27 June 2014

2014 Quarter Ton Cup

The fleet on the first day of the 2014 Quarter Ton Cup

Epic is without doubt the best way to describe the concluding day of the tenth anniversary Coutts Quarter Ton Cup. From the opening race where places eight to twenty-three were separated by less than a minute on corrected time, via the day's five dead heats, to the final race showdown where second to sixth place were separated by only six seconds, it was a drama of Wagnerian proportions. Warm sunshine and a southwesterly breeze that built from just below ten knots to over fifteen, ensured perfect conditions and Race Officer Rob Lamb took full advantage to get the final three races of the series completed in rapid order, much to the delight of the competitors. 

Peter Morton's Bullit took out overall honours, the third win for this fast Fauroux design which enjoys the fresher breezes (photo Fiona Brown)
The podium positions all went down to the final race and on the line is was so close that it wasn't until the teams were back ashore and the results had been formally calculated that the top three could be confirmed. Ultimately Peter Morton's Bullit (1979 Jacques Fauroux), crewed by Kelvin Rawlings, Jules Salter, Anthony Haines and Jason Carrington, claimed victory by 6.5 points from Rickard Melander's Alice II (1990 Phil Morrison), crewed by Fredrik Brotell, James Hynes, David Lenz and Tom Wilson, with Willie McNeil's Illegal Immigrant (1991 Ceccarelli), crewed by Willie McNeil, Nigel Young, Toby Mumford, Duncan and Mark Yeabsley, third.


 

A delighted Peter Morton summed up his love for the class and the event saying "It was really close, we were behind after day one, then we got one point ahead after day two and then today we had a couple of reasonable races, but you miss a shift or you miss a mark and you drop five places just like that, its very close. The boats have got character, there were 20 different designers out there today and you just don't get that in any fleet any more. When you look at the names of the designers of the boats and the provenance of those boats and the history that they've all got, you know the current King of Spain's boat is here and all sorts, they are just wonderful little classic boat. There was a lot of good people out sailing from lots of classes and a lot of people have come up and said it's just the best sailing in the Solent. I mean you look at the results and there were half a dozen dead heats, and today there were four seconds between five boats, so it probably is. You've got some world-class yachtsmen out there." (Morton has won the event in three different boats, Espada in 2007, Anchor Challenge in 2009, and with Bullit in 2012, and now in 2014).



Even the legends can come unstuck in the twitchy Quarter Tonners - here Morton and his crew have some spinnaker problems following a broach on the second day
In the Corinthian Division overall victory went by five points to Jason and Dominic Losty's Illes Pitiuses (1983 Fauroux), crewed by Mark Mansfield, Jack Trigger and Adam Mundy, who also finished in fifth place overall. In second was Pierre Paris's Pinguin Playboy (1986 Castro), crewed by Glen Hilquin, Basile Geron, Benois Duchemin and Pascal Rousselin, and Phil Cook's Purple Haze (1997 Thomas), crewed by Steve Rowan, Mark Lewis and Adrian Mountjoy, completed the podium. In celebrating their victory Jason and Dominic, who hail from Cove, Co Cork, Ireland and have attended the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup twice before, paid tribute to their tactician Mark Mansfield, who they credited with giving them the confidence and skills to make a serious challenge at this year's event. 

Aguila leads the fleet to the spreader mark on day 2 (Aguila finished fourth overall) (photo Fiona Brown)
Joining the press team on the water for the day was legendary yachting journalist and Quarter Ton Class Patron Bob Fisher, who was delighted to be out with the fleet once again. Asked how he felt watching the Quarter Tonners race Bob replied; "I had a deep feeling of jealousy! Perhaps I should devote the energies that I spend elsewhere in restoration looking for a Quarter Tonner to satisfy my urges.... They may be old and have, to some, strange shapes, even bumps, but they have a beauty all their own that no doubt attracts a certain type of sailor. He will be the one with a hankering to regain the glories of his youth and the boats, these wonderful Quarter Tonners, provide these not unusual sailors with the most delightful craft in which to pursue their aims." 

Some of the classic bumps and hollows on display in the fleet (Joker - 26th overall) (photo Fiona Brown)
Bob was also guest of honour at this evening's Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Gala Dinner and Prizegiving where he proudly wore the tie of the 1978 Quarter Ton Cup at Sahima, Japan, in which he had finished fifth overall aboard Wings. Other special guests included America's Cup legend Harold Cudmore and double Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson. The Gala Dinner is a much-loved tradition of the regatta and as always the craic was mighty.

