28 February 2015

One Ton Revisited 2015 - Race 1

The Farr 40 Pacific Sundance (Bernard Hyde) took both line and handicap honours in Race 1 of the One Ton Revisited series on Saturday, 27 February. It was a severe test of light airs sailing, with Auckland and the inner Hauraki Gulf locked in the relentless grip of the high pressure systems that have made summer in these parts one of the warmest and driest on record. The course was shortened to a 24-miler along the northern shore of Waiheke, rounding Gannet Rock and finishing off Terahiki Island (to the east of Pakatoa).
Part of the One Ton Revisited fleet prepare for the start off the RNZYS, Westhaven
The One Ton Revisited fleet struggled in light airs that fluctuated between southerly and westerly and frequently died. There was a light northerly tantalisingly close to windward along the northern shore of Waiheke but only Pacific Sundance managed to cross the divide into the slightly more consistent breeze. It still took her nearly 7½ hours to cover the distance and take the gun, 1 hour 20 minutes ahead of the Farr 1104 Revolution (Tony Wallis/Max Cossey). Third home was the recently restored S&S 36 Rainbow II (Chris Bouzaid), some three minutes astern of Revolution.

On IRC corrected time, Pacific Sundance (rating 1.045) won by some 26 minutes from Rainbow II (0.930). Third was the smallest boat in the fleet, Kevin Kelly's Lidgard design Impact (0.935) which, with Andy Ball on the helm, led on the water in the early stages. 
Start of the first race of the One Ton Revisited - Pacific Sundance leads from Rainbow II, Result, Revolution and Wai Aniwa
Bernie Hyde (Pacific Sundance): “We got a good start and were nicely ahead until we ran out of wind off the Devonport Naval base – everyone overtook us. But, once we got going again, we got back into it and had a great ride. Ray (Haslar) did a top job. We snuck through the hole off Motutapu and wriggled around the western end of Waiheke, and then there was no catching us. We’re a bit bigger and newer than everyone else and some of that told”.

Chris Bouzaid (Rainbow II): “We changed spinnakers 47 times as we kept running out of the breeze and had to wait for it to fill in again. We didn’t get anything remotely consistent until after Gannet Rock when we nosed into the Firth of Thames and the light northerly”.

Roger Foley (Wai Aniwa): We had a bad start but led through middle section only to lose out to Rainbow II and Result after Gannet Rock. Rainbow II has a great set of sails, well suited to Auckland conditions. The boat is also slippery and well sailed. It’s going to be fun”.

Race 2 in the five-heat series is a 20-mile Olympic course scheduled to start at 11am on Monday 2 March.

Article provided by Alan Sefton 

23 February 2015

One Ton Cup 1973

The 1973 One Ton Cup was held in early September out of Porto Cervo on the northern coast of Sardinia, an impressive venue that provided a variety of conditions for the 24 boat fleet that contested the series. The Olympic courses were set in the eastern waters of the Straits of Bonnaficcio, while the offshore races were through the Straits and out to the north-western tip of Sardinia. 
The two dominant yachts of the 1973 One Ton Cup, Ydra (to leeward) and Ganbare
The standout yacht of the 1972 series (but which had finished fourth), the Carter designed Ydra, and the new Peterson breakthrough Ganbare, were dominant in a fleet made up of largely older yachts, or simply outdated designs. Ganbare was clearly the fastest yacht, and only Ydra was able to offer any threat. Ganbare represented a new style of One Tonner, a smaller and lighter custom design, that was faster than her competitors on all points of sail, except reaching in fresher conditions.
Ganbare during the US trials
The only races that Ganbare and Ydra did not have an untouchable lead on the rest of the fleet was during the second Olympic course, where it blew 20 to 30 knots, and Winsome V gained the lead after a 20 degree windshift on the first beat and was fast enough in the fresh conditions to hang on for second place behind Ydra, with Ganbare taking third. The crew of Ganbare were happily surprised at the ability of their yacht in the medium to fresh conditions as she had been designed to excel in the light airs typical of her home port of San Diego, and the expected light airs of the Mediterranean. As it turned out, she didn't get to test her light air speed until the final long ocean race, but she performed as expected and soon opened up a substantial lead to win the series finale from Ydra and the Ted Hood centreboarder Robin by over half an hour in a dying breeze.

Ydra in light airs during the 1973 One Ton Cup
But although Ganbare was clearly the fastest yacht, a navigation error in the middle distance race cost her dearly - she rounded the final mark incorrectly and had to accept a 5% penalty, which dropped her from first to 13th in the bonus points race.  This gave Ydra the One Ton Cup, a prize that had eluded her in 1972 in Sydney when her forestay broke in the middle distance race. 
Ganbare in fresh reaching conditions during the 1973 One Ton Cup
Australia's Bonita working upwind in fresh conditions in the second Olympic race (Bonita finished 17th overall)
The Carter 37 Hann sailed by Bouzaid for NZ
 Without Ganbare's presence, Ydra would have been the outstanding yacht for the second year. Ydra was an aluminium prototype of Carter's production 37 design. In winds of over 12 knots and in flat water Ydra was close to Ganbare in performance, but the latter's narrower beam allowed her to slip away in any kind of chop. Ydra only held an upper hand in fresh reaching conditions. The Carter 37 aluminium prototype was also superior in speed in all conditions to the GRP versions of the same design, one of which was chartered by Chris Bouzaid (Hann), then of Rainbow II and Wai Aniwa fame, and defender of the One Ton Cup; a second was chartered by Australian Syd Fischer, the One Ton Cup winner in 1971 (Chloe). 

