4 June 2015

Allegiance (Andrews One Tonner)

Changes to the One Ton rating limit in 1983 provided the opportunity for a new breed of dual purpose 40 footer aimed at level-rating as well as grand prix competition. The design of Allegiance was born from this new potential, and the design was commissioned from Californian-designer Alan Andrews in the summer of 1983 following a Transpac race with the owner, Bill Ostermiller, aboard his previous boat, the Peterson-designed Serendipity 43 Celerity. 

The challenges of performing in mixed and level-rating fleets was highlighted by Andrews, who commented at the time that the two styles of racing - corrected time on one hand, boat-for-boat on the other - made it hard to create a specialised boat. "I've just tried to get the best performer I could from the IOR. We have concentrated on upwind ability". The hull was low in freeboard to save weight and windage and to add stability, while the keel was not that generous in terms of lateral plane, but was balanced by a deep, high-aspect, rudder. Her for'ard sections were reasonably fine, but not as deep as some of her competitors.
The deck plan for Allegiance - courtesy Andrews Yacht Design
Allegiance was built by Dennis Choate's Dencho Marine from carbon fibre inner skins and unidirectional S-glass outer skins laid over a Divinycell core, while an aluminium H-frame was designed to accept the mast, keel and engine loads. Allegiance was also one of the first boats with a composite rudder stock. The weight savings achieved through her exotic construction had to be offset by ballast to achieve the necessary rated displacement figure, and this contributed to a high ballast ratio of 56 percent that, along with powerful mid-ship sections, provided excellent upwind performance. Andrews noted that while Allegiance could carry as many as 12 crew for the SORC, in One Ton Cup competition they were limited to eight which would place a premium on inherent form stability.
 Allegiance approaches a weather mark during the 1984 SORC (Sail magazine)
Sail magazine observed that, beyond the refinements in her hull design, Allegiance's performance stemmed from being a lightweight boat, and having an adventurously light Sparcraft mast, although it was not dissimilar to other fractional rigs emerging at this time. This was a thin, three-spreader spar tapered over its top 12 feet, controlled with jumpers and two sets of runners. Her "maximum depth" boom (whereby the limit to depth was a function of the 'E' measurement) was chemically etched to shave off some 10 pounds. 
Interior plan for Allegiance
Allegiance was launched and sailed in California in December 1983 which made the Age Date cutoff, and enabled an IOR rating just below the One Ton limit, at 30.4ft. Early in 1984 she was trucked to Florida and re-assembled for SORC, the first attempt at this regatta for Ostermiller. Andrews recalls that the sailed at least the pre-SORC regatta, "before launching into that marathon of distance and day races". Allegiance went on to be a stand-out performer in the 1984 SORC, and was an impressive IOR debut for Andrews who had previously been known for designs to the MORC rule. Andrews recalls that he was well pleased with the boat, and that her performance benefited from a good crew for the series.  The crew (with some rotating in and out for parts of the series) included Olympic Soling sailors Robbie Haines (helm) and Ed Trevelyan (mainsheet), as well as Andrews himself (headsail trim).
Allegiance during the 1984 SORC (photo Larry Moran)
Allegiance during the 1984 SORC (photo Seahorse)
Allegiance had a close contest with the French One Tonner Diva for overall and Class E honours - each manged to beat the other three times. Included in that was the Miami-Nassau race, when, after 26 hours of hard reaching, beating and countless sail changes made in darkness, Diva managed to dive across the Nassau finish line just 3 seconds ahead of Allegiance. The differences between the boats were subtle, Allegiance was a bit heavier but carried more sail. Diva was light, but also a bit fuller in her stern sections. In the end, Allegiance won Class E, but Diva took out the overall fleet prize, the Governor's Cup.
Allegiance during the 1984 SORC
"As the series developed we had quite a battle with Diva that went down to the last race", says Andrews. "Allegiance pointed a bit higher and when truly upwind had better VMG but Diva had greater sailing length and could jib reach/fetch faster. We didn’t learn early enough about playing to our strengths versus boat-for-boat covering. We beat them in class but they beat us in fleet for the overall". 

On the strength of this performance, Allegiance was selected to the US Sardinia Cup team (alongside SORC Class C yachts Secret Love and Scaramouche). Following the SORC, Allegiance went on to race the One Ton North Americans in Annapolis where Haines and Trevelyan had to leave to prepare for their Olympic Soling campaign, and Lowell North, David Miller and Peter Stalkus joined the boat.   

Allegiance during the 1984 One Ton Cup (photo Histoiredeshalfs)
Allegiance was then shipped to France for the 1984 One Ton Cup in La Trinite Sur Mer. "Some factors of the rig tune were inadvertently adjusted/lost in transit and we didn’t get up to speed until near the end of the series" says Andrews. Allegiance finished in 11th place in the 24 boat fleet (won by Passion 2), with results of 11/19/7/7/12. 
Allegiance during a leeward mark rounding during the 1984 One Ton Cup

Allegiance can be seen here to leeward of Nuova, Fair Lady and Cifraline 3 at a start during the 1984 One Ton Cup (photo Histoiredeshalfs)
"Most of the crew stayed the same for Sardinia but Lowell and Peter left and were replaced by Dave Ullman, Steve Benjamin and Rob “Magellan” Vaughan. Sardinia was a tough series with the Argentinean Red Rock clipping our backstay and bringing down the topmast in a day race. We fixed it in an all-nighter and started the distance race the next day in 20+ knots of building Mistral. That was one of the windiest races I’ve sailed with the wind instruments blown off the masthead. We know it was really windy when the boatspeed went up after we changed to the storm trysail from three reefs in the main". Allegiance's overall place is not known, but the US team finished the series in fifth place, of 16 teams.

Following Sardinia, Allegiance returned to Southern California and was fitted with a new rig. After another year or two of racing the boat moved on to a new three-person partnership of owners who had great racing at the top of the Long Beach/LA fleet for many years competing against the Dubois One Tonner Victory. "We helped them with a major refit that opened the transom, reduced interior weight, a new rudder, reduced deck hardware, etc" recalls Andrews. "After a few other owners the boat is now in San Diego named “Sugar Sue” and club racing there. Not bad for a 31 year old boat!"

Andrews also notes that Allegiance has a near sister Impact, which was ordered after the owners sailed in Allegiance’s sea trials. The main difference was Impact had a masthead rig and slightly wider stern. Impact has won many California races including the San Francisco Perpetual Cup match race in which she defeated Irv Loube’s Beneteau One-Tonner Bravura and the SoCal IOR Championships. 


  1. I just finished the 2016 Run For The Border race from Newport Beach to San Diego on her with a 1st place finish and best time overall.

  2. I am the mainsheet trimmer for this boat. It has the same sail number as a pic in this blog. The boat is now called Sugar Sue, and has electric propulsion. It now has an open transom with the traveler in the stern with 28ST's on both sides.