25 June 2016

Full Pelt (Dubois One Tonner)

Full Pelt was a One Tonner, designed by Ed Dubois and built by Neville Hutton for Stephen Fein in 1986, with that year's Sardinia Cup and later, the 1987 Admiral's Cup, in mind. The design featured an aggressive approach to the IOR, with an apparent close attention to minimising weight and maximising any hull shape advantages available under the rule.  
Full Pelt during the 1987 British Admiral's Cup trials (photo Seahorse/histoiredeshalfs.com)
While those were traits employed on most of her serious competitors, Dubois took it further, with flat decks (presumably to lower the overall centre of gravity of the boat) and a minimum sized coachroof, that finished just aft of the mast. With no windows, halyards and other control lines were led aft along the side of the cabin, while halyard winches were mounted on the deck to lower their centre of gravity. As with many IOR boats of that era, Dubois extended the maximum beam at the deck aft and between the 'BA' and 'BAI' measurement stations so as to maximise the leverage of crew weight. This was a response, in part, to changes to the IOR in November the previous year regarding the effect of crew weight on stability ("CSAF'), which encouraged reductions to maximum beam ('BMAX').
Full Pelt alongside the Tony Castro design Maiden Hong Kong in 1986, both showing distinctive kinks in the deckline between the BA and BAI measurement points (photo Seahorse/histoiredeshalfs.com)
Full Pelt proved her pedigree and the designer's approach when she emerged as the top individual yacht in the 1986 Sardinia Cup. In a regatta where One Tonners filled seven of the first ten places, Full Pelt revelled in the typically light airs. She displayed a boat speed advantage attributed to her small keel and low wetted surface area that provided good acceleration and allowed her to get out of trouble in difficult moments, while pushing her to the front when unopposed. Jo Richards and Geoff Meek worked together to make a formidable team, with Meek seeming to give the boat an injection of new life after a very disappointing showing in the 1986 One Ton Cup where the boat never featured in the results.
Full Pelt during the 1986 Sardinia Cup (photo Bruce Banks Sails/Seahorse)
She won both the short offshore and third Olympic race to boost her impressive individual performance for the British team, winning by 20 points over Germany's Rubin IX (with placings of 5/1/2/1/3). Supported by Marionette (15th) and Pocket Battleship (17th), Full Pelt led the British team to victory in the series over second-placed Germany. 
Full Pelt rounds a leeward mark during the 1986 Sardinia Cup (photo Seahorse)

The photographic record is unclear, but it seems that Full Pelt may have been altered after the Cup, with her original sloping transom remodelled and made more upright, but retaining the measured transom and deck intersection (the AGS measurement point) in the same position.  This would have allowed crew weight to be moved further aft when required. Many other yachts, such as the New Zealand One Tonners Propaganda and Fair Share, made similar amendments for the 1989 series.
Full Pelt during the 1986 Sardinia Cup (photo One Ton Facebook page)
Full Pelt during the 1986 Sardinia Cup (photo Bruce Banks Sails/Seahorse)
Full Pelt narrowly missed selection for the British team for the 1987 Admiral's Cup, with Flying Dutchman helmsman Joe Richards at the helm. After good early season performances, she lost impetus after losing her mast in the De Guingand Bowl event, the first race of the trials, allowing Jamarella and Juno to make the running. 
Full Pelt during the 1987 Admiral's Cup (photo Seahorse)

Irish Independent Full Pelt rounding Fastnet Rock during the 1987 Admiral's Cup - she made good time to the Rock and went on to win this ocean racing classic (photo histoiredeshalfs.com/One Ton Facebook)
However, after sailing the Irish selection trials in the the chartered Irish Independent (ex-Mean Machine, ex-Rubin 85), Tom Power quickly negotiated a charter of Full Pelt when it became apparent that she was not going to make the British team. Power organised sponsorship with the Irish Independent newspaper, with the boat renamed as Irish Independent Full Pelt,  and she joined another Dubois One Tonner, Jameson Whiskey and the bigger 34.2ft rating Turkish Delight (ex-Itzanotherpurla). She was skippered by Tim Goodbody as helmsman, but kept the bulk of Fein's original crew, including Dubois, Joe Richards and Graham Deegan.
Full Pelt in light airs and sporting her near transparent Banks no.1 genoa (photo Sailing Year 1987-88)
Full Pelt had a somewhat average Admiral's Cup series overall, with results during the inshore and Channel Race of 13/15/18/31.  However, she found her legs in the Fastnet race finale - Full Pelt two-sail reached to the Fastnet Rock along the rhumb line,while those who went west looking for a forecast shift sailed needless additional miles. Unfortunately, as the main prizes were not at that time awarded to sponsored yachts, the Fastnet Trophy was awarded to second-placed Juno. Nevertheless, this result lifted her final placing to fifth overall, and elevated the Irish team to fourth overall. An interesting and recent postscript to Full Pelt's Fastnet Race achievement can be seen here.
Irish Independent Full Pelt seen here in Queen Annes Battery Marina in Plymouth after winning the 1987 Fastnet race (photo Shockwave40 blog)
Full Pelt was acquired by Swedish yachtsman Bo Bernholms for the 1989 Admiral's Cup, sailing alongside the former New Zealand 43-footer Kiwi and Greve Duckula. The boat underwent a major refit, with a new mast and rigging, keel, rudder and deck layout for the series, but despite still being fast in light airs, she had a disappointing regatta, finishing in 38th place (of 42), with placings of 14/39/35/25/37/39. The Swedish team finished 12th overall.
Full Pelt was chartered for the Swedish team for the 1989 Admiral's Cup, seen here leaving Lymington Marina (photo Shockwave40 blog)

Her history from that time onwards is undocumented, but she has been featured recently on the One Ton Class Facebook page, and appears to have been upgraded and is now looking like new.
Full Pelt as seen in 2016 and following a recent upgrade, and below sailing off Denmark in 2017 (photo One Ton Facebook page)

The Full Pelt home page is here.

