30 April 2013

Ganbare (Peterson One Tonner)

This post has been timed to coincide with, and celebrate, the 40th anniversary of Ganbare's historic win in the North American One Ton Cup Championship in May 1973 and her near win in the One Ton Cup later that year

Ganbare had her origins in the difficulties faced by Doug Peterson who, at 28 years old, was wanting to establish himself as a designer but was something of an unknown quantity. Peterson decided to gamble on building a One Tonner to his own design with the objective of qualifying for the 1973 One Ton Cup to be held in Sardinia, Italy.

Ganbare had taken form in only 11 weeks from first pencil lines to launching. She was Peterson's first design, and it took all he had to get her in the water. The design approach that was necessitated by budget constraints also represented a fresh appraisal of length, sail area and displacement, all of which resulted in more favourable ratios of length to sail area and length to displacement. At 12,500 pounds displacement she was lighter than other yachts in her class, with most boats averaging between 15-20,000 pounds. Peterson said at the time, "Part of my reason for keeping the weight low was to keep the cost down, but after my calculations I decided she would also be better. I felt other designers were trying to get the most size allowed under the rule, so I went back to the basics of what I thought it took to make a boat go fast."
Peterson coaxes Ganbare to windward during the North American One Ton Championship
One of Ganbare's most unusual design features was her flatter garboard area, which allowed a slightly longer keel in the vertical dimension and thus a higher aspect ratio. Ganbare also featured what would become the Peterson trademark of a deep forefoot, narrow 'pintail' stern and rudder mounted directly under a small transom.
Peterson contacted Carl Eichenlaub of San Diego about building his One Tonner, and commented later that Eichenlaub "had trust in me as a new designer, and paid personal attention to every detail even though the boat had to be built as cheaply as possible." Cost savings were also evident in her hardware, with the yacht carrying just four winches, and instrumentation was limited to a windex, speedo and compass.

The correcting weights bolted to Ganbare's foredeck
She had gone into the water only three days before her race, leaving just a few hours for tuning. Adding to the odds against Ganbare (which means good luck in Japanese) was the fact that Peterson had never before skippered a boat in a major race.  Further, measurement difficulties meant that pigs of lead had to be bolted to her foredeck to achieve a One Ton rating. 

The North American One Ton Championship was held as part of the Yachting Cup Regatta, hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club in late May 1973. Even with strips of paint peeling of her bottom, Ganbare put on a dominant and unexpected display by winning the series, and ensuring her selection for Sardinia (along with Ted Turner, sailing the Olin Stephens-designed Lightnin', and Ted Hood in his latest Robin). Nevertheless, Peterson and Ganbare were not regarded as a serious threat by the contenders who assembled in Sardinia - after all the North American series had been sailed in light breezes that would favor a small, light boat, while the One Ton Cup itself would be sailed in the area around Sardinia's Straits of Bonifaccio which is noted for boisterous winds and turbulent waters. Peterson optimised Ganbare's trim for the series to allow removal of the hastily fitted lead on her deck, and refinished the bottom of her hull which had been showing signs of peeling off during the US trials.

But even in a breeze Ganbare was fast, and went on to finish first in four of the five races in the One Ton Cup. But such a dominant display was not to be rewarded with the Cup itself, as a navigation error in the middle distance ocean race saw Peterson and his crew round a turning mark incorrectly and suffer a 5% penalty - dropping Ganbare from first to 13th in the bonus scoring race. The Italian yacht Ydra, designed by Dick Carter and which had finished second in 1972, seized the series lead. A win in the second Olympic race, when Ganbare finished third, secured the victory for Ydra.

Thus Italy finally gained the One Ton Cup, while Peterson achieved what was termed at the prizegiving as a moral victory. Fortunately, Ganbare was sold before the series ended, enabling Peterson to repay the debts incurred in building and campaigning his champion yacht, and achieving several new design commissions.

Ydra, narrowly lost out in 1972 to Wai Aniwa, but was successful in 1973
Ganbare in power reaching conditions during the 1973 One Ton Cup (photo One Ton Class Facebook page)

Ganbare under spinnaker and staysail in Sardinia
Although the Ganbare concept would itself be surpassed in later editions of the Cup, the changes introduced by the Peterson approach restored interest in the One Ton class and paved the way for a more experimental approach for other designers, and soon saw the former dominance of Carter and S&S surpassed. As New Zealand sailor Bevan Woolley (sailing aboard Hann) said at the time "before Sardinia, One Tonners had reached the end of an era - no one knew which way to jump. Doug Peterson showed everyone which way, and suddenly One Ton racing is all on again."

