24 June 2022

Juno IV (Castro 44)

Juno IV prior to the 1989 Admiral's Cup (photo Seahorse)
Juno IV is a 44-footer designed by Tony Castro for Mike Peacock to seek selection for the British team in the 1989 Admiral’s Cup. It was the first all-carbon boat of its time, with the structural design developed by the Castro design team, and was built by Killian Bushe in England.
Juno IV sails upwind in light airs (Riggarna Rigging advertisement)
Peacock had commissioned the earlier One-Tonner Juno for the 1987 Admiral’s Cup, and as part of the second-placed British team and had finished 9th in the individual standings. He was drawn to a mid-size yacht for 1989 because it was a vacant slot for the British team, with Alan Gray’s 50-footer Jamarella looking likely to gain the big-boat position, and because Graham Walker already had a well-advanced plan to try to win the 1989 One Ton Cup, and the One Ton position on the team, with his new Indulgence. Changes to the Time Modification Factor (TMF) for 1989 would benefit bigger boats, but they would still need to perform well.

Juno IV - note curved genoa tracks (photo Facebook)
After a late launch, early racing indicated that Juno IV was too stiff, although this yielded good results in a breeze. This lead to a series of keel changes, reducing the boat’s stability and rating, but also affecting her speed. In the pre-Admiral’s Cup analysis, Seahorse magazine noted that Juno IV had trialed different sails from three lofts but was still performing below expectations.
A view of Juno IV's underwater shape, at Lymington Marina (photo Shockwave40 blog)
The selection of the British team proved to be controversial. The team selectors, headed by Harold Cudmore, decided to send boats to Kiel Week, the last part of the German and Dutch trials, to measure them against the opposition. Jamarella generally proved her case, but Hitchhiker II, the ex-Jamarella (One Ton) was making a claim for either of Juno IV or Indulgence’s berth. Despite a poor result in Kiel Week, where Juno IV finished last of the serious contenders for a team place and appeared off the pace against the German 34-raters, the selectors decided there was sufficient time to re-adjust all of Juno IV’s parameters to give her more speed. Indulgence was selected because of her results in Naples, but as only a single One Tonner was sought, the nod went against Hitchhiker II in preference to Juno IV.
Juno IV in light air downwind conditions 
Said Cudmore at the time, “the third boat was a difficult choice and the selectors were in a quandary, as the bigger boats were proving to be more success with the new TMFs. Within the mid-size category, Juno’s performance had been disappointing. Hitchhiker was a proven boat with a proven owner…Juno was in extreme rating mode, more similar to the Kiwi boats, which was wrong for Kiel and wrong for the Admiral’s Cup. Whether in correct rating mode she would be more competitive was unknown. Size was the deciding factor, and Juno was selected”.
Juno IV (photo Facebook)
With only a month left to tune the British boats, Castro planned a longer, lower boom for Juno IV to increase her sail area by 5 percent, as well as the removal of 200kg of internal ballast to reduce stability, plus further bow down trim to offset the consequent rating increases. For the Cup, she had a rating of 35.17ft, and settled on a North Sails wardrobe and was skippered by Mike McIntyre, a 1988 Star class gold medallist.
Juno IV (photo Facebook)
Observers remained skeptical that Juno IV was the best choice and Seahorse opined before the series that “something special needs to happen if Juno is to find the speed of the German team, and unless she does, this boat will be the weak link in the British team”.
Juno IV seen here leaving Lymington Marina (photo Shockwave40 blog)
The results of the initial stages of the 1989 Admiral's Cup suggested these concerns were well placed, with Jamarella’s first and Indulgence’s third in the first race being let down somewhat by Juno IV’s lowly 26th, after she was boxed in at the start and was never able to properly recover.
Juno IV
Juno IV was 24th in the Channel Race, although fortunately this was enough when combined with Jamarella’s third and Indulgence’s seventh, for the British team to move into the series lead.
Juno IV in the midst of (possibly) Admiral's Cup trials action, with Jamarella (K-180) visible to windward (photo Bateaux magazine, Histoiredeshalfs website)
The team then put in a dominant display in the third race, the second inshore, with Juno IV improving strongly to finish 11th. This was a good result considering the time lost on the last run, where she had tried to shake off Librah with a gybe set but managed to tangle the main boom in a running backstay. The resulting broach led to a torn spinnaker which had to be replaced.
Juno IV sails downwind during the 1989 Admiral's Cup (although is sailing with an inshore mainsail without reefing patches) (photo Facebook)
The third inshore was less impressive, with Juno IV finishing 21st, although this was better than Indulgence’s uncharacteristic 27th. Jamarella’s third, however, kept the team in first position in the overall standings.
Juno IV powers along upwind (photo Bateaux magazine, Histoiredeshalfs website)
Juno IV went on to finish 11th in the fourth inshore and 12th in the Fastnet Race, to finish the series in 13th place overall, and this was enough to help Britain to overall Cup victory after their second place in 1987 (Jamarella was the top individual yacht and Indulgence was 11th).
Juno IV went on to race in the 1989 Southern Cross Cup as part of the British team, with owner Peacock leading the UK challenge for the Cup which they won. She then competed in the 1990 Sardinia Cup, finishing second (either individually or as part of the British team) and was winner of the 1990 Setimana Del Boque, also in Sardinia.
Juno IV arriving at Lymington Marina (photo Shockwave40 blog)
Juno IV as Australian entry in the 1991 Admiral's Cup Bimblegumbie (and photo below)
In 1991 Juno IV filled the Two-Tonner slot in the Australian team for that year's Admiral's Cup as Bimblegumbie, but finished seventh of the eight Two Tonners, although she collected more points than her team-mates Cyclone, the team 50-footer, and Shardana II, the One Tonner. The Australian team finished last overall.
Juno IV was converted in the early 1990’s in private ownership to a cruiser/racer specification with easier deck gear to allow her to be easily sailed two-handed. In 2013 she was sold to another private owner who put her back into the racing circuit after 14 years and entered in the Round the Island 2014. Despite the lack of wind around the Needles, she was able to keep moving and won two trophies, the Field Barnacle (line honours) and the Renaissance Trophy.
Juno IV in more recent times (photo Challenge Yachting)
Juno IV was then re-established as a true racer. Further investment and improvements followed and she was entered in the Round the Island Race in 2015. Conditions were perfect for this classic racer and again the Juno IV team won the Field Barnacle trophy. The original aluminium mast was replaced with a carbon-fibre version in 2019, but it is understood that the boat is now being used purely as a cruising yacht and is based in Scotland.

