24 March 2015

Legende (Peterson One Tonner)


Legende was a Doug Peterson-designed One Tonner, based on and moulded from the production Jeanneau Sun Legende 41, with the mould 'blocked off' to improve its rating under IOR. The yacht was built as a promotion for the Sun Legende, and wanted a boat that could compete with the Beneteau One Tonners such as Coyote and the first (1984) version of Fair Lady. Legende was built to compete in the 1985 SORC, and was similar in proportions and aesthetics to many of the fractional One Tonners of the era, including the Farr yachts such as Total Eclipse (ex-Geronimo).

Legende was the first high tech custom racing boat that Jeanneau had ever built, and unfortunately she was delivered two months late and she ended up being launched on just the day before the 1985 SORC. The first time the sails were hoisted was on the way to the startline and she simply hadn't been properly optimised and rated about 0.2ft higher for the series than she should have (30.7ft IOR), and just higher than the One Ton limit of 30.55ft.
Legende being launched a day before the start of the 1985 SORC series (photo credit P Bishop)
The main problems were that Legende's keel was too heavy, and she had too much internal ballast. Jeanneau had installed the same engine used for the production Sun Legende 41's and it was too heavy and was fitted with the wrong propeller. The boat was skippered Buddy Melges, and performed strongly on the triangles, exhibiting strong upwind speed, but was less successful in the long distance races. Legende finished the regatta in eighth in class and ninth overall, in a year dominated by One Tonners, but could have been in the top five if the rating had been tuned to 30.55ft.
Legende heading out to the start of a race during the 1985 SORC
The original owner of Legende, Jack Bush, advises that the boat was fitted with a new keel, designed by Bill Tripp, installed in May 1985. Her engine installation issues were resolved at the same time. In July 1985 her hydraulic controlled rigging was removed and replaced, making for a much lighter setup. By the end of July 1985 she was fully optimised to her originally planned One Ton rating. Legende's upwind performance remained strong and she became much quicker downwind. The boat went to the One Ton North Americans later that year and was skippered by Bill Tripp, but lack of preparation resulted in an unsuccessful campaign.
Legende in the marina during the 1985 SORC, alongside the Joubert/Nivelt Innisfree (photo credit P Bishop)
From 1986 to 1991, Bush recalls, Legende was campaigned heavily throughout New England, including in Newport, Marblehead, Maine and the New York end of Long Island Sound. She was a consistent winner, winning her class in the New England PHRF Championships several times and in the Monhegan Race in 1987 and 1989. She finished second in class in the 1985 (IOR) and 1990 (PHRF) Monhegan Races. Legende won many other regattas and season championships too. 
Legende sailing upwind during the 1985 SORC
In the fall of 1991 Bush sold Legende to two partners from Charleston, SC. However, shortly afterwards they had a falling out and their bank foreclosed on their loan and assumed ownership, storing the boat at Knight Marine, Rockland. In spite of many offers over the years the bank never sold Legende and just let it sit there. Finally, they sold it for a partial payment on the accumulated yard fees to a longtime Legende crew member who restored her.
Above and below - Legende lies in Knight Marine in Rockland, circa 1992

Legende has been recently (April 2015) located in Thomaston, Maine, still on dry land but by all accounts in good condition, although the deck needs some cosmetic work and the engine would require replacement.

1 comment:

  1. Legend had a new keel, designed by Bill Tripp, installed in May 1985. Her engine installation issues were resolved at the same time. In July '85 her hydrolic controlled rigging was removed and replaced, making for a much lighter setup. By the end of July '85 she was fully optimized to the one ton rule rating of 30.5. Legende's upwind performance remained strong and she became much quicker downwind. From '86 to '91 Legende was campaigned heavily throughout New England, including in Newport, Marblehead , Maine and the New York end of Long Island Sound. She was a consistent winner, winning her class in the New England PHRF Championships several times and in the Monhegan Race in '87 and '89. She finished second in class in the '85 (IOR) and '90 (PHRF) Monhegan Races. Legende won many other regattas and season championships too. Legende was not given up on and abandoned to the hard but was always well maintained and raced. In the fall of 1991 I sold Legende to two partners from Charleston, SC. Shortly thereafter they had a falling out and their bank foreclosed on their loan and assumed ownership. In spite of many offers over the years the bank never sold Legende and just let it sit there. Finally, they sold it for a partial pay ment on the accumulated yard fees to a longtime Legende crew member who restored it. Jack Bush, original owner of Legende ,1984-1991.

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