Both campaigns from downunder were hampered by problems common to charter-efforts - a lack of time. Bouzaid has tried, unsuccessfully, to raise the funds to send Wai Aniwa to Sardinia to defend the Cup, and so the charter was the best that could be done in the circumstances. So although both Bouzaid and Fischer had formidable backgrounds in One Ton Cup campaigns, neither could get their boats going to their full potential. In the end Bouzaid and his crew came out top over Fischer, with a creditable third place, just 1.5 points behind Ydra, mostly due to good placings in the longer races, with Fischer finishing in fifth place.
The appeal for funds for Wai Aniwa's defence of the One Ton Cup was unsuccessful. She is seen here testing sails on Auckland Harbour in preparation for Sardinia.
Ted Hood's Robin, seen here during the US trials series
The next best performing designs were Ted Hood's Robins, his own one racing for the US, and his earlier design sailing for Canada. Both yachts represented a heavier-than-normal approach to the Mk III version of the IOR, and although both were well sailed, they could not match the speed of Ganbare or Ydra, except in light air. The new Robin featured a stiff hull design capable of carrying a lot sail, but which would be described as full-bodied, with her beam carried well forward and aft. Unusually for the time, and indeed even now, Robin sported a gybing centreboard, which was made of steel and weighed 600lbs, and a retractable spade rudder, without a skeg. 

Robin during the 1973 One Ton Cup
Cockpit view (above) and foredeck (below) of Robin, as photographed by Steve Kelley in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1974

The performance of the S&S yachts in the fleet was remarkable, but for all the wrong reasons. Under all the conditions experienced in Sardina, none of the S&S boats showed any speed to match the top five (other than Winsome V's effort in the second Olympic race). Ted Turner's Lightnin' made the US team after winning the Miami leg of the US trials, but had tended to make a great deal of leeway in the SORC series and modifications had been made to her keel. Olin Stephens acknowledged that he was designing his yachts too big - but even though his latest design, Ojala II, was a step down in size from Ted Turner's Lightnin' (6th), Thunder, and Winsome V, she finished behind all three of her bigger sisters in 14th place (who finished 6th, 7th and 9th respectively). 
Ydra heads downwind ahead of Italy's Sumbra and France's Drac
Certainly for the 1974 event the pendulum had swung from the earlier dominance of Carter and S&S and to Peterson's favour, and that's for a future article.

Footnote: Ydra is current understood to be located in northern Germany - if anyone knows of her actual whereabouts one of the followers of this blog would be very grateful! Leave a comment or send an email to rb_sailing@outlook.com.

20 February 2015

Purple Haze (David Thomas Quarter Tonner)

Thanks again to US yachtsman and naval architect Steve Kelley, who has kindly provided his dockside photographs of the David Thomas Quarter Tonner Purple Haze (1977). Keller was sailing in a series around Europe during the summer of 1978, and found himself in Cowes in early June of that year and was able to photograph several interesting yachts, including Purple Haze
Stern view of Purple Haze in Cowes in 1978 (photo courtesy Steven Kelley)
View of the cabin top detail on Purple Haze - the boat may have been first campaigned by the Ratsey sail-loft - the sticker on the cabin says "Every One Loves Ratsey Sails" (photo courtesy Steven Kelley)
Cockpit detail of the Quarter Tonner Purple Haze (photo courtesy Steven Kelley)
David Thomas was a popular designer in the UK, and was instrumental in resurrecting the Quarter Ton Cup in 2005 - and his Purple Haze, skippered by Tony Dodd, won the inaugural event of the new series, now raced under IRC. Purple Haze was restored for the 2005 event, and has since gone on to compete in all of the series since then. She sails with an IRC rating of 0.870, and after winning in 2005 she went on to finish 2nd in 2006 and was 2nd again in 2008.  A full list of her results and other recent photographs can be seen on the 'Histoiredeshalfs' website.
Purple Haze on her trailer, showing very clean lines for an ex-IOR yacht (photo Adrian Bishop/Histoiredeshalfs)
Purple Haze during the 2006 Quarter Ton Cup (photo Fiona Brown)
Purple Haze (above and below) - a regular competitor in the modern Quarter Ton Cup

10 February 2015

Bondi Tram - Frers 41

Bondi Tram, an update of Frers' earlier Hitchhiker design, was built for Denis O'Neil in 1982 to contest the 1983 Australian Admiral's Cup trials. Bondi Tram featured the same elegant design characteristics of her earlier sister, with a moderate freeboard, relatively clean lines, blister cabin top and long sloping transom, and was finished with a striking metallic grey paint scheme. She carried Sobstad sails on a triple-spreader masthead rig.

