26 March 2014

One Ton Cup 1989

1989 One Ton Cup winner Brava
The 1989 One Ton Cup was held in Naples, Italy, three months ahead of that year's Admiral's Cup series, and although the number of IOR yachts worldwide was continuing to thin out, the intensity of competition in the Cup definitely wasn't. Some 28 yachts lined up for the event, of which 19 were less than a year old - commissioned, built and worked up very much with the One Ton Cup and Admiral's Cup double in mind. Of the 28 yachts, Farr could claim 12, with four to Denmark's Neils Jeppesen, although only one, Stockbroker, was a serious contender, while the German duo of Judel/Vrolijk could count three.

The one major aspect of the regatta that detracted from the calibre of the event was the weather. Naples Bay has a regular afternoon gradient wind but it blew for only two of the three inshore races, but never more than 12 knots, and generally only about 6-8 knots. The wind was at its most capricious in the first race, which descended into farce such that the race committee was on the brink of calling it off twice during the first beat, but the international jury urged that the race be able to run its course. The first leg took over an hour, and only four legs were completed. The race was won by the Daniel Andrieu designed Indulgence, skippered by Eddie Warden-Owen, with Germany's Farr design ABAP/4 second and Aria third. 
Indulgence during some of the windier conditions of the 1989 One Ton Cup
The offshore races also suffered from light winds, and light as they were during the day, at night they died to nothing, resulting in long 'park ups', with positions changing dramatically as the breeze arrived each morning. Even with the offshore races reduced to just 145 and 95 miles, they took 27 and 24 hours to complete. "It was the Hare Krishna school of sailing", joked Graham Walker, who's crew aboard Indulgence burnt joss sticks at night to try to detect the direction of the wind. The overnight races utterly exhausted the crews, for the level of concentration required to coax their boats along was enormous. Their cause was not helped by the race committee setting the weather mark in the short offshore race in the windless lee of Capri Island.
Above and below - startline action during the 1989 One Ton Cup

It was Indulgence which looked like a possible winner half way through the series. She won the first two races and was points leader until the fourth, the short offshore race. She was leading that too in the early morning when the dawn breeze brought a group of six, including the Farr designed Brava, owned by Italian yachtsman Pasquale Landolfi, to the front. In the chase, Indulgence cut too close to the island of Ischia and struck a rock. The crew had to extricate themselves by using the spinnaker pole as a punt to push the boat off backwards. She managed to salvage an 11th placing. 
Indulgence approaches a windward mark
In the end it was all Brava, which was sailed well throughout the Cup, and her 9/5/4/2/4 record showing the consistency that Indulgence lacked with a 1/1/13/11/13 which dropped her to second place. 
In design terms, the Farr boats were considered a gentle progression a proven all-round design. Brava and seventh-placed Bellatrix were more light air oriented than the previous year's design, and near sisterships ABAP/4 (fifth) and Bravura (ninth) all seemed to have a slight edge downwind, while their upwind penetration was as good as ever. Brava had a Sail Hull Ratio (SHR) of 15.70 and a Righting Moment Corrected (RMC) of 133.4, coupled with a relatively short rated Length (L) of 10.09m. 
Australia's Joint Venture, sailing upwind above, and leading the pack below (possibly in the fourth race where she finished in fifth place)

In contrast, the Australian Farr design Joint Venture, which was similar to the New Zealand yacht Propaganda (which did not attend as she was being optimised for the Admiral's Cup), had a longer L of 10.19m, with a lower SHR of 15.4 and an RMC of 140, which was considered stiff. She tended to lose out badly in the light airs during the offshore races, dropping hard-won places to slower boats and finished 16th overall. 
The Andrieu design CGI, sistership to Indulgence
In Indulgence, and her erratically sailed French sistership CGI (20th), Daniel Andrieu had attempted to get some windward bite without giving up his design's well known reaching and running speed. Indulgence was finer for'ard than previous Andrieu boats, and she was fast upwind in light ghosting conditions, and in more than 12 knots of wind. But in a slight chop and 6-10 knots she appeared to labour in both height and speed.  Indulgence was optimised for Naples, with a relatively large sailplan, resulting in a high SHR of 15.92, and was considered short relative to the Farr boats, with an L of 10.085. The Andrieu boats also had 2cm less freeboard than the others, to lower total weight and the centre of pitch.
Norway's Fram XI, finished 13th overall
Indulgence was due to undergo substantial modifications before the British Admiral's Cup team was to be announced, and to be reconfigured for more wind than had been expected in Naples, including a new keel and rig.
Stockbroker crosses ahead of Indulgence
Leeward mark action aboard Japan's Are Can Bay
In designing Stockbroker, Jeppeson had noted that rated lengths in the 1988 fleet were around 10.05-10.15m, and that waterline beams varied less than 5cm. Noting the success of Propaganda and Container (renamed Aria for 1989), he chose a high stability boat with a RMC of 150, much higher than the Naples average of some 138-140. To pitch the boat more to light airs, the engine was moved aft, a strut drive installed and the keel's lead shoe removed to get the RMC down to 147. Like Indulgence, Stockbroker was good in flat water, and she finished the series in third place, after a 8/4/20/5/6 series.
Key rating statistics for a range of boats from the 1989 One Ton Cup
Full results for the 1989 One Ton Cup

