The design first came to prominence in the 1984 SORC, when Dazzler finished third in Class E and third overall, while a fractional-rigged version Alethea finished fourth in class and fifth overall (Alethea and Dazzler were both built by Tillotson and Pearson in a bare nine weeks). The masthead design carried a bit more ballast than the fractional variation, while Alethea carried a larger headsail and smaller mainsail than other fractionally rigged boats of the size.
Dazzler had some interesting duels with Diva during the SORC, which was one of the first of the new breed of fractional lighter displacement yachts designed by Joubert/Nivelt. Dazzler was sailed by Bill Shore and Perry Harris, and breezed home in the heavily weighted Lauderdale race ahead of Diva, Allegiance (an Alan Andrews-designed One Tonner) and Alethea.
|Dazzler during the 1984 SORC (photo Historiedeshalfs)|
|The J/41 hull profile (above) and deck and internal arrangement plan (below)|
The J/41's were also noted for their structural integrity, when five of them survived the rough 1984 Bermuda Race, and both Dazzler and Alethea survived the whole SORC that year without failure. Construction nevertheless pushed the limits of the time, utilising vacuum bagged unidirectional aircraft-grade Baltek Contourkote sandwich and 1/8th inch unidirectional carbon fibre skins for increased rigidity and impact resistance in critical areas.
|Dazzler sails upwind in light airs during the 1984 SORC|
|Leeward mark action aboard Dazzler (photo Robert Hagan/Sea Spray)|
The J/41's were not widely regarded as the fastest boats on the track, but were marketed at the time as being easier to sail than their fractional competition. Consistency was emphasised, with higher average speeds across the wind range which was considered to compare favourably to the "moments of blinding speed interspersed with unbelievably slows" of their competition.
|Dazzler during the 1984 SORC (photo Larry Moran)|