Blackfun rounds the windward mark - she went on to finish sixth overall (photo Fiona Brown)
Another tradition of the event is the fun prizes. This year's recipients included 60-year-old Willem Bosland of The Itch who won the Oldest Bowman Trophy. George and Jim Webb, Jeff Dakin, George Jubb and Tony Dodd of Flashheart who claimed the Oldest Crew Trophy with a combined age of 276 despite the fact that bowman George is only 22. The Marineware Concours D'elegance Trophy, for the best-presented boat as judged by the Race Committee, went to Geoff Gritton's Panic.
Even after some modernisation, the Quarter Tonners remain tricky to sail (photo Rick Tomlinson)
The Kemp Trophy, which is awarded annually by Coutts in memory of Stephen Kemp, who masterminded the Coutts sponsorship of the Quarter Ton Cup and who sadly lost his battle with cancer last year, was presented to Berry Aarts and his team aboard The Itch, who had gone to extraordinary lengths to be here this week after their boat and mast were damaged when the trailer became unhitched and tipped over on the Belgian motorway. Whilst others would have said all was lost, Berry, in true Quarter Ton style, simple saw the situation as a small challenge and two weeks later the boat was here and ready to race. There were also special awards made to Tim Rees, Derek Morland and Kelvin Rawlings who have raced in all ten revival Quarter Ton Cups. 


 

One of the most amazing things about the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup is the calibre of sailors it attracts. In addition to those already listed above this year's crew lists include names like Matt Sheahan, Jonty Sherwill, Kate MacGregor, Annabel Vose, Julian Everitt, Ian Southworth, Led Pritchard, Ollie Orphaus, Robbie Stewart, George and Jim Webb, Jeff Dakin, Tony Dodd, Liz Rushall, Neil Mackley, John Welch, Jeremy Robinson, Dick Parker, Pip Hare, Tom McWilliam and Jamie Boag to name but a few! 

Cri-Cri in the throws of rounding-up on the second day (photo Fiona Brown)
And so the sun has set on the tenth anniversary Coutts Quarter Ton Cup. Its been a wonderful regatta and special thanks must go to the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Race Officer Rob Lamb and his team, sponsors Coutts, all the volunteers and helpers who give up their valuable time to make the regatta possible and last but not least to the owners and sailors of the Quarter Ton Class. Who knew ten years ago that pulling a bunch of little old IOR boats out of the shed and sprucing them up to go racing would turn into this incredible phenomenon? Bring on the next ten years say all of us! 

Illegal Immigrant (third overall) leads Whiskers (eighth) around a windward mark (photo Fiona Brown)

Overall Top Five

1. FRA7891 Bullit - Peter Morton - (7), 3.5, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 4.5 =15
2. SWE744 Alice II - Rickard Melander - 2, 2, 3, 1, (7), 2, 7, 3.5, 1 = 21.5
3. GBR501 Illegal Immigrant - William McNeil - 11, 1, 2, 7, 4, 5, (14), 2, 2 = 34
4. GBR8414R Aquila - Sam Laidlaw - 5, 5, 7, 4, 3, (13), 4, 6, 4.5 = 38.5
5. IRL1392 Illes Pitiuses - Jason & Dominic Losty - 1, (17), 4, 6, 6, 4, 2, 7, 11 = 41

Corinthian Top Three


1. IRL1392 Illes Pitiuses - Jason and Dominic Losty - 1, (3), 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1 = 9
2. FRA12130 Pinguin Playboy - Pierre Paris - 2, 1, 2, (3), 2, 1, 2, 2, 2 = 14
3. GBR7070 Purple Haze - Phil Cook - 3, 3, 3, (8), 5, 4, 3, 4, 7 = 33

