2 April 2013

Container (Judel/Vrolijk 50)

This is the third and final post on Udi Schutz's Container series of offshore yachts, this one being his new Judel/Vrolijk 50 footers (rating 40.0ft IOR), the first of which was designed and built to qualify for the German 1989 Admiral's Cup team. The stronger countries in the Admiral's Cup often struggled to devise the best form of selection of their three boat teams from multiple contenders, and in 1989 both the British and German selections caused great consternation between organisers, owners and crews. 

The German's resolved to stick with a strict points format for their trials to avoid the controversy inherent in a subjective system. The perils of this option became apparent when Container was disqualified from the last race of the 1989 trials as a premature starter, resulting in a team comprised of three 44 footers - Becks Diva taking advantage of Container's misfortune to join Rubin XI and Pinta. Having a team of three Two Tonners was clearly not the right approach, but the result could not be overturned. Indeed, the small-boat dominance of previous regattas had been further curbed by changes to the TMF curve, the addition of a fourth (and long) inshore race and a reduction in the points loading on the Channel and Fastnet races.

Germany's loss was Denmark's gain, however, and Container (renamed Stockbroker's Container) went on to join the Farr One Tonner 4K and the Jeppeson design Andelsbanken IV. The merits of this combination appeared strong when the Danes finished the first day as top team, with Stockbroker's Container finishing fourth. The Danes chances came to an end in the fifth race, however, when Andelsbanken IV's forestay parted and the yacht had to retire. This undermined an otherwise dominant performance by Stockbroker's Container and supported by 4K, and the lost points proved impossible to make up in the Fastnet race, and the Danes had to settle for second place. Stockbroker's Container finished as fourth yacht overall with a 32/4/1/5/1/7 series.  

Stockbroker's Container heading to Lymington Marina during the 1989 Admiral's Cup (photo shockwave40.blogspot)
Container went on to attend a 50ft circuit regatta hosted in Japan in November 1989, one of 18 yachts that attended the regatta - the shipping costs of all the yachts, shipping containers and crews were underwritten by the Japanese owner of Champosa. Container won the first race, but in boisterous conditions on the second day, with the wind blowing 40 knots, Container was dismasted in dramatic style during a wayward gybe, as seen in the sequence of photos captured below by Rick Tomlinson.

The rig and sails had to be disconnected and allowed to sink with buoys attached - it was salvaged the next day and the mast was put back together with a few spare parts and a lot of midnight oil. All in all the conditions resulted in approximately $850,000 worth of damage across the fleet. Container didn't do so well in the light air races that followed because the mainsail was destroyed when it sank to the bottom, and a smaller sail had to be used for subsequent races. She finished the series in seventh place overall, with results of 1/DNF/10/6.

Tuborg, the ex-Container from 1989, competing again for the Danish team in the 1991 Admiral's Cup (photo shockwave40.blogspot.com)
Schutz had a new Container built for 1991, and the Danes chose the old Container to fill the 50ft berth in the now mandatory requirement for each team to field a 50 footer, Two Tonner and a One Tonner. Another name change reflected her new sponsor, Tuborg. However, while the old Container had been a mainstay of the Dane's challenge in 1989, Tuborg was off the pace in 1991 after suffering a collapsed mast step and significant loss of rig tension, with the problem only diagnosed halfway through the Admiral's Cup series. Tuborg became the weak link in the team's disappointing sixth place.

The new Container competing in the 1991 Admiral's Cup (photo shockwave40.blogspot.com)
The new Container for 1991 was scarcely different from her predecessor, although she had grown a little in length to suit the new 40.5ft rating which the 50ft class allowed for in 1991. Schutz and his new Container joined the German team, along with Hans-Otto Schumann's latest Rubin (number 12) and Hasso Plattner's ABAP/4. It was a disappointing series for the German team, which finished in fifth place overall. Container, helmed by Bouwe Bekking, took out a first in her class in the second inshore race, which was by far her best result.

Container punches her way out of the Solent in the 1991 Admiral's Cup
The second Container was refurbished in or about 2010, with the addition of wheel steering. She was bought in September 2012 from Schutz by the Mediterranean Yacht Club, a non-profit organisation registered in Kiel, Germany. Container was renamed MYC-ONE, and is now moored in the Port of Andratx in Baleares, Spain, where she is raced in local events by a syndicate made up of more than 100 club members, who each pay E250 per year to support the club and enjoy sailing on this classic racing yacht year round.

Refurbishment underway in Valencia, 2010 (photo www.blur.se)
Container as seen recently (photo Chorus)


  1. Dear Richard,

    Andratx Marina is not in France but in Spain, Malorqua Island :)


  2. Hi Richard ,
    Container was bought in september 2012 from Udo Sch√útz by the Mediterranean Yacht Club,a non profit organisation registered in Kiel/Germany. She is moored in Puerto Andratx /Baleares and still participates in local races .
    She had to be renamed and is called now MYC-ONE.
    More than 100 clubmember ,,each paying 250 € per year ,support the club
    and enjoy sailing on a classic racer all year around.
    Best regards
    Holger Dieckmann