26 December 2014

Big Shadow (Peterson 42)

Thanks to Swedish yachtsman Peter Staberg for these photos of the Admirals Cup yacht Big Shadow, a 42 footer designed by Doug Peterson and built by Baltic Yachts in Finland in 1978 (a production design known as the Baltic DP42). Big Shadow, skippered by S Bjerser, represented Sweden in the 1979 Admiral's Cup, alongside her more famous team-mates Victor Forss' Carat and Midnight Sun (J Pehesson). Big Shadow had a disappointing series, with placings of 33/31/23/41 before retiring with rudder damage in the tragic storm-tossed Fastnet Race. Although Carat and Midnight Sun managed to finish the Fastnet, weak performances during the previous races meant that the Swedish team finished a lowly 15th overall (of 19 teams).

Big Shadow sailing downwind during the 1979 Admiral's Cup, with Brazil's Indigo just ahead and Australia's Impetuous to windward (photo courtesy Peter Staberg)
The Baltic DP42 was based on the lines of the successful Peterson designed Serendipity 43's (Design #77) such as Acadia, Lousiana Crude and Scarlett O'Hara. The hull of the DP42 was shorter by just inches, but otherwise featured the same powerful stern (in 1978 terms) for reaching performance, a fine entry for upwind performance and flat bilges for form stability and reduced drag. Baltic made some other modifications to suit production objectives, including a full, custom-designed interior and a wider fin keel (to accommodate a sump). Big Shadow was the prototype of the DP42, with a racing deck layout rather than the more cruising-oriented cabin provided on the production versions.
A US version of the Baltic DP42, Adrenaline (photo Larry Moran)
It is understood that Big Shadow also competed in the 1979 edition of the SORC, with a rating of 33.1ft IOR. Her home port is Gothenburg and today is used only for cruising in Scandinavia.
Big Shadow sailing in 2014 (photo courtesy Peter Staberg)

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