Results
Photos

Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Blog


Revived Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Winners
 
2005 - Purple Haze (1977 David Thomas design) - Tony Dodd
2006 - Enigma - (1977 Ed Dubois design) - Ed Dubois
2007 - Espada - (1980 Bruce Farr design) - Peter Morton
2008 - Tom Bombadil (1982 Doug Peterson design) - Chris Frost & Kevin George
2009 - Anchor Challenge (1978 Bruce Farr design) - Peter Morton
2010 - Cote (1990 Gonzalez design) - Darren Marston & Olly Ophaus
2011 - Overall - Espada (1980 Bruce Farr design) - Louise Morton
Corinthian - Tiger (1989 Fauroux design) - George Kenefick
2012 - Overall - Bullit - (1978 Fauroux design) - Peter Morton
Corinthian - Tiger (1989 Fauroux design) - George Kenefick
2013 - Overall - Espada - (1980 Bruce Farr design) - Louise Morton
Corinthian - Pinguin Playboy (1979 Fauroux design) - Pierre Paris
2014 - Overall - Bullit (1978 Fauroux design) - Peter Morton
Corinthain - Illes Pitiuses (1983 Fauroux) - Dominic and Jason Losty

 

18 June 2014

Howzat - launching day

The 1976 Whiting Half Tonner Howzat was launched today at Pier 21 in Westhaven, after a long and thorough restoration by owner Allen Walbridge. She sports a gleaming hull finish that reinstates her original red topsides and white stripes. 

Howzat is readied for launch, Pier 21 Westhaven (photo RB Sailing)
Howzat is readied for launch, Pier 21 Westhaven (photo RB Sailing)
The original long sloping transom has been straightened up a little, providing more cockpit space, and a new bulb keel and deeper rudder have been fitted. The new rig is taller than her original, and the boom is longer.

Howzat is readied for launch, Pier 21 Westhaven (photo RB Sailing)
A nice tribute to her designer, the late Paul Whiting, appears on Howzat's cabin sides (below).


Howzat in the water (photo RB Sailing)
The history of Howzat can be seen here
 

15 June 2014

Swuzzlebubble wins at the 2014 RORC IRC Nationals

Peter Morton's revamped Farr Half-Tonner Swuzzlebubble won her debut event in the 2014 RORC IRC Nationals held on 13-15 June 2014. Swuzzlebubble, had scored two bullets on the opening day to lead her class (IRC Four), winning the first race by just seven seconds on corrected time. Morton explained the winning strategy - "There were a lot of bigger yachts from other classes in the race area, so finding clear air and holding a lane was always going to be difficult. In the first race, we actually planned to gybe-set at the top mark but we were forced to bear away and set the kite towards the shore. We got lucky and actually found lifting pressure, so it really worked out for us. Like they say - it's better to be lucky than talented!"

Swuzzlebubble sails upwind in the 2014 RORC IRC Nationals (photo pwpictures.com)
On the second day, Swuzzlebubble retained her lead, posting a first, second and third. Morton and his crew struggled on the final day in fresher breezes, but did enough to round out the winner of IRC Four overall, taking a fifth and third-equal. "This is the first big regatta for the boat since it was re-launched and we have learnt a lot about how to sail her," commented Morton. "We were joined this weekend by Tom Schnackenberg, who has won the America's Cup three times and knows a hell of a lot about these boats. I bought Swuzzlebubble for one euro, I have spent a lot of money on her, but about only half the cost of some of the boats racing this weekend. She definitely goes well in the light but against the displacement boats, we suffered in more breeze". 
Swuzzlebubble (KZ 3494) sails downwind behind IRC Two yacht Zephyr (photo pwpictures.com)
Whooper had a consistent series and won races six and seven to secure second overall. The Quarter Tonner Whiskers finished third.

Swuzzlebubble approaches a finish mark (photo pwpictures.com)
Swuzzlebubble also carries her original sail number KZ-3494 and koru-inspired hull graphics to retain something of a New Zealand presence in the regatta (not to mention Schnackenburg as an honorary Kiwi in her crew). Another ex-New Zealand yacht, the Quarter Tonner Blackfun (NZL-3391) made an appearance on the final two days to finish ninth overall, and included a second in the fifth race in her final tally. 


10 June 2014

Italian Half Ton Classics Cup 2014

Elena Celeste - Italian Half Ton champion 2014
The 6th Italian National Championship Half Ton Classic Cup was held in early June in Anzio, Italy. The fleet enjoyed four days of sailing, with five windward-leeward races in the first two days and the final two days dedicated to the longer Asteria Cup coastal race. Racing on the first day the wind was in a fresh 25 knots and large waves making for spectacular racing, and both races were won by Massimo Morasca's prototype Elena Celeste. Second on the day was a reborn Cicci VII. The 2013 winner, the Farr 31 Loucura, sailed by Fabrizio Gagliardi, ended the day in third.