20 June 2016

Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2016

The 2016 edition of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup was held on 15-17 June in Cowes, and was won by Louise Morton and her crew aboard Bullit, whose name will now be engraved on the trophy for the fourth time, a record only equalled by her husband Peter Morton. The podium for the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2016 is completed by second placed Blackfun, designed by Laurie Davidson for the 1980 Quarter Ton Cup in Auckland where she finished 8th, which was helmed this year by 2007 Etchells World Champion Oscar Strugstad who got a late call up to stand in for owner Tony Hayward; and Sam Laidlaw’s Aguila, which was designed by Rolf Vrolijk, in third.  Below is a gallery of photographs (by Fiona Brown) that capture some of the close racing in the event, and some of the thrills and spills of the first day when the breeze was on.
Illegal leads (right to left) Anchor Challenge, Bullit and Blackfun during a race on day one
Illegal (5th overall) comes to grief on a downwind leg during blustery conditions on day one
The distinctive curved sheer of the Joubert Nivelt design Whiskers (4th overall), to windward of Blackfun, on day one
The Jacques Fauroux design Tiger (11th overall)
Another Fauroux design, Cobh Pirate, sets its spinnaker skyward on day one (13th overall)
The winner of the 2016 Quarter Ton Cup Bullit (with Hellaby in the background)
A packed startline on day two
The revamped Laurie Davidson and ex-New Zealand Quarter Tonner Hellaby (above and below) - Hellaby finished 16th overall

8 June 2016

The return of the One Ton Cup

The Fast40+ class announced today (7 June 2016) that they will compete for the prestigious One Ton Cup at their event in September to be hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble between 16-18th September 2016.

The One Ton Cup is steeped in history and reputation in the world of yacht racing. Created by the Cercle de la Voile de Paris (CVP – Paris Yacht Club) back in 1899 and widely recognised as a masterpiece of art nouveau style, initially raced for in regattas between one tonner sailing yachts. The trophy itself was designed in 1897 by the jeweler Robert Linzeler and was made by Bratiau in 1898. It is made of solid silver and weighs 10 kgs standing at 57cm high and 58cm wide.

The One Ton Cup has been raced for in International 6-metre yachts, and for a short time on 6.5m SIs. In 1965 this trophy moved into the world of ocean racing, and from there into the RORC and IOR ruled racing circuits. Most recently, in 1999, the Cup was presented to the Corel 45 Class. Winners of the Cup include many legends in our sport such as Syd Fischer, Harold Cudmore, Henrik Soderlund, King Harald V of Norway, Paul Cayard and Russell Coutts.

The One Ton Cup was sailed in 1995 in ILC40's (under the IMS rule)
The hosting of this event and the realisation of getting the magnificent One Ton Cup trophy to the UK has been made possible through the support of a number of organisations and individuals, especially Cercle de la Voile de Paris for recognising the profile of this growing class and agreeing that this is an event worthy of such a trophy, and Hamble Yacht Services who will be the Presenting Partner for the event.
The Fast40 class competing at this year's Vice-Admiral's Cup in Cowes
Francois Laborde (President of the Cercle de la Voile de Paris – Paris Yacht Club), commented, "We are excited to announce this partnership with the Fast40+ Class for the 2016 edition of the One Ton Cup. The boats have amazing performance characteristics, are fun to race, and are attracting top sailing talents. Those characteristics are exactly in line with the tradition and objectives of our Cup".

The Fast40+ class represents the modern day One Ton race yacht, light displacement race boats, with IRC TCCs of between 1.210 and 1.270. This narrow band of high performance race yachts is designed to deliver fast, close inshore racing.
Close and fast racing in the Fast40 class at the Vice-Admiral's Cup (photo Rick Tomlinson/Fast40 Facebook page)
Robert Greenhalgh, Class President, came up with the concept in 2014 and, after engaging the commitment of a number of interested owners and sailors, this year the class will host a fleet of 14 race boats competing at the highest level over a circuit of five UK based events. The boats hail from seven countries – UK, Ireland, Scotland, USA, South Africa, New Zealand and Germany – and the fleet is growing quickly in competitor numbers and profile.

Robert commented, “The owners of this exciting class take their racing seriously – we are already experiencing incredibly close and exciting inshore racing and it seems to be ticking all the boxes. To secure such a significant trophy as the One Ton Cup to be our showcase trophy for 2016 is sure to add pressure and focus to the racing – this is THE trophy to win this year.”
Close and fast racing in the Fast40 class at the Vice-Admiral's Cup (photo Rick Tomlinson/Fast40 Facebook page)
Traditionally the One Ton Cup regattas consisted of inshore racing, a coastal race and a proper offshore race. Reflecting the changing times and demands of race circuits today, the Fast40+ One Ton Cup will be raced between 16th and 18th September hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club and will consist of eight scheduled races over the three days with event rankings for each boat being multiplied by two for the overall 2016 Race circuit results. The courses will be a mixture of windward – leeward and coastal courses sailed in Solent Waters, each race lasting between 45-180 minutes.

Peter Morton, owner of Girls on Film, added his thoughts, “I have seen a new lease of life injected back into the Solent racing scene through the Fast40+ Class since 2015. Close racing, passionate owners and competitors who reveling in the competitive scene, a good onshore social scene and all run by a professional organisation – and now with the addition of this slice of history to win, what more could we want!”
A new Fast40 design from the Farr office and due for launching in 2016 (Farr Yacht Design/Fast40 Facebook page)