12 November 2013

Fair Share (Farr One Tonner)

Fair Share during the 1987 Admiral's Cup trials
Fair Share was commissioned by a Wellington-based syndicate headed by Del Hogg, who hoped to reproduce the successes of his previous Farr designs, the One Tonner Pacific Sundance and his 43-footer Dollar Equity.  

Like her sistership Propaganda, Fair Share floated high in her original trim. She needed about 1,000lbs of internal ballast to bring her down to her marks. This affected the yacht's righting moment and her original rating came out at over 31ft IOR. To reduce the rating to the One Ton limit of 30.5ft, 1,300lbs of lead had to be cut off the bottom of the keel and added to the ballast already inside the boat, and the boat had to be floated slightly bow down. The sailing time lost while these changes were made was critical, and neither Fair Share nor Propaganda were in optimum trim for the trials. Both boats looked more bow-down than their opposition, and in anything above ten knots of breeze downwind all the crew except for the grinder had to move aft of the mainsheet traveller.

Fair Share in early sailing trials
In early observation races ahead of the 1987 Admiral's Cup trials, Fair Share was being regularly beaten by Propaganda, and it was unclear why two theoretically identical yachts should be so different in performance. One of the main reasons, explained Hogg at the time, was that the core crew lived in Wellington, and were a month behind Propaganda in terms of sailing time. Much work was done ahead of the selection trials proper, including changes to the Hood sail wardrobe and the introduction of two crew from the America's Cup campaign were brought in (Warwick Fleury and Grant Loretz), all of which appeared to have the desired effect.
Fair Share and Propaganda in close company during the 1987 Admiral's Cup trials
Fair Share struggled to achieve consistency in the trials series, finishing with results of 3/4/5/2/5/1/5 for an unofficial fourth overall. Her win in the penultimate race was in a light air harbour race that turned into a reaching procession, and Fair Share won the start and led throughout to win by more than a minute on corrected time. Unfortunately she followed this up with a disappointing fifth in the final race, missing a shift on the first beat to round the first mark in last place. Not unexpectedly, Fair Share lost out to Propaganda for a place on the team, and Propaganda joined Kiwi and Goldcorp for the 1987 challenge for the Admiral's Cup, which ended with success. Propaganda in particular overcame her initial problems to become the standout boat of the regatta.
Fair Share follows Goldcorp, Kiwi and Propaganda off a start during the 1987 Admiral's Cup trials
Fair Share was fitted with the latest in Farr thinking in keels just before joining Mad Max for the 1987 Southern Cross Cup, a trophy that New Zealand had last won in 1983. Aboard Fair Share for the series was Peter Lester (skipper) and Brad Butterworth (tactician) from Propaganda, along with Jeremy Scantlebury and Warwick Fleury from the America's Cup 12-metre, KZ7
Fair Share approaches a top mark during the 1987 Southern Cross Cup

