27 February 2014

One Ton Cup 1984

Sirius II, third overall
The One Ton Cup series experienced something of a renaissance in 1984, following the decision of the Offshore Racing Council in 1983 to increase the One Ton rating from 27.5ft IOR to 30.5ft. It also benefited from a central European venue, with 24 entries attending the regatta run by the Societe de la Trinite sur Mer on the South Brittany coast.

French yacht Passion 2, designed and skippered by Philippe Briand, was the outstanding boat of the series, and marked a general dominance of the event by the French, not just French-crewed yachts but in terms of designers, builders and riggers, and followed on from the success of Diva, the Joubert/Nivelt 40 footer that was top boat in the Admiral's Cup a year earlier.

Passion 2 had won the French selection series and dominated the One Ton Cup, although she had only a modest start in the first race in light, fluky conditions over an Olympic course in which she finished fifth. She won the next race in perfect 12 knot breezes, but only after some very close racing, mainly against the German yacht Sudpack, a new Judel/Vrolijk design.
As elegant as she was fast, the 1984 winner of the One Ton Cup, Passion 2
The third race was the short offshore, which was started in a near calm and Passion 2 was able to overhaul Super Stroumpf, a First 40 Evolution, soon after the first mark. Briand held the lead from there on to the finish, while mid-fleet placings changed constantly throughout the day and night. The racing was so close that 22 of the 24 yachts finished the 26 hour race within 30 minutes.
Close downwind action during the 1984 One Ton Cup, with Coyote leading Cifraline III

Passion 2 to weather of competitors in the 1984 One Ton Cup (Coyote to leeward and Regardless ahead to the right)
This win put Passion 2 at the front of the overall results. She lead from Sudpack, but the next race was the windiest, with up to 21 knots and Sudpack ran into difficulty when rig tension began to crush the composite construction beam supporting the mast. Sudpack was the most extreme of the new boats, with a measure beam (B) of 3.8m (right), and was finished only four days before the start of the series and competed without a full sail wardrobe.
The 1984 One Ton fleet head downwind (Sudpack leading from Passion 2, Sirius II and Jade)
Sudpack, the widest of the One Tonners in 1984 - construction problems in the fourth race forced her out of the final race and she finished 12th overall

The distinctive topside flare and curved sheerline that borrowed much from Briand's earlier winning Half Tonner Free Lance
The increased breeze suited the new Farr design Sirius II, owned and crewed by the Spanish Navy and assisted by Geoff Stagg, and she went on to lead the race from start to finish, to make amends for only average placings of 7/4/9 in the previous races. The win was all the more impressive for the margin of one minute, over another First 40, Coyote. Passion 2 finished fifth.
Passion 2 chases Sudpack downwind during the 1984 One Ton Cup
Sirius II (above and below) - enjoyed the breezier conditions of the fourth race

Passion 2 - above and below
The surprise boat by the end of the fourth race was the vintage Holland design, the masthead rigged Regardless which had been a top contender in the 1979 Admiral's Cup.  Regardless was lying a remarkable second overall and had put together a solid series with placing of 3/7/5/4.  The boat had benefited from a new mast, rigging, deck gear, carbon rudder and new sails to bring her up to 1984-standards. Experienced observers were heard to mutter, "if Regardless wins, she will set IOR design back five years!". 

The last race, the double points long offshore (255 miles), began with the overall result still wide open and the promise of more light weather. Passion 2 came again to the fore, rounding each mark consistently ahead, but with Coyote in close company. After 40 hours of racing, Passion 2 took the gun, and a clear 24 point lead to win the One Ton Cup. French yachts filled four of the top five places, with only Sirius II getting in on the act in third. Cifraline 3, a Daniel Andrieu design, finished second. Regardless finished a lowly 17th in this race, and had to settle for seventh overall.

Another view of Sudpack, from astern and showing her wide beam
One of the four First 40 Evolutions in the 1984 One Ton Cup, Fair Lady, and seen below to leeward of Sudpack

It was also notable that, with the series being the first under the new 30.5ft IOR rating limit, that the top Admiral's Cup and SORC yacht of 1984, Diva, finished tenth, and the second Admiral's Cup boat, Sabina, finished 18th.  In addition, series production yachts did reasonably well against the custom boats, with Fair Lady, Coyote and Super Stroumpf, all First 40 Evolutions, finishing fourth, fifth and ninth, and Alliance, a new X-Boats One Tonner from Denmark, finishing eighth. Diva, in German hands for the series, finished tenth.
The Danish X-Yacht Alliance (above and below) - finished 8th overall (placings 10/8/14/13/4)

Cifraline 3 rounding a windward mark

Stern view of Passion 2
Entries from England had disappointing results. Jade, the Humphreys masthead One Tonner, won the opening race to raise English hopes, but 11th was her next best result. The new Jade would make amends, however, in the 1985 series.
Jade rounds a windward mark ahead of Coyote

1 comment:

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