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. 

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