16 March 2014

Longobarda (Farr Maxi)

Longobarda was a breakthrough IOR maxi that set a new standard in the class during 1989 until the early 1990s. She was the product of a successful combination of Bruce Farr design talent, SAI Ambrosini (Italy) build quality and a no-expense-spared budget, courtesy of her owner, Italian yachtsman Gianni Varasi (who had previously owned Raul Gardini's earlier yacht, Il Moro di Venezia II).

Longobarda benefited from an extensive design development programme carried out by the Farr office. This used the Spanish Navy’s maxi yacht, the Farr masthead-rigged Hispania (seen in more recent times here), as its springboard. This involved research into hull shape variations using velocity prediction programme (VPP) studies that were enhanced by concurrent Whitbread maxi hull testing, that was then corroborated with one-fifth scale tank testing. One feature of Longobarda's design was her distinctive rounded stemhead.

Advances in structural engineering were also pursued to achieve the most beneficial weight concentration relative to required strength and stiffness criteria, utilising carbon fibre, Kevlar and Nomex in her hull layup. The development of foil shapes was no less rigorous, and four different keel configurations were wind tunnel tested in the Wolfson Unit in England.
Longobarda (middle) at the start of one of the races during the 1989 World Maxi Championships (photo Franco Pace/Sea Spray)
Varasi’s new maxi was launched on 17 July 1989 and was fast from the beginning, winning her first regatta in the 1989 World Maxi Championships in Palma, Majorca, just two weeks after launching. Longobarda reigned supreme throughout the 15 race championship, which took place over three regattas of five races each. Longobarda won each event by wide margins against a formidable fleet of 12 internationally recognised yachts, including Alan Bond’s much heralded Dave Pedrick design, Drumbeat, and Raul Gardini’s Frers design Il Moro de Venezia, the previous form boat of the fleet.

Interior profile view of Longobarda
Longobarda during the 1989 World Maxi Championships (photo Franco Pace/Sea Spray)
Longobarda’s easy victory in 1989 surprised some who expected the tuning of round-the-buoys maxis to take some time, but she showed superior upwind speed to all the fleet, over a wide range of conditions, which allowed her to stay consistently ahead of her opposition. She went on to repeat the feat in the Maxi World Championships in 1990. These victories set in train a string of international successes in the US, Australia and Europe; in iconic events such as the San Francisco Big Boat Regatta, the Sydney to Hobart and the Isle of Wight Round The Island Race.

Longobarda in her first season of racing on the Mediterranean (photo Franco Pace/Sailing World)
Longobarda (photo Farr Yacht Design)

It wasn't long, however, before Longobarda was in turn outclassed by the all conquering Matador2, Bill Koch's bigger and more powerful 84 foot maxi that was the product of even more research and development. Following the 1993 Nioulargue regatta, the swansong of top-flight IOR maxi racing, Longobarda was sailed to Southampton where extensive modifications were carried out over that winter, in preparation for a year of international sailing. These modifications included strengthening of the hull structure to take the rigours of offshore racing and ocean crossings, fitting of watertight collision bulkheads for'ard, provision of a quality 'racing' interior, strengthening of both rigs for offshore and delivery, and the fitting of a hydraulic winch pack.

