10 October 2013

Admiral's Cup 1989

Norway's One Tonner Fram XI
These photos follow my earlier post about Librah and the New Zealand campaign to defend the Admiral's Cup in 1989. For the 1989 series the Royal Ocean Racing Club had resolved to reduce the previous hegemony of the One Tonners by changing the time multiplication factor (TMF) in favour of the 50-footers, and to reduce the points loading for the offshore regattas. Meanwhile the burgeoning 50 Foot class had undergone further development with the advent of its own dedicated World Cup circuit, essentially becoming scaled-up One Tonners - the change to the TMF and performance gains by the 50-footers was considered to represent something like a 20-30% improvement relative to 1987 generation yachts. 

1989 thus became the year of the 50-footers, with the new breed of these Admiral's Cup 'maxis' leading to line and handicap wins in five of the six races, and taking the four of the top five places overall. The Farr 50 Jamarella (rating 40.0ft IOR), owned by Alan Gray, led the charge for the British team (alongside the Castro 45 Juno IV and the Andrieu One Tonner Indulgence VII) with a superbly consistent 1/3/2/3/2/4 series that made her top individual performer in the 42-boat fleet (from 14 nations), and spearheaded Britain's first cup win since 1981. 
Jamarella - top yacht overall in the 1989 Admiral's Cup

The Castro 45 Juno IV (K-504, 35.17ft IOR) sailed in the winning British team, finishing 13th overall

French yacht Xeryus De Givenchy, a Farr 44 (33.9ft IOR), finished in 24th place (the French team finished fourth overall)
Gray built Jamarella expressly to compete in the newly established 50 Foot World Cup circuit and because he felt that the TMF changes could allow a 50-footer which was not just a useful team yacht but potential series top scorer. "Bruce Farr, Morgens Brinks (the Danish manager) and myself were the only three people in the world who thought a 50 could do it" claimed Gray at the end of the series. 
The results of the Channel Race, with the 50's dominant - Will first, Andelsbanken second and Jamarella third

Denmark had realised the potential of the 50-footers early and were quick to secure the German 50 Container in its team alongside Andelsbanken IV - this was a potent combination (along with their Farr One Tonner 4K) that nearly secured Denmark's first ever win in the series. However, the loss of Andelsbanken IV's forestay in the fifth race saw the team drop to second place overall. 
The Danish 50-footer Andelsbanken IV, a Jeppeson design finished sixth overall, and is seen here to windward of the top overall yacht, Jamarella
Mean Machine (Netherlands) finished as the second top One Tonner, in 8th place (photo Seahorse)
Unfortunately, the new emphasis on these Admiral's Cup 'maxis' did nothing for the affordability of the Cup for many countries. However, the vagaries of determining what mix of boats were best for future campaigns was addressed by establishing new rules for the composition of teams for the 1991 event, with a requirement for teams to field a One Tonner, a Two Tonner and a 50-footer, and results would be scored within each class. 
 Beck's Diva, part of the eighth placed German team, rounds a leeward mark behind team-mate Rubin XI
The Japanese yacht Will, one of the top 50-footers - another Farr design and built by Cookson Boats, finished second overall with placings of 8/1/4/6/4/5, although the Japanese team finished in seventh place
Stockbroker's Container, which finished fourth overall, fends off the 43-footers Pinta and Rubin XII downwind
Australia's Hitchhiker III, a Farr One Tonner, was chartered to the Irish and finished in 32nd place (the Irish team ended the series second-last, at 13th overall)
Will sails upwind in fully powered trim with all crew to weather
Jamarella arriving at Lymington Marina during the 1989 Admiral's Cup (photo shockwave40)

1 comment:

  1. "French yacht Xeryus De Givenchy, a Farr 44, finished in 24th place (the French team finished fourth over all"
    I remember this Xeryus sunk, coming out from Solent to needles...
    May be thats why she finished 24th :)
    Nevertheless, B. Trouble and his crew had never time enough to fit the boat and sail it as well. This Farr design was very fast and easy to hand, but she never took time to prove it !!!