Still in Italy, Ganbare won the Niulargue race in St. Tropez in 1999, before she underwent a careful restoration and re-launching in 2007.  She is presently for sale in Tuscany

Recent photographs of Ganbare following her refit (above and below), and still sporting the name of her original port

26 April 2013

Shockwave (Farr Two Tonner)

Design 268 (Farr Yacht Design)
Shockwave, the 1992 Two Tonner, was the last of Neville Crichton's yachts to be designed and raced under the IOR. As a Two Tonner, Shockwave was just under 44ft long, and rated 35.05ft IOR. She was commissioned to campaign the 1992 Two Ton Cup, which was held as part of the Kenwood Cup that year, the first (and last) New Zealand yacht to contest this series. It was intended that she would then go on to race in the 1993 Admiral's Cup.

Shockwave, and her Japanese sistership Donky 6 (Design 268), were developments of the successful 1990 Italian yacht Larouge (Design 242). Larouge had won the 1991 Two Ton Cup, and had placed first in class and second overall as part of the winning all-Farr designed Italian 'A' team at the 1990 Sardinia Cup. She then finished second in class to Bravura as part of the second placed Italian team in the 1991 Admiral's Cup. 

The Farr design notes comment that Design 268 included more powerful stern sections to increase the heeled length of the yacht at the cost of a small amount of sail area. Transition to windy venues such as at the Kenwood Cup was achieved through increases to stability, trimming down at the stern, and reducing sail area and this made the yacht longer and more powerful.
Shockwave on launching day, May 7 1992 (above and below)

Shockwave during early trials on the Waitemata Harbour (above and below)

Crichton and his Shockwave team enjoyed success in Hawaii, winning the 1992 Two Ton Cup in a close tussle with Larouge, the reigning champion. 
Shockwave powers upwind during the 1992 Kenwood Cup (photo Farr Yacht Design FB page)
Shockwave slides downwind during the 1992 Two Ton and Kenwood Cup series in Hawaii (above and below)

Unfortunately, in the 1993 Two Ton Cup, midnight confusion and a u-turn by the race committee brought the series to a controversial and sad end for Shockwave. She went into the final 99 mile race leading on points, and the only boat that could dislodge the New Zealand crew from the second successive world title was Larouge. In strong winds and poor visiblity, four boats crossed the finish line together. There was no doubt that Larouge was first, but the crucial question was whether Shockwave was third or fourth. 
Shockwave at a gybe mark during the 1992 Clipper Cup (photo Farr Yacht Design FB page)

Larouge in Hawaii - Two Ton Cup winner in 1991 and narrowly beat Shockwave in 1993
Initially the committee said Shockwave was third, which meant they had won the championship, but then changed their minds to place the New Zealand boat fourth after evidence from Larouge and Germany's Rubin XII was presented.  

22 April 2013

Pinta (Judel/Vrolijk 43)

The history of Willi Illbruck's series of Pinta yachts takes a parallel course alongside that of Udo Schutz's Container(s), although the Pinta and Illbruck name continued for some time longer. This post covers the six Pinta's of 1980 through to 1993, five of which were drawn by the design team of Freidrich Judel and Rolf Vroljk.

