22 February 2014

Rubin XI (Judel/Vrolijk Two Tonner)

Rubin XI surfs downwind
This post features a number of photos from a collection contained in a German yachting magazine that followed the design, construction and launching of Rubin XI, a Two Tonner commissioned by German yachtsman Hans-Otto Schumann for the 1989 Admiral's Cup. The German teams had been dominant in the Admiral's Cup during the 1980s, winning the 1983 and 1985 events. However, they had slipped off the pace in 1987, and were keen to re-assert their previous form for the 1989 series.  

Rubin XI was the latest in a long line of Rubin's that had been part of nine previous Admiral's Cups, and Schumann had been part of winning German efforts in 1973 and 1985 (Rubin G VIII).

Computer generated lines plan for Rubin XI
In early November 1988 3:1 scale models of the new yacht are ready for testing, including the latest elliptical keel profile here being attached (photo Heiner Mueller-Elsner).
Rubin XI was designed by the German design duo of Frierich Judel and Rolf Vrolijk, who had delivered most of their country's Cup winning designs throughout their earlier winning campaigns. She was approximately 44 feet in length, designed as a Two Tonner (34.5ft IOR), but her rating was optimised at 34.33ft for Admiral's Cup competition. The hull and appendage designs were subject to extensive computer analysis and tank testing, and construction utilised the latest in carbon fibre technology.

The design is tested in November 1988 in a 300 metre long tank testing facility (photo Heiner Mueller-Elsner).
By December 1988 construction is well underway at Yachtwerft Wedel - the hull is baked at 180 degrees celsius overnight in an aluminium furnace to cure the carbon fibre layers (photo Heiner Mueller-Elsner).
Construction proceeds apace during January 1989 - the mast support structure being put in place (photo Heiner Mueller-Elsner).
Mid-February 1989 - deck fittings and winches are put in place (photo Heiner Mueller-Elsner).
3 March 1989 - construction and rigging are completed, and Rubin XI, weighing approximately six tonnes, is ready for launching in Kiel (photo Heiner Mueller-Elsner).

Rubin XI in trials before the 1989 Admiral's Cup (photo unknown)
Unfortunately, and despite their apparent promise and no compromise approach to preparation, the 1989 German effort did not deliver the results that had been expected of it. In a year where the new 50 footers were dominant, Germany had arrived with 2 Two Tonners (Rubin XI and Pinta) and a One Tonner (Becks Diva) and it was an unsuitable combination. Worse, the capricious breezes of the first race spelt calamity for the German team - by the time a sea breeze filled in the whole German team were well down the placings and Rubin XI finished in last place (42nd). It followed this with placings of 26/12/23/9 and a 17th in the Fastnet race to finish 21st overall. Becks Diva was the best placed of the German team finishing 12th, while Pinta was 26th to give the team a disappointing eighth place in the series.

Rubin XI heads out to race in the 1989 Admiral's Cup (photo Shockwave40 blog)
Rubin XI made another appearance for the 1991 Admiral's Cup, or at least, parts of her did - the deck, winches and rig were married to a new hull to create Rubin XII, but was jokingly referred to as Rubin XI 1/2. The team was again unsuccessful in 1991, finishing fifth (Rubin XII was fourth in the Two Tonner division) but Rubin XII formed part of the team that bounced back in 1993 to win the series by the slimmest of margins, by just 0.25 points.

Rubin XII sails back to the marina after a race during the 1991 Admiral's Cup (photo Shockwave40 blog)
Rubin XII was later bought by a yachtsman from Northern Ireland and she was renamed Hesperia IV.

Hesperia IV ex-Rubin XII

1 comment:

  1. As Hesperia 4 she lost her rig off tuskar lighthouse in the 1994 round ireland race while on charter. Another 2 ton Scarlett was also racing