Re-launched in the spring of 1994, Longobarda was sailed to Newport, Rhode Island, where she took part in that year's Bermuda Race before the Onion Patch Trophy and New York Yacht Club's 150th Anniversary Regatta. From this article it appears that it was in this period that she lost her mast in spectacular fashion, with the exploding running backstay lifting a crew member clear of the deck.
The classic shot by Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing - the crewmember survived, but with a broken nose
She was later transported across the US to take part in the Big Boat Series in San Francisco, then delivered across the Pacific for that year's Sydney-Hobart classic. Following this she was sailed back to the England to take part in European regattas including the Maxi Worlds in Sardinia 1995.
Longobarda thunders downwind (photo www.sailingyachts.com)
During the winter of 1995/96 further modifications were carried out to enhance her performance and rating under IMS. These included the addition of a new bow, with a more upright profile, modifying the rocker and filling in the bustle under the stern. The internal ballast was also removed, significantly lightening her. Later modifications included the addition of a bulbed IMS-type keel and further reduction in displacement. As a result of these changes, Longobarda grew in length by over 3 feet at the waterline, and reduced displacement by nine tons for the same righting moment.
Longobarda (above and below) in her more recent revamped ex-IMS and cruiser-friendly configuration (photo Farr Yacht Sales)
Longobarda took on a new role after 2000, and became available for charter in the Caribbean and beyond, providing an opportunity for guests to enjoy sailing in a Maxi-class yacht, combined with luxury cruising.

In January 2008 Longobarda took line honours in the Barbados Round the Island Race in a time of 5 hours 29 minutes, a new record for the south-about route. Longobarda has recently returned to Europe and is now understood to be located in Portiamo, Portugal.

10 March 2014

One Ton Revisited 2015 - Press Release 11 March 2014

11 March 2014: The Notice of Race for the inaugural 2015 One Ton Revisited regatta has just been released. The regatta will be held in the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf in Auckland, New Zealand, from 28 February to 8 March 2015.  It starts with a passage race of 35 miles to Te Kouma (Coromandel), followed by two 20 milers, another 35-45 'long' course within the Hauraki Gulf, and finishes with a 25 mile 'short' Gulf course. 

Startline action during the 1988 One Ton Cup in San Francisco
The organisers have formulated a new 'One Ton Revisited Class Rule 2014', which includes an IRC maximum rating of 1.110, and a requirement for all hull series dates to be prior to 1996. Hull shapes are required to be original, although localised fairing of rating bumps and creases will be accepted.
Resolute Salmon - winner 1976

Racing is proposed within a single fleet, for which there will be overall points and prizes. Depending on entries, divisional results and prizes will also be awarded for the Classic division (RORC rating of 22.0ft or less), IOR 1 (IOR rating of 27.5ft or less) and IOR 2 (rating of 30.5ft or less). Applications will be considered for boats believed to have been genuine One Tonners, but for which there is no proof of an RORC or IOR rating. The Racing Secretary will seek the guidance of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC’s) Rating Office whose decision shall be final.

In order to preserve the heritage of the One Tonners, it will be permitted to use the original sail designation and numbers, i.e. KZ (NZL), K (GBR), I (ITA), F (FRA) etc. As another nod to authenticity, bow sprits and prods are not permitted.

Convergence at the top mark during the 1985 One Ton Cup in Poole
At this stage, the organisers have received serious expressions of interest from 28 would-be entries and two would-be charterers. They are from New Zealand (12), Australia (4), UK (4), Sweden (2), Canada (2), the USA (2), Holland (1), Switzerland (1), France (1) and New Caledonia (1).

The entry fee is NZ$1,000, and this includes 8 lunches per boat for each race day, and 16 invitations per boat to the pre-series cocktail party.

Cartoon drawing "The Ghosts of Christmas Past (start of the last offshore race in the 1983 One Ton Cup)"
Correspondence regarding entry forms, rules, ratings and safety requirements should be addressed to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's sailing manager Melanie Benton at mbenton@rnzys.org.nz, and copied to Alan Sefton (alansefton@xtra.co.nz).

See earlier press release here.

8 March 2014

One Ton Cup 1971

1971 One Ton Cup winner - Stormy Petrel
The 1971 One Ton Cup was hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland in late February and early March, 1971. New Zealand had selected its team of three yachts, and some of the unsuccessful trialists were made available for overseas entries, and these joined international arrivals from Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.