Although the crew managed to bend the mast on their first outing in Sydney, Fair Share went on to finish third on individual points, following series results of 4/1/3/3/9, behind Australian yachts Madeline's Daughter (Farr 43) and Sagacious V, another Farr One Tonner. Team-mate Mad Max was fourth, but these results were not sufficient to overcome the burden of the team's third yacht, the well-sailed but unforgiving Swuzzlebubble Six (ex-Swuzzlebubble V). Overall victory was still possible in the Sydney-Hobart, but New Zealand was never able to close the points gap and lost even more ground when the wind shut down behind the bigger boats and turned Storm Bay and the Derwent into a minefield for the smaller yachts still to come.
Fair Share approaches a weather mark during the 1987 Southern Cross Cup series
Fair Share crosses ahead of Australia's Sagacious soon after the start of the Sydney to Hobart race
Although it would have been easy to blame Swuzzlebubble Six for the team's second placing, the truth was that Madeline's Daughter and Sagacious V outperformed Fair Share and Mad Max to the tune of 42 points in the double-scoring 180-miler and in the triple-scoring Sydney-Hobart. But the consensus on Fair Share was that with the new keel she was a touch better all round in light conditions than Propaganda and quicker downwind. 
Fair Share and the Young 44 Kiwi, during a race on Auckland Harbour before the 1988 One Ton Cup
Fair Share rounds a windward mark during the 1988 One Ton Cup series, with Propaganda not far behind
Fair Share and Propaganda went on to compete in the 1988 One Ton Cup held in San Francisco, and joined a fleet of 24 yachts from seven countries. Both crews trained exhaustively before leaving New Zealand, but Propaganda found an edge with a better rig set up and won the series convincingly. Fair Share, skippered by Russell Coutts, finished the series sixth overall with a placings of 4/13/5/9/2. Her boat speed proved the equal of most of the fleet, finishing ahead of Propaganda in race four, and she led the fleet until leg 6 of the final race, before being passed by Propaganda. However, the Fair Share crew had made a number of tactical errors early in the regatta from which she never recovered.
Fair Share reaches down San Francisco Harbour during the 1988 One Ton Cup (photo Seahorse)
Fair Share leads US yacht Bravura past Alcatraz Island during the 1988 Big Boat Series
Fair Share and Propaganda stayed in San Francisco for the 1988 Big Boat Series, along with 11 other One Tonners, chasing the coveted Keefe-Kilborn Trophy. While Propaganda started the series as hot favourite, Fair Share made a jump on her sistership, beating her into third place by just .25 points, and finishing second overall with a 2/1/3/2/4 scorecard (the series was won by the Davidson One Tonner Pendragon). 
Fair Share rounds a leeward mark during the 1988 One Ton Cup
Several changes had been made to Fair Share after the One Ton Cup, including alterations to her mast rake and rig, and her improvement in form augured well for the Admiral's Cup defence the following year.
Fair Share broaches just behind US yacht Rush (ex-Jamarella) during the predominantly fresh conditions of the 1988 Big Boat Series 
Although New Zealand's IOR fleet had, by 1989, become almost non-existent, merchant bankers Michael Fay and David Richwhite were determined that a defence of the New Zealand's Admiral's Cup victory in 1987 should be mounted for the 1989 edition. They commissioned a new 44-footer, Librah, to fill the 'big boat' slot in the team. Fair Share and Propaganda underwent alterations and upgrades, including changes to their sterns to take account of changes to the IOR that allowed for a more upright transom, which allowed crew weight to be carried further aft. 
Fair Share nearing completion of her refit at Tim Gurr's South Pacific Boatyard ahead of her 1989 Admiral's Cup campaign
Fair Share was then worked up alongside Propaganda during early 1989, engaging in an America's Cup style two-boat sail, rig and appendage testing programme that showed considerable potential. Rick Dodson was in charge of Propaganda, while his brother Tom ran things on Fair Share
The new cockpit arrangements on Fair Share in preparation for the 1989 Admiral's Cup, with a new titanium tiller and helmsman seats, mainsheet traveller shifted to the cockpit floor and all winches moved for'ard
Fair Share's regatta started poorly, losing 12 percent of places for failing to keep clear of the British 50-footer Jamarella at the start. Further problems followed after this race, following a technical protest by the Australian team about the way the changes to the New Zealand yachts' sterns were measured. This lead to a small rating increase and re-scoring of their results.  
Fair Share during the 1989 Admiral's Cup
Fair Share went on to finish 14th yacht overall in the 42-boat fleet, with placings of 9/17/20/11/28/19, ahead of Propaganda in 19th, and fourth One Tonner in a regatta heavily dominated by the new generation 50-footers. Both yachts were always in the thick of the fiercely competitive One Ton 'division', and it was tougher for then to excel against later designs and greater competition for places. Librah's third matched that of the team overall, and marked the end of New Zealand's involvement in the Admiral's Cup.
Fair Share approaching Cowes Marina during the 1989 Admiral's Cup (photo Shockwave40)
Fair Share is now named Bigmania and is located in Figueira da Foz, Portugal, although she appears to have been retrofitted with wheel steering, and, as of 2010, to be in good condition.

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