Bondi Tram emerges from the McConaghy Boats shed
Bondi Tram was constructed by McConaghy Boats using the most exotic materials available. John McConaghy built her from carbon fibre and Kevlar skins sandwiched over a Klegecell core, using technology developed for Iain Murray's champion 18 foot skiffs. The very lightness of the resulting hull and deck from this method of construction increased the ballast ratio and led to the boat being over stiff and caused some problems with its rating. Internal ballast was added to reduce the rating, but this had a significant effect on her performance. 

Bondi Tram powers upwind during the 1983 Admiral's Cup trials
After it sailed in the 1982 Sydney-Hobart race with a rating of 32.1ft IOR (just over the Two Ton limit), O'Neil had 272kg of internal ballast removed from the boat and the hull was bumped at key measurement points - these measures combined had the effect of reducing the rating to 31.6ft for the Australian trials.
Bondi Tram (photo McConaghy Boats)
Bondi Tram had mixed fortunes in the trials with results of 5/5/2/3/1/5/7/4/5/2, but scored well in the races that mattered most, with a third in the 120-miler around Port Philip Bay that ended in a full gale, and finished second in the Bass Strait race. Her 'unofficial' points tally was 92, placing her second on the results table behind Hitchhiker (on 95 points) and ahead of Shockwave (all three were Frers designs). O'Neil told the selectors that he would remove another 180kg of lead ballast and accept an expected rating increase of 0.1ft to improve her light air performance, as well as her overall acceleration and downwind speed (although she was already considered by selectors to be the fastest yacht on this point of sail). It is not clear if the modification to her ballast was made, as she is recorded as still having her rating of 31.6ft for the Admiral's Cup (with key rating dimensions of 34.11 L, 12.34 B, and 14,789 DSPL).  
Bondi Tram trails Hitchhiker during the 1983 Admiral's Cup trials (photo Bob Ross/Australia's Yearbook of Sail)
Bondi Tram approaching the finish of the long bay race during the Port Philip Bay race during the 1983 Australian Admiral's Cup trials (photo Sportscar)
In controversial circumstances, Shockwave was discounted by the selectors and the third place in the Australian Admiral's Cup team went to Peter Kurts Dubois 40 design Once More Dear Friends.
Bondi Tram (left) leads Espada (Austria) downwind during one of the inshore races during the 1983 Admiral's Cup
The Australian team were probably disappointed with their fourth place in the 1983 Admiral's Cup, but all the teams that year were humbled by the dominance of Germany. Bondi Tram was the best placed of the Australian boats, finishing in 13th place overall with placings of 8/32/17/32/12.
Bondi Tram featured on the cover of Yacht Racing & Cruising magazine in November 1983 after the Admiral's Cup series (photo Alastair Black)
The boat later proved her pedigree with an outstanding performance in the 1984 Clipper Cup series (photo at left), taking five straight victories for a clean sweep of Class D, and finished sixth in the overall fleet standings with placings of 15/14/13/19/3 - she formed part of the Dunhill Australia team, with Indian Gibber and Once More Dear Friends, that finished fourth overall.  

Bondi Tram backed that up result with another winning effort in the San Francisco Big Boat Series several weeks later to win Class E (the Richard Rheem Perpetual Trophy) with four firsts and a second. She went to contest the Big Boat Series in later years but her results are not known.
Bondi Tram and Lobo during the 1986 Big Boat Series
Bondi Tram is presently for sale (as of February 2015) and lying in Waikiki, Hawaii (below).

2 February 2015

Rainbow II - back in the water

Rainbow II went back into the waters of the Waitemata Harbour on Monday, 2 February 2015, some 45 years since she was lifted aboard a freighter bound from Auckland to Germany where she would challenge for, and win, the One Ton Cup in 1969.
Rainbow II is lowered into the water at Pier 21, Westhaven (photo Alan Sefton)
After a huge restoration effort by her original owner, Chris Bouzaid, and the Classic Yacht Charitable Trust, headed by John Street, Rainbow II emerged from the Vos Shed and moved to Pier 21 in Westhaven. She was re-christened by John Street’s wife, Lorraine, in front of a gathering that included Bruce Marler, who was commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and a driving force behind Rainbow II’s two campaigns for the Cup, current RNZYS commodore Andy Anderson, and Rainbow II crew stalwarts Roy Dickson, Alan Warwick and Peter Shaw. 
Rainbow II - afloat again on the Waitemata Harbour (photo Alan Sefton)
Rainbow II is sporting a new double-spreader rig, which looks slightly taller than her original, and is now located at a berth in Westhaven Marina outside the RNZYS where the final bits of her restoration will be completed, including the anti-skidding of the deck and cabin top. She will then start her sailing build up for the five-race One Ton Revisited regatta scheduled to start on 28 February. 

More photos can be seen on Sail-world here.