The 11 boat fleet gets underway at the start of the first race
The breeze dropped for the second day to 10-12 knots, before increasing to 18 knots. The first of the three races was won by Domenico Rega's Purchipetola (who later had an OCS in the third race), while Loucura took out the second and the third race. Elena Celeste had a second and a third place and then slipped to fifth in the third race that was won by Loucura.
After the first two days of the provisional standings saw Loucura leading by just half a point from Elena Celeste, with Puchipetola third with 4.5 points behind. 

Loucura and sistership Pili Pili
The Asteria Cup race counted for 1.5 points and would decide the series. The fleet headed off on a windward beat in the first leg in a light south-easterly to Ponza. Loucura benefitted from a wind-shift to the west and arrived at the passage between Gavi and Zannone with a considerable advantage over rest of the fleet. The next leg saw a strong recovery by Helen Celeste, the all-female crew on Maria Letizia Grella on Eta Beta, and David Castile's Prydwen (a Ziggurat 916) in the passage between Ponza and Palmarola under spinnaker in an increasing breeze, which had turned back to the south-east.

Third placed Purchipetola
Loucura's advantage was reduced during the night while the first three boats were involved in a great battle that saw Prydwen prevail to take the Asteria Cup over Elena Celeste, while Loucura faltered to third. Elena Celeste won the ORC Asteria Challenge Trophy with seven of the Half Tonners finishing in the top ten. Loucura was awarded first place in the Half Ton division and the coveted challenge cup "Peppino Morasca".

Elena Celeste's second place in the final race gave her the series, just one point ahead of Loucura, with Purchipetola third. The female crew of Eta Beta was awarded the Half Ton "Spirit" trophy for their fighting spirit shown in the water, wihile the Trophy ASDEC, for the oldest boat in the top five, was presented to Paul Mirabile of Cicci VII.

Morasca acknowledged the good organisation of the series by the Sailing Club of Rome, and the competitive and well prepared fleet. "The strong winds of the first day we favored in those conditions Elena Celeste is strong, even on a jib and a spinnaker sail of Incarbona-Olympic Sails developed with extreme precision, skill and considering my experience on this boat. On the second day with light winds we still defended well. I'm really pleased, to honour Loucura and the rest of the fleet. The spirit that lives in this class is wonderful, and restore a Half Ton is a wonderful company, the costs are low, and the yield is very high in the race - I hope that other owners devote themselves with passion to these IOR era boats". Morasca also noted the efforts of his crew in the long races with the difficult tactics and frequent sail changes (tactician Roberto Sorge, tailer Orestano Andrea, trimmer Flavia De Luca, mastman Renato Costs, and bowman Pietro Bianchi).

Elena Celeste
Photographs are by Giancarlo Capobianco, and more can be seen at the Halfton Class Italia website here.

9 June 2014

Evergreen and the Canada's Cup 1978

The Canada’s Cup is the ‘other’ match racing event between two nations, commencing as a challenge by the Lincoln Park Yacht Club of Chicago to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in 1896. Like the America’s Cup, it has employed a variety of boat design types, subject to a deed rule from 1897 that stipulated a waterline length between 25 and 40 feet. It has seen competition in 8-metres (under the International Rule) and then to offshore yachts under the CCA rule, which was replaced by the IOR in the 1970s and 1980s. Under IOR it was raced in Two Tonners (32ft IOR), and later in smaller One Tonners (30.5ft). Following the decline of IOR it was agreed to move to the smaller MORC designs, which brought unprecedented participation to the Canadian challenger’s selection trials. More recently the Canada’s Cup has been contested in the one design Farr 40 class.

This article focuses on the 1978 event, raced in Two Tonners, and which is most remembered for an epic battle between the challenger, Don Green’s radical Cuthbertson & Cassian (C&C) design Evergreen, and the defender, Terry Kohler's Holland design Agape for the US. Green had raced two previous C&C yachts before opting for something more adventurous, and deciding to mount a Canada’s Cup campaign. He commissioned C&C to build a flat-out racing machine, and gave the designers carte blanche to make it happen. The resulting yacht took advantage of every loophole under the IOR, and the stability rule in particular – Evergreen's lightweight carbon fibre and epoxy honeycomb hull weighed approximately 5,500 pounds, and allowed for some 10,000 pounds of ballast to achieve her measured displacement. A centreboard still retained some un-penalised advantages under the IOR, so this ballast was mostly internal, fitted in a ballast plate in the centre of the boat. The 500 pound centreboard was fitted in an angled case, so that it pierced the deck for’ard of the mast. 

