her sisters, Mr Jump was built of cold-mouled wood construction, utilising three skins over closely spaced stringers and ring frames.

Mr Jump on launching day 18 August 1977 (photo J Green)
Mr Jump was last of the new boats to launch, and just one month before the One Ton Cup trials. She was the most distinctive of the new Farr boats, with a varnished hull, and the same open transom and central console style that Woodroffe had employed on 45 South II. Woodroffe combined her more radical arrangement with a curved mainsheet track, specially designed steering pedestals and side deck spinnaker hatches. Mr Jump was also the biggest sail carrier of the four, albeit by just 10 square feet over Smir-Noff-Agen for example, and this was offset in part by her shorter rated length (32.2ft), and by the use of a feathering (rather than folding) propeller that gave her a low EPF (engine propeller factor) of 0.9649. Still, the centreboard had to be trimmed to achieve a One Ton rating (27.5ft IOR).

Sailing downwind on the Hauraki Gulf with spinnaker and blooper set
Mr Jump was named after her main sponsor, a woollen goods manufacturer, but at the time such advertising was seen to be in breach of IYRU Rule 26. Before the One Ton Cup trials, a warning was issued to Woodroffe by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, as the organising body of the One Ton Cup 1977, that unless steps were taken to remove advertising from the boat, the One Ton Cup committee would recommend that Woodroffe's trial entry be rejected. Thus Mr Jump became Mr Jumpa, with a large light green 'A' appearing at the end of the yacht's name. The fact that it could barely be seen from a distance did not appear to be a problem and was sufficient to avoid any further action from the organisers.
Judging by the crew that look very relaxed in this photo, perhaps taken in the pre-start of a One Ton Cup or trials race. Note the addition of the 'A' to the end of her name, as an amendment to the original exclamation mark
Woodroffe was joined by Peter Lester for the trials, and Mr Jumpa went on to put in a consistent regatta, finishing as the top of the new Farr boats and second behind Smackwater Jack, with results of 3/1/4/4/3. A knockdown on one of the reaching legs cost Mr Jumpa the win in the first race, after the spinnaker pole broke and allowed the spinnaker to take over. 

Her bigger sail plan seemed to give her an edge over her competition in the lighter airs of the second race, which she won. Mr Jumpa's performance in the middle distance race was hampered by the need to lie hove to and bare-headed in order to rig an additional reefing line. While finishing third in the final long offshore race, her list of breakages was long - another spinnaker pole had bent during a 40 knot squall and was then broken while the crew tried to straighten it. A temporary repair was effected through the use of aluminium tubes from the pipe costs.

Mr Jumpa came home with a long list of breakages, including another spinnaker pole. The spar bent under the strain as the boat broached in a 40 knot squall and big seas on the way in from Channel Island. The crew tried to straighten the pole, but in the process managed to break it. They had to run under main and genoa until they had stripped the aluminium tubes from four pipe cots to affect a temporary repair. The broken pole had followed a torn spinnaker, broken luff spar and mainsail slide problem which caused the mainsail to rip away from the mast as Mr Jumpa gybed around Groper Rock in high winds. She got clear but it was a tense moment with the boat situated against a lee shore.

The build up to the One Ton Cup was hampered by the fact that the yacht was on to its third mast - the tearing of the mainsail out of its track at Groper Rock had damaged the first mast, and mast two never even made it onto the boat after colliding with a telephone pole while being trailered to Westhaven. In the One Ton Cup itself, Mr Jumpa was again the bridesmaid, finishing second behind The Red Lion, with results of 4/2/3/2/2. The racing was always close, and Mr Jumpa, while leading the fleet on occasions and always pushing the top boats in the fleet, was never able to pull off a race win. She finished the windy long race finale unscathed however, and in a solid second place behind Smir-Noff-Agen.
This photo may have been in the fresh conditions at the start of the final race of the One Ton Cup (photo Leon Hamlet)
 Mr Jumpa was later sold just prior to a US yachtsman, just in time for the 1978 SORC. There she put in a dominant performance to win Class D (25 entries), but she was fortunate to not be disqualified from the event for failing to provide a valid measurement certificate. She also sailed in the 1978 Onion Patch series (Newport, Rhode Island) in 1978, but her performance in this regatta is not known. 
Mr Jumpa, her varnished topsides still gleaming, at Newport during the 1978 Onion Patch series (photo Paul Mello)
Mr Jumpa - more recently but prior to the addition of a keel
Mr Jumpa was based at the Hyannis Yacht Club on Cape Cod for a number of years. However, she broke her mooring and was wrecked sometime in the 1990s. The boat was then bought from the insurance company and taken to Maine where she was rebuilt and fitted with a Mumm 36 keel. She has been based at the Royal Kennebecasis Yacht Club in Saint John, New Brunswik since 2001.
Mr Jumpa in her current livery and looking better than ever


  1. Please contact us at Mr JumpA on Facebook or jdirvin@gmail.com
    We are the present owners of Mr JumpA and have been for about 12 years!

  2. I can supply pictures of Mr Jumpa from her Hyannis days, 1988-1991. Hurrican Bob put her on the beach, holed her in a number of places and broke her daggerboard (she was not a centerboarder). Written on her daggerboard trunk were the words "Life wasn't measnt to be easy boys"

  3. Hi Mustang, thanks, it would be great to see those photos, just email to rb_sailing@outlook.com and I'll add them to this article.
    (the term centreboard has the same meaning here in NZ as daggerboard in the US, but I understand the distinction you are making)

  4. is there anyone aware if GERONTIUS is still in Honolulu