17 April 2022

Kenwood Cup 1988

The Maxis on the charge in reaching conditions off Hawaii - Sorcery leads Il Moro di Venezia, Ondine VII and Matador

This post features a selection of great photographs by Sharon Green (Ultimate Sailing) that capture some of the action during the 1988 Kenwood Cup held in Hawaii. A total of 45 yachts entered the regatta, which was the sixth biennial sailing of the Hawaii International Ocean Racing Series. Competitors came from Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The series was a combination of the Maxi World Championship, the Champagne Mumm World Cup and the Kenwood Cup, all rolled into a single event. Given its status, the regatta featured the biggest fleet of Maxis ever assembled in the Pacific, and included Congere, Emeraude, Il Moro di Venezia, Kialoa, Matador, Ondine VII, Ragamuffin, SovereignWindward Passage II and Winterhawk (ex-Ceramco New Zealand). It was also the first series in which a team from the United Kingdom would compete in the Cup, consisting of the yachts Indulgence VI, Juno and Yeoman XXVII.

Action aboard Maxi yacht Ondine VII

The Olympic triangle races again proved to be the most exciting part of the series as the steady tradewinds in the 20-knot range assured excellent racing conditions. Unfortunately Kialoa was dismasted during practice and was unable to compete agains the stellar fleet assembled in Hawaii. The two new fractionally-rigged Maxis, Il Moro di Venezia and Windward Passage II were clearly faster than their older masthead rigged rivals. It was, however, the smaller yachts that lead the fleet on handicap as Irv Loube's One Tonner Bravura (US) sailed to three first places in the Olympic triangle races to win the Hawaii Silver Jubilee Trophy. The Australian One Tonner Sagacious V was hot on his heels with two second paces, but fell off the pace in the third triangle race.

Bravura leads her One Ton rivals around a wing mark during one of the Olympic triangle races

No records were set in the Molokai Race due to the prevalence of light winds resulting from a tropical disturbance south of Hawaii. The race started in moderate trade winds of 10-12 knots which would drop to five knots by the morning. Windward Passage II was leading the fleet by 15 minutes at the turning mark and although she then sailed into a hole just before the finish line, she managed to protect their line honours position by just two minutes from Sorcery. The smaller yachts were left becalmed off Molokai's North Shore and the overall winner on corrected time was Jubilation, from Santa Barbara, while Bravura faltered with an 11th place to fall behind Sagacious V by five points in the top individual yacht standings. 