Evergreen during the 1978 SORC

Evergreen's structure was augmented by longitudinal bulkheads, which in combination with the centreboard case, made the interior almost unliveable. Her interior was accessed by two flush hatches located close to her rails, and opened inward to aid with sail handling – a dubious proposition from a safety viewpoint. She had an open cockpit, and featured a central control panel for the myriad hydraulic switches to control her fragile, three-spreader five panel mast. The rig and hydraulic systems were designed and built by Tim Stearn, who was also to be the yacht’s helmsman. However, because of Canada’s Cup nationality rules, Green himself took over principal helming duties, with Stearn filling the tactician role.

Agape was a development of the highly successful Imp, and also of a high-tech construction, utilising carbon-reinforced fibreglass, with a Bergstrom/Kiwi load carrying aluminium spaceframe as pioneered by Holland with Imp, and the Half Tonner Business Machine. Agape's Bergstrom and Ridder mast featured swept spreaders, something of a departure from the norm for a masthead rig. Unlike Imp, she started life as a centreboarder, but was progressively modified during the summer and became a keeler, and Kohler described the boat that raced against Evergreen as Agape #5

Evergreen powers upwind (photo Sharon Green)
Evergreen had her racing debut in the 1978 SORC, the major US proving ground for offshore racers of the day. She faced an early protest by yachting writer Ted Jones, as her unusual dual hatch arrangement was considered to contravene IOR safety regulations. The protest was disallowed but, despite having both Tim Stearn and Lowell North on board, she had only an average series, finishing 5th in Class C with placings of 6/10/4/9/6/12, and was soundly beaten by the Peterson design Love Machine (1/3/1/4/3/2) and the Holland design Marionette (DNF/1/2/1/1/1). Agape fared far worse, finishing a woeful 22nd after breaking her mast in the first race and missing the next two. She then finished last in class in the Lipton Cup due to poor navigation. 
Evergreen was not an easy boat to handle

 Some changes were made to Evergreen before the Canada’s Cup trials, with her full-ish bow sections being replaced by a longer and finer entry and her stern sections were narrowed. She was given a new centreboard, and her rig was increased in height by two feet, raising her rating from 31.5ft in the SORC to the Two Ton limit of 32.0ft for the Canada’s Cup. Notwithstanding that her existing hatch arrangement was already of questionable safety, she she was given two additional inward opening hatches in the bow to facilitate more efficient genoa and spinnaker handling. This gave the overall deck layout something of a ‘swiss cheese’ appearance. 

Agape chases Evergreen downwind during the 1978 Canada's Cup

The changes yielded some improvement, however, and Evergreen, representing the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, saw off other would-be challengers Mia VI, a Kaufman-designed centreboarder, and an older Frers design Impetus to earn the right to challenge the US for the Cup, not held by Canada since losing it in the 1972 series.
Agape had a tough fight for selection as the defender against another Kaufman designed centreboarder Black Majic, and the two year old Peterson design Sassy Lee.

The two yachts would go on to engage in the stormiest, most bitterly contested match to date. There were more protests lodged in the 1978 series (seven) than in the entire history of the Canada’s Cup.  

Spinnakers and shooters flying, Evergreen pursues Agape
The first protest was made before racing even began, by the race committee and again over the legality of Evergreen’s deck hatch arrangement. This was again disallowed, and Evergreen went on to win both starts of the first two races, and increased her lead in each by small amounts at every mark of the 17 mile triangle courses on Lake St Claire. The third race, a 75 mile middle distance event, started in winds approaching 30 knots, and saw Agape over the line first and into the lead. An hour later, as the wind increased to 40 knots, both boats were still on the same tack when Evergreen ran out of water, breaking the 500 pound ballasted tip of her centreboard and damaging the rudder. Agape tacked immediately and took off on the long starboard reach to the mark. Evergreen held on for the next two legs before withdrawing, signalling a protest against the race committee regarding the placement of the weather mark and wind strength at the start of the race. The protest was not heard because it was filed outside the time limit. 

