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

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