|Bullfrog (photo Dick Foat/DPT FB Page)|
Bullfrog was perhaps the archetype of the heavy and powerful, masthead-rigged IOR yacht of the 1980s, but one that displayed the more balanced and easily driven lines of Peterson's later design approach than his earlier pintail types. Her IOR rating certificate shows a Centre of Gravity Factor well above the minimum (0.984) for good windward performance, and a relatively low rating of 44.4ft (under Mk IIIA). When well sailed as Bullfrog was, this type remained competitive in a transition period towards lighter fractional-rigged yachts, and she was the dominant IOR 'A' boat on the US West Coast over three years - she won the Big Boat Series twice as well as Long Beach Race Week.
|Bullfrog emerges from the shed at Newport Offshore and ready for launching, below (photos Doug Peterson Tribute page)|
Bullfrog also formed part of the US "Blue" team in the 1982 Clipper Cup, the bi-annual international regatta held in Hawaii, where she sailed alongside Clay Bernard's Davidson 50 Great Fun, and Jim Kilroy's Holland Maxi Kialoa IV. Bullfrog was helmed by Tom Blackaller in this series, and started the regatta strongly, with a second in the first and second races, both Olympic triangles, and like the rest of the regatta, was held in very windy conditions.
|Bullfrog powers upwind (photo Yachting magazine)|
|Bullfrog sails downwind with spinnaker and blooper flying (photo Seahorse)|
|Bullfrog in strong reaching conditions in the 1984 Clipper Cup, just to leeward of the Soverel 55 The Shadow|
|Checkmate (ex-Bullfrog) and team-mate Tomahawk (below) slide downwind during the 1984 Clipper Cup|
Checkmate again came unstuck in the Round the State race, being punished for a conservative rhumb line course down to South Point, and her eventual long beat to this turning point in the course knocked her out of the running for overall honours, finishing 15th, and dropping to ninth overall, while Tomahawk also finished relatively poorly in 12th and dropping to fourth overall. This demonstrated the effect of the heavy points weighting of the Round the State, as Checkmate and Tomahawk were clearly the form boats to that stage, having captured all of the Class B firsts and seconds in the first four races. However, while Camouflage was the weak link in the team, she had a stronger showing in the Round the State (fifth), and with Exador losing her mast in a freak wave off South Point, the US White team were able to carry off an overall team win.
Aside from her forays and success in the Big Boat Series, the later racing exploits of Checkmate are unknown. However, a video exists from 2008 where she remained in her original livery and was part of a sailing school (image above). Later, she was advertised for sale in 2014 while based in San Diego (photo and link below).
|Checkmate in a 2014 advertisement by Yachtfinders (see here for more photos)|