14 January 2016

Quarter Ton Cup 1989

The 1989 Quarter Ton Cup was held in Falmouth, and ended in a close tussle between two rival Italian crews, with Pompero Busnello taking the honours in his two-year old Massimo Paperini-designed Meridian, which had finished fourth in 1988. Meridian won the opening and closing Olympic races, seeing off a strong challenge from B & BV, a 1979-vintage Alain Jezequel design which had also come close to winning the 1988 series until she lost her rudder, finishing second. Meridian was well sailed, and was fast in the smooth water and medium breezes that prevailed.
Meridian - winner of the 1989 Quarter Ton Cup (photo Seahorse)
B & BV won the 120-mile offshore race, after neatly side-stepping the calms that trapped most others, but slipped to seventh in the second offshore race which let Meridian back into the reckoning for the last race, which she won.  Although old, B & BV had benefited from rule-grandfathering that allowed her to carry a lot more sail area than with which it had been originally designed. She did not enjoy light conditions however.
The 1981-vintage B & BV remained in the running for the title until the last race (photo Seahorse)
Saniflo (photo Seahorse)
Third placed Saniflo was a particularly interesting boat, but having only been launched just in time for measurement before the series she lacked the preparation time that would have given her a winning chance. The Jacques Fauroux-design, with its huge mainsail and tiny foretriangle, proved particularly fast downwind, but she also had sufficient upwind speed to beat Meridian in a 20-minute tacking duel during the 110 miler. Saniflo's rig was clearly influenced by Fauroux's experience in the Star class, with a rig supported by upper and lower checkstays, but no standing backstay. Although fast downwind, her spinnakers were very unstable due to their high aspect ratio, and this appeared to be something that would require further work if the rig concept was to be pursued further.
Meridian sails upwind in flat seas and moderate breeze, conditions that were her forte (photo 1/4 ton zeilers Facebook page)
Fourth placed Scandinavian Seaways was affected by a late building programme, and a boat that was 10cm too long, which required urgent modifications that affected her displacement and sail area. She took two wins in the inshore races in good breeze, but did not seem to show all-round speed. This Tony Castro design failed to match the progress of the Italian teams in light airs.
The fifth placed Canard (Italy) (photo 1/4 ton zeilers Facebook page)
The top English yacht, the Humphreys-designed Quest Original Knitwear, had more sail area than in her earlier 1987 guise (when she finished second) due to a favourable remeasurement. She appeared to be a good all-rounder, but lacked practice time for the 1989 series. A poor result in the short offishore race saw her finish in seventh place.
The Humphreys-designed Quest Original Knitwear (photo Seahorse)
The result of the Australian team was disappointing. They had arrived in Falmouth three weeks before the regatta, determined to win with good crews and big budgets, and to redress an 11th place by Imazulutu in 1988 at Kiel. But their two boats, Imazulutu and Imazulu, designed by Kell Steinman, were out of touch, slow and old fashioned looking in comparison to the European designs that clearly benefited from better competition. 
Australian entry Imazulutu (photo Histoiredeshalfs website)
Footnote: remarkably, B & BV went on to win the 1994 Quarter Ton Cup, contested by 19 boats in Warnemunde.

No comments:

Post a comment