23 December 2013

One Ton Cup 1980

Filo da Torcere - 1980 One Ton Cup winner
With recent focus on the 'revisiting' of the One Ton Cup scheduled for 2015, it seemed timely to look back some 34 years to one of the original versions of the event, being the 1980 series held in Naples, Italy.  

Italy deployed no less than 26 yachts in the selection trials and was thus regarded as the strongest country in the One Ton Cup itself. Those boats which missed selection went on to sail for other countries, which lead to a big fleet of 27 yachts representing 12 nations.

One of the best boats, which didn't enter the trials, was Exelsior Yacht Club, skippered by Paul Elvstrom, went on to sail for his home country of Denmark. With his success in the 1978 series, Ron Holland was the best represented designer, and particular interest focused on Two new boats,Todahesa, skippered by John Kolius, and Sharkey, with Tim Stearn, Lowell North and Butch Dalrymple-Smith in her crew, and were possibly the fastest boats in the regatta. The earlier Holland design Indulgence was unsuccessful in Newport in 1979, but made the journey to the Mediterranean for the 1980 series. 
Filo da Torcere

Garibaldi finished seventh overall (note the carbon fibre staunchions)
Sharkey in good spinnaker reaching conditions, just ahead of Filo da Torcere
The top boats sported fractional rigs, and were generously canvassed in anticipation of the light airs expected in Naples, and exotic construction was becoming commonplace, with a high proportion of internal ballast - normal for the earlier centreboarders but also favoured by the keelers. At the extreme, Sharkey's keel was made of wood. 
Sharkey sets off on a light air reach

There were no new boats from Bruce Farr, Doug Peterson or German Frers, while Laurie Davidson's new boat Alerted was under-canvassed for the conditions.
Filo da Torcere rounds a leeward mark during the Italian One Ton Cup selection trials
The Italian yacht Cuordileone - finished strongly with two seconds in the final two races to finish fourth overall
Light winds prevailed throughout, and it was stop go racing in Naples Bay for the short offshore race, in which Indulgence was leading 20 miles from the finish only to be left behind when the wind died and filled in from the opposite direction. Her 24th place in that race eliminated her Cup hopes, notwithstanding the attention to detail applied by Harold Cudmore and Phil Crebbin, the two main members of her afterguard.
Nat - a US charter entry finished ninth overall

The Holland design Indulgence
Filo da Torcere
It was the Italian yacht Filo da Torcere, designed by Andrea Vallicelli, that proved to be the most consistent in the tricky conditions. Filo da Torcere was never one of the favourites, despite her good placings throughout the regatta (10/5/6/3/4). She was built early in 1980 of moulded ply, and was skippered by dinghy champion Stephano Roberti, with an Italian crew. They won the series thanks to good placings in each race, no matter what the conditions, except in the first inshore race when they chose the wrong side of the course on the first beat - even then her placing of tenth compared favourably with the worst results of her closest competition.
Indulgence on a light air reach
The striking paintjob of the Fontana/Maletto/Navone design Buonalena (above and below)

Scott Rohrer aboard the Fontana/Maletto/Navone-designed Buonalena, which sported a striking angled green colour scheme, finished in second place, with placings of 2/3/11/4/7. She had lead the series going into the final long offshore but finished out of the running in the high points race, and finished just ahead of Sharkey in third (4/18/1/11/3), and Courdileone. Todahesa finished fifth. Indulgence won the final race, giving her the White Horse Trophy (which was awarded to the winner of the long offshore race during the One Ton Cup events) for the second year in a row. Exelsior Yacht Club finished a disappointing eighth.
Filo da Torcere sails upwind in light to medium conditions on her way to winning the 1980 One Ton Cup
Filo da Torcere as seen in 2013
Filo da Torcere is currently for sale in Palermo, and would make an excellent prospect for the 2015 One Ton Revisited regatta! 


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