Illbruck's connection with the Judel/Vrolijk team started with his 1980 Peterson design, a 39 footer (rating 30.9ft IOR) and a development of the top yacht of the 1979 Admiral's Cup, Eclipse. She was built in aluminium, unusual for a yacht of this size, but this did enable Illbruck to carry out extensive alterations after her first season. Although she placed 2nd in the 1980 Sardinia Cup, Illbruck consulted with Judel/Vrolijk before the 1981 Admiral's Cup on improvements, and this resulted in an extension of the forward waterline by 17cm and movement of the after girth station 10cm forward, and a new keel. Pinta qualified for the German Admiral's Cup team, which went on to finish in third place.
Pinta at the start of the second race in the 1981 Admiral's Cup (photo courtesy of Jonathan Eastland archives)
Pinta 83
For 1983 Illbruck and Schutz commissioned two new Judel/Vrolijk sisterships Pinta and Container. Although built from the same J/V 42 mould, Pinta was slightly longer than her sister at 43ft, and rated 32.7ft IOR. Container failed to make the team, and Pinta was instead joined by two minimum raters, Outsider and Sabina. It was an ideal choice for a regatta, particularly for the light airs Channel race, and Germany went on to win the Cup by a large margin over Italy (second) and the USA (third), with Pinta finishing as sixth yacht overall (see footage in my earlier post on the 1983 Admiral's Cup). Pinta went on to compete in the 1984 edition of the SORC where she finished in eighth place in Class D and 24th overall. She also formed part of a winning German team in the 1984 Sardinia Cup, finishing fifth with placings of 9/8/3/3/41, the 41st in the mistral-affected final offshore race. 
Pinta 83 during the 1983 Admiral's Cup (photo courtesy Danilo Fabbroni)
Pinta 83 rolls downwind in the St Petersburg to Ft Lauderdale race during the 1984 SORC
Pinta 83
Despite being lighter and more advanced, the new versions of Pinta and Container, again off the same J/V 42 mould, failed to make it into the German 1985 Admiral's Cup team, and sailed for the German 'B' team, Austria. While the German team successfully defended the Cup, the Austrian team finished well outside the top group in eighth place - Pinta finished in 12th place overall, her result hampered by a penalty in the second race.
This photo of Pinta 85 is possibly from the 1985 Admiral's Cup
Pinta then sailed in the 1986 Sardinia Cup (with a rating of 33.3ft) as part of the second placed German team, finishing as tenth yacht overall (with placings of 4/8/28/10/9) in a series where the top places were dominated by One Tonners. Like other bigger boats, she collected a lot of points in the light airs-afflicted long distance race when she finished 28th. The Pinta team experimented with a new Ulmer Kolius 'tape drive' sail inventory, which they carried into the 1987 Admiral's Cup.
Pinta 85 sailing downwind during the 1986 Sardinia Cup
Pinta's Ulmer Kolius tape drive mainsail from the 1986 Sardinia Cup
In 1987 Schutz had elected to downsize to a One Tonner, while Illbruck continued with his campaign to fill the 'big boat' berth in the German team. In order to boost the rating of his existing Pinta from 33ft IOR to the 34.5ft needed for big boat selection, Illbruck had a new hull built by Schutzwerke of an oven baked honeycomb pre-impregnated structure, and utilised his existing mast, deck gear and framing, and added a new Speedwave keel and rudder. The new Pinta lost out, however, to Peter Westphal-Langloh's new Diva and Illbruck was again relegated to the Austrian team. The team finished ninth overall, but Pinta was the best placed boat in the team, finishing in 12th place (just behind Container).
Pinta leads a group of One Tonners during one of the inshore races in the 1987 Admiral's Cup, including Container (G1909) to the right (photo One Ton Facebook page)
A more aggressive and angular approach is evident in this dockside photo of Pinta 87 (photo Ian Watson)
Pinta 87 during the Admiral's Cup 1987 - Illbruck had switched from Norths to Ulmer Kolius 'tape drive' sails in the 1986 Sardinia Cup and carried them through to the Admiral's Cup campaign
Dockside photos (above and below) showing the cockpit arrangement and detail of Pinta 87 (photo Ian Watson)
Pinta 87 is presently for sale.

Illbruck commissioned a new Pinta for 1989, this time a 44 footer designed by the US design duo Reichel/Pugh. He was successful in making the German team for the 1989 Admiral's Cup (joining Becks Diva and Rubin XI), but it was again only a moderate effort by the once dominant champion offshore country. Pinta had a major lapse in sail handling in the first race, underscoring a last place by the team that could only struggle to eighth place in the final standings. This boat went on to race in the 1990 Sardinia Cup, and was then chartered by the Japanese sailor T Yamada and re-named Carino. However, loss of the mast in the second inshore put paid to Carino's chances in the series, and the Japanese team finished a lowly seventh in a depleted series of just eight teams.
Pinta 93 rounding a top mark ahead of one of the French Corum yachts (photo Andreas Kling)
Illbruck and Germany put together a successful effort for the 1993 series, the last Admiral's Cup sailed under IOR. For this campaign Illbruck built his smallest Pinta, a Judel/Vrolijk One Tonner built by Marten Marine in New Zealand. Representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Pinta won the One Ton Cup in Cagliari, Sardinia, before heading to Cowes to join team-mates Rubin XII and Container. She proved to be very fast in a breeze, and was superbly sailed by her twin gold medallist skippers, Jorg Diesch and Russell Coutts, and with Peter Lester helming. 
Pinta 93 during the 1993 Admiral's Cup (photo courtesy of Jonathan Eastland's archives)
The 1993 series was scored under a new and, in hindsight, unsatisfactory points system, that was based on the top scores from the best two boats in each race. So although Pinta was the top One Tonner in the series, her results counted in only two of the seven races. 
Pinta 93 - the champion One Tonner of 1993 (photo Andreas Kling)
It was an fine reward for the Germans, winners of the series in 1973, 1983 and 1985, especially as Illbruck, and Hans-Otto Schumann, owner of his twelfth Rubin, had supported the event for so long (Schumann had started his run of twelve Admiral's Cup's as far back as 1963). 