A close start amongst the One Tonners, with (amongst others obscured) Once a Jolly Swagman leading Sagacious V, Seikaiha, Kaitaro IV, Ultimate Challenge, General Hospital, Bravura and Black Jack

The Around the State Race was also sailed in lighter than normal winds which again meant that no records would be set. Windward Passage II continued to show her impressive form as she lead the fleet around the course finishing over six hours ahead of the Australian Maxi Sovereign. Sagacious V relinquished her hold on the overall honours after retiring with rigging problems. Bravura put in an excellent performance by finishing second behind Chicago yacht Insatiable, and secured overall individual honours and the King Kamehameha Trophy.

Insatiable (fifth overall and first overall in Class D)

In the team competition for the Kenwood Cup, the Australia Red Team of Great News, Sagacious V and The Esanda Way, and the USA Red Team of Bravura, Champosa V and Insatiable established their early dominance for the coveted trophy. However it was the Australia Red Team that were finally able to narrowly win the Cup by just five points.

Sagacious V (ninth overall and second overall in Class E)

Matador (13th overall and second in Class A) to leeward of Ondine VII

Yeoman XXVII (29th overall and fourth in Class C) rounds a leeward mark

Jubilation (second yacht overall and first in Class C)

Champosa V (17th overall and third in Class C)

French 'mini' Maxi Emeraude (30th overall and eighth in Class A)

The Japanese Farr 43 Mimi (ex-Equity) (13th in Class E and 27th overall)

Sorcery (18th overall and fourth in Class A) to leeward of Matador

Japanese One Tonner Victoria (seventh in Class E and 14th overall)

A happy looking crew aboard Insatiable

Brazilian One Tonner Black Jack (ninth in Class E and 20th overall)

Ondine VII

12 February 2022

Lady Be (Frers 45)

Lady Be was the first of the production Beneteau 456, after Beneteau decided they needed a fast offshore yacht in their production range. She was designed by German Frers and, although supposedly a production yacht, the hull was constructed in Kevlar and carbon-fibre/foam sandwich with a stripped out interior. She was 13.8m (45.3ft) long, with a beam of 4.2m and displacement of 9,225kg, and carried a rating of 35.4ft.

Lady Be in hard reaching conditions (photo Facebook)
Eric Duchemin was recruited by Beneteau to campaign Lady Be for the French Admiral's Cup trials and just failed to gain a place. However, she came under the eye of Peter Blake, who was looking for a yacht to charter for the hastily prepared New Zealand Admiral's Cup team where she would join Neville Crichton's Frers 43 Shockwave. Crichton had initially planned his boat for a New Zealand team, but when no other boats came forth for selection, he campaigned Shockwave in the Australian trials. Despite her dominance of that series, however, Shockwave was not selected and Crichton found himself with a hot boat in need of team-mates. He managed to goad the New Zealand sailing fraternity into action, and Ian Gibbs joined the fray by chartering Swuzzlebubble IV, the former Epiglass New Zealand (Wee Willie Winkie), a Holland 40 and near sistership to his earlier Swuzzlebubble III which was top individual yacht in the 1981 Admiral's Cup.
Lady Be rounds a windward mark during the second race of the 1983 Admiral's Cup, just ahead of US yacht Locura

Blake thought that Lady Be could be made competitive for the Admiral's Cup, particularly if Duchemin stayed on, and chartered the French yacht. Following unremarkable 16th place in the first race of the series (where Shockwave finished last after incurring a 23 place penalty), Blake proved his point in the second race when, in a reasonable breeze in the Solent, Shockwave and Lady Be had a great race together to finish third and fourth respectively. That was as good as it got however, as lighter winds in the two ocean races put the bigger boats like them out of the running. The Channel Race was a small boat benefit, and Lady Be finished in 41st place, with Shockwave not much better in 32nd. In better conditions in the fourth race, Lady Be finished 17th and then 16th in the Fastnet race finale, to finish as 19th yacht overall, with the New Zealand team taking sixth place.