Evergreen leads Agape

If the concept of a 75 mile match race seems odd today, then the next race was unbelievable - being a course of some 250 mile distance race on Lake Huron. This race started after a break of two days for repairs. Evergreen was the early leader as the boats ran up the lake in a moderate breeze. She had a substantial lead by the time they reached the first mark, some 40 miles away. However, the mark boat was out of position by five or six miles, and when it finally appeared out of the patchy fog and rain, it was Agape who had a better angle to the mark, and she rounded ahead. A midnight-to-dawn spinnaker duel later ensued, with poles on the headstays and both boats wiping out repeatedly, but Evergreen emerged the leader, sneaking around the third mark, off Port Huron, just 13 seconds ahead. But it was all to no avail, however, when a chainplate on Evergreen broke several hours later in an increasing breeze and her mast went overboard. Evergreen's protest that the out-of-position mark had prejudiced her first position was disallowed, but she was granted another two days for repairs. 

By this stage, Agape led the series 3-2 as a result of Evergreen’s faults and defaults, and she needed just one win to retain the Cup for the US (the record is not clear but the history suggests that the long distance race may have counted for two points).

Evergreen sails over the top of Agape on a reaching leg during the 1978 Canada's Cup

With her new mast, Evergreen crossed the startline of the next race early, and it was Agape’s race until Evergreen rolled her on the second spinnaker reach and went on to win by 57 seconds. Protest flags were flying from both boats as they finished, and the resulting four protests meant that the jury had a marathon overnight sitting before dismissing all of them. The final race, on the 12th day of the series, was a repeat of the fifth race, with Agape winning the start, staying ahead on the beat and first reach, only to see Evergreen power over her on the second reach. Another protest, this time by Agape, was disallowed, but meant the victory celebrations for the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club – long awaited at the time – could not start until midnight. The story of Evergreen’s victory is covered in more detail in a book by Doug Hunter – "Against the Odds". 

From the cover of 'Against the Odds', the story of Evergreen's challenge for the 1978 Canada's Cup
The next day, Stearn was asked how fast Evergreen really was. “I wish I could take her to the Two Ton Worlds in Rio”, he answered without hesitation. “She’s the fastest Two-Tonner in the world”. Certainly, Canadian Admiral’s Cup team organisers thought so too, and Green and his Evergreen crew were invited to represent Canada in the 1979 Admiral’s Cup series in Cowes. She joined another C&C design, Magistri, and Pachina, but Evergreen had a mediocre series, with placings of 37/46/36/53 in the four races before the Fastnet Race finale. 


 

Evergreen and her fellow competitors then found themselves in the middle of the deadliest ocean race in history, the 1979 Fastnet, where they were struck by an unpredicted and very fierce storm. In the end, 15 lives and 30 boats were lost, and it is remarkable that Evergreen survived relatively intact given her reputation for gear failures and her controversial deck hatch arrangement. Evergreen retired from the race safely, and Green later credited his crew’s preparedness for their fortunate survival, and he recounted that “it was a terrifying experience where every wave brought with it the fear that it was the one that would be your last”. 

The Hamilton Spectator newspaper revisited this event in its review of a book based on this event - "Beyond Endurance", written by Adam Mayers. In that article Green comments "(Evergreen) never should have gone to England". Green said he didn't want to do the Fastnet because he was worried about the boat's ability to withstand a North Atlantic storm. When he made the decision to withdraw, "it was a tough decision. I felt we would likely be embarrassed when we pulled into the dock".

Green had decided to call it quits just as the seas were growing ugly and confused. He threw the stern to the wind and made for the coast of England. The pitch black fury of the North Atlantic storm with Force 10 to 12 winds was upon them. "(The race) was the most traumatic experience of my life... It was earth-shaking. Every 60 seconds you'd get hit by those seas and you'd just wonder how much you can take." 

The Evergreen crew for the 1979 Admiral's Cup - from left: Hans Fogh, Alan Jeyes, Jim Talmage, Brian Downey, Al Megarry, John Fitzpatrick, Steve Killing, Don Green, Rob Ball
Somehow, in the black sky, Evergreen spotted a flare shot off by stricken yacht Magic, which had lost its rudder. Green and his crew immediately went to attempt a rescue. The blackness of the night, the howling of the wind and the massive seas made the rescue impossible. "I felt really upset about it," said Green. "I thought they weren't going to make it. It felt very helpless. It was like no one knew what was happening." However, Evergreen's crew managed to tell Magic they would relay a mayday to another yacht, the maxi Condor of Bermuda, to the British Navy, and Magic eventually made it to safety.  

The Canadian team finished the Admiral's Cup 18th of 19 teams, and Evergreen finished a lowly 55th in the individual standings (in the 57 boat fleet).