The series got underway in very strange conditions - constant and fresh easterlies had affected the pre-regatta preparation for most boats over the previous week, and even precluded any flotation and inclining measurement check. Incredibly, the wind finally ran out of puff just before the start of the first race, an Olympic course 26 miler, leaving light winds and a choppy left-over sea. Syd Fischer's S&S design Stormy Petrel started her regatta the way she would finish it, winning by a good margin over the Dick Carter design Apecist (Germany) and S&S design Young Nick (New Zealand). Curiously, a general recall that was signalled because an inner mark boat was out of position, was ignored by the entire fleet - a subsequent protest by Sweden's Kishmul was ruled invalid and so the results stood.

Germany's Apecist - started strongly but faded in later stages to finish 12th overall
Moves had been made before the series to add a further offshore race to the One Ton Cup regatta format, and for 1971 the second race was a 146-miler, sailed the day after the first race. Stormy Petrel got off to a good start and managed to escape the difficult calm that descended over the leaders towards the end of the race. 
Wai Aniwa powers upwind during one of the offshore races during the 1971 One Ton Cup
New Zealand's Wai Aniwa, another highly fancied Carter design, skippered by Chris Bouzaid, had shown some excellent form, lead from the first mark, but lost any trace of wind at the finish, losing out to Stormy Petrel, and with just 50 yards to go, saw Young Nick, Escapade (New Zealand), Optimist B (Germany) and Joran (Swizerland) slip through as she drifted in helplessly for sixth.

Italy's Kerkyra IV rounds the leeward mark in the third race ahead of Stormy Petrel and Escapade
Worse was to come for Wai Aniwa after she was protested by Young Nick for an alleged port-starboard incident at the first mark. The mark was to be rounded to starboard, with early leaders having to run downwind through competitors still beating to the mark. Wai Aniwa arrived first, set her spinnaker, then ran under the stern of Escapade and across the bow of Young Nick, before heading off on the run to Channel Island. The crew of Young Nick (members of the same New Zealand team) claimed that they had been forced to take action to avoid Wai Aniwa. The protest was upheld by the race committee and Wai Aniwa was disqualified. With the race counting for 150% points, it effectively ended Wai Aniwa's Cup chances.

The photograph by Jack Knights at the first mark of the second race showing Wai Aniwa well clear of team-mates Young Nick (left) and Escapade (right)
Sea Spray magazine later published an article and photograph by British yachting correspondent Jack Knights that cast some doubt on the validity of the disqualification. The photograph, not properly studied until Knights returned to England, shows Wai Aniwa shortly after rounding the mark, gybing 'all standing' onto starboard, to pass behind Escapade and to pass well clear of Young Nick.
Optimist B heads back upwind in the third race, with Wai Aniwa and the rest of the fleet still heading downwind
The third race was another 26 miler in a good north-easter of about 15 knots. This race saw Germany's Hans Beilken and Optimist B come to the fore to win by more than four minutes from the Italian yacht Kerkyra IV. A small Bob Miller design, Warri, from Australia, was the surprise result taking third. Wai Aniwa was fourth, but New Zealand's only remaining hope, Young Nick, slumped to seventh. Stormy Petrel suffered from a torn genoa to finish sixth. 
Optimist B sails upwind clear of the fleet in the third race
The double points long ocean race (270 miles) was the fourth race in the series (this was changed in later events to be the regatta finale). Young Nick headed off into an early lead, but failed to cover Stormy Petrel and later sailed into a private calm patch from which she never recovered. Stormy Petrel sailed on to win, from Wai Aniwa and Victoria (Sweden). The victory secured the Cup for Fischer before the final race, another 26 miler. 
Optimist B flat running on the Hauraki Gulf during one of the offshore races during the 1971 One Ton Cup

Mustang, a Cuthbertson and Cassian design, chartered by a Canadian team, had her best race in the last race, finishing fourth, but was otherwise disappointing, placing 11th overall
The 1971 One Ton Cup commemorative coin
Although the Cup had been won, there were still minor trophies at stake. The race, sailed in light airs of 8 knots, was won by Optimist B, with Joran and Kerkyra IV taking second and third. This gave Optimist B second place overall, with Young Nick the best of the New Zealand boats in third. Another New Zealand boat, but under charter to Germany, the Lidgard design Runaway, finished fourth. Wai Aniwa, never able to recover from her disqualification in the second race, finished fifth.

The next regatta was held in Sydney, Australia. It was not hosted by New Zealand again until 1977, by which time the boats would be very different. 

More photos from the 1971 Cup can be seen here.