Lady Be powers upwind under full main and no.3 genoa (photo Facebook)
Lady Be to windward to team-mate Shockwave at the start of the second race in the 1983 Admiral's Cup (photo Johnathan Eastland | Ajax)
Lady Be leads Scarlett O'Hara downwind during the 2nd race of the 1983 SORC (photo Alan Sefton | NZ Yachting)
The following sequence of photos are of Lady Be taken by Larry Moran on the long downwind leg of the St Petersburg to Ft Lauderdale race during the 1984 SORC. Lady Be was sailed by Francois Chalain and finished in 3rd place in Class C (and 14th overall) with division placings of 8/2/2/1/9/8.
Lady Be during the St Petersburg to Ft Lauderdale race during the 1984 SORC (photo Larry Moran)

Lady Be on her way to second place in the St Petersburg to Ft Lauderdale race (photo Larry Moran)
Lady Be with Bravura and Secret Love (overall winner of Class C) following (photo Larry Moran)
Lady Be with Bravura and Secret Love following, and Invictus out to the left (photo Larry Moran)

Lady Be with Bravura and Secret Love following (photo Larry Moran)
It is understood that Lady Be was sold to Russell Hoyt in Newport, R.I. and renamed Destination where she was actively raced on the US east coast. In 2009 she took part in the ARC 2009 race under the ownership of Jurgen Dobbelaer and with her original name of Lady Be. Unfortunately she had to abandon the race due to leaks in the rudder post. She was transported to Muiden in the Netherlands in 2010 and is in service as a charter yacht for day trips on the IJsselmeer (as of 2016).

5 February 2022

Anticipation (Lexcen 50)

Anticipation was a 50-foot Ben Lexcen design, commissioned by Don St Clair Brown who was widely regarded as the Father of New Zealand yachting. Don had sailed several Flying Dutchman and Dragon class yachts and a Tornado, before eventually building Anticipation (in aluminium) in 1975 where he left his greatest mark on New Zealand's ocean racing scene. Anticipation was of moderate displacement for the period and masthead rigged, and with her distinctive broad yellow stripe she was a feature of the New Zealand keelboat scene for many years, and Don campaigned her in most of the major Pacific ocean races including the Clipper Cup and Sydney-Hobart as well as local New Zealand regattas.
Anticipation in her early days
Anticipation, with her original rating of about 40.3ft IOR was a strong performer in the New Zealand 'B' team in the first Clipper Cup in 1978, alongside Lovelace (Farr One Tonner) and Inca, an S&S 46 footer)
Anticipation during a local Auckland race in 1979 (photo Maritime Museum)
During the 1979 Southern Cross Cup trials

Anticipation at the start of the 1979 Auckland to Suva race (photo Maritime Museum)
With the benefit of an age allowance, she again sailed strongly in 1980, even though winds were lighter than ideal for her, with results of 5/2/5 in the first three races to initially lead such famous new yachts as Challenge, Ragamuffin and Shockwave.
Anticipation during the 1980 Clipper Cup (photo Phil Uhl | Facebook)
Anticipation with spinnaker and blooper in excellent trim (possibly during the 1980 Clipper Cup)
Although now seven years old, Anticipation finished in fifth place in the New Zealand trials for the 1982 Clipper Cup, now with a lower 38.5ft rating, and formed part of the New Zealand 'Red' team (alongside Bad Habits and Solara). The 'Red' team finished in sixth place (ahead of the smaller yachts making up the 'Green' team in 9th), where she finished 17th overall with placings of 20/21/18/27/18.
Powering along upwind during the 1982 Clipper Cup (photo John Malitte | Sea Spray)
Anticipation again made the running in 1984, further benefiting from the IOR age allowance with a rating of 37.9ft, and was part of the seventh-placed New Zealand 'B' team (with Black Sheep and Blast Furnace). She outperformed both of her team-mates to finish 18th overall.
Charging along downwind, possibly during the 1984 Clipper Cup (photo Facebook)
While Don owned and continued to race Anticipation until his death in 2008 (at 94), he also commissioned Thunderbird, a Farr 43, in 1984 in which he sailed in the 1985 Southern Cross Cup and went on to win the 1986 Kenwood Cup (the former Clipper Cup) alongside Equity and Exador

Anticipation soon after the start of the 2006 Coastal Classic race (photo Richard Gladwell | Sail World)

Anticipation competing in an Australian regatta, date unknown
Anticipation is sadly now languishing as a houseboat of sorts in Mooloolaba, Australia (photo below from 2022, Facebook).