In 1994 Pinta went on to again win the One Ton Cup, this time with John Kostecki as skipper/tactician and Rod Davis as helmsman. That year the Pinta crew was also awarded with the Silberne Lorbeerblatt, the highest sports award in Germany. 

18 April 2013

Pacific Sundance (Farr One Tonner)

Pacific Sundance was one of an initial trio of new boats to Bruce Farr's Design #136, a 12.2m (40ft) development of Farr's fast 37 footers (Migizi and Freefall, Design 124) that had shown great speed at the SORC in 1983 and were the first of a new generation of Farr IOR designs. The design was finalised in April 1983 and was the first response to the change in the ORC rules that increased the IOR limit for the One Ton class from 27.5ft to 30.5ft. 

Design 136 was pitched to excel in the lumpy and windy Australian and New Zealand conditions, with less sail area and more length than boats intended for Northern Hemisphere racing, but it went on to do well everywhere. The boat was considered to be extremely stiff, with small straightforward trapezoidal keels. The design proved a phenomenal performer upwind, and in their day were fast reaching and OK running.  
Pacific Sundance during the 1983 Southern Cross Cup trials (photo Diana Littler/Sea Spray)
Pacific Sundance was commissioned by Del Hogg for the New Zealand Southern Cross Cup trials held in late 1983, following Tom McCall's decision to press ahead with the first of the new design, Exador. These two yachts were joined by sistership Geronimo (Owen Chantaloup), and all three were built from the same mould at Cookson Boatbuilders, utilising a PVC core and some kevlar.

As noted in an earlier post on Geronimo, the three yachts all benefited from the one-design nature of their tuning programme, and were able to edge out the only other real threat in the Hitachi-sponsored trials, from Neville Crichton's Frers 43 Shockwave. Pacific Sundance was the top performer, and Geronimo and Exador finished second equal, and thus the New Zealand team for the Southern Cross Cup in 1983 was comprised of three Farr One Tonners. 
Spinnaker hoist at a top mark during the 1983 Southern Cross Cup series (above and below)

Pacific Sundance heads off on a reaching leg, team-mate Geronimo behind and approaching the top mark
The 1983 team made up for disappointing New Zealand efforts in 1979 and 1981, with a devastating and all-conquering performance, taking wins in three out of five races. Pacific Sundance finished as first yacht overall in convincing fashion - skippered by Geoff Stagg and Peter Walker, Pacific Sundance posted a first, third and fourth among 27 yachts in the three inshore races. They also won the 180-miler, and the Sydney-Hobart race finale - in fact she nearly won the Sydney-Hobart overall, but ran out of wind just 40 miles from the finish.  
Pacific Sundance leads team-mate Geronimo during the 1983 Southern Cross Cup (photo Diana Littler/Sea Spray)

Geronimo and Exador finished the series in second and fourth place overall, cementing a solid win by the New Zealand team, by a massive 100 points over second-placed New South Wales. This was an even more dominant performance than 1977, and on a par with New Zealand's first win in 1971
Pacific Sundance sails on a flat run during the 1983 Southern Cross Cup series
The next year Pacific Sundance, Exador and Shockwave were selected for the New Zealand 'A' team to contest the 1984 Clipper Cup. This was a powerful line up, and the team lead the series from the first race. Pacific Sundance and Exador were going so fast in the final Round the State race that they were running first and second on corrected time and the Clipper Gold Cup looked to be New Zealand's. However, disaster struck when Exador was engulfed by a rogue wave off South Point (on Hawaii's Big Island) that tore out her rig. The loss of Exador from the running dropped the team to second overall (just 12 points behind the US White team of Camouflage, Checkmate and Tomahawk).
Pacific Sundance during the 1984 Clipper Cup (photo John Mallitte/Sea Spray)
Pacific Sundance on a reaching leg during the 1984 Clipper Cup (photo NZ Yachting)
Pacific Sundance works her way upwind during the 1984 Clipper Cup
Pacific Sundance was sailed in San Francisco in the mid-1980s (as Sundance), including the 1986 Big Boat Series, and she raced in the 1988 One Ton Cup in San Francisco, where she was sailed by Chris Dickson and finished in a creditable eighth place, given her vintage by that time, and was one of seven Farr designs to finish in the top ten.
Sundance (as she was known for a while) during the 1986 San Francisco Big Boat Series
Pacific Sundance in a broach during the windy conditions of the 1988 One Ton Cup in San Francisco

Pacific Sundance now races actively in Auckland, and featured in the 2013 Three Kings offshore classic and competed in the 2015 One Ton Revisited regatta in Auckland.
Pacific Sundance during a RNZYS winter series race in May 2014 (photo Ginger Photography)
Pacific Sundance finishing the 25 November 2016 White Island Race (photo Suellen Hurling)