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.  

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