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

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