12 March 2013

Jade (Humphreys One Tonner)

Jade was a 40 foot One Tonner, and a very significant boat for English designer Rob Humphreys. Larry and Debby Wooddell had campaigned an earlier Jade (also a Humphreys design) for the 1983 Admiral's Cup but just missed selection for the English team. They committed to a really serious effort in 1985 and with a crew headed by David Howlett and steered by Rodney Pattisson, the Adrian Thompson-built boat showed huge potential from the outset. 
Jade during the 1985 One Ton Cup (photo Humphreys Yacht Design)
Jade picked up from where the 1984 One Ton Cup Phillipe Briand-designed winner Passion 2 had left off, combining relatively clean lines and low freeboard and as light a displacement as possible without incurring penalties. Humphreys explains on his website that he had designed Jade as an offshore boat, where sheets-cracked speed can be more important than ultimate upwind performance. Compared with the other new One Tonners, of which there were many in 1985, Jade time and again demonstrated her off-wind capability. The 1985 season was predominantly a windy one and in these conditions Jade was very hard to beat. The long race of the One Ton Cup, for example, was too windy for the committee boat to anchor and the race, won by Jade as was the series itself, was almost a rolling start.
Jade (bottom right) joins a queue for the committee boat end of one of the starts in the 1985 One Ton Cup
Jade rounds a windward mark during the 1985 One Ton Cup (photo Alan Sefton)

The crew of Jade try to patch the hole in the topsides near the end of the first race in the 1985 One Ton Cup
The series did not begin well for Jade, however, after she was hit on her port topsides by Irish yacht Alliance during a pile up at the second to last mark, with Jade sitting in 11th place. The crew were determined to continue and attempted to patch the 18" hole with adhesive tape and sail cloth, but the damage was too great and Jade was forced to retire.  
The temporary patch to Jade's topsides in the first race (photo Histoiredeshalfs website)

To add insult to injury, the race was won by the Dutch yacht The Way of Living, the original Jade from 1983.She was awarded 11th place points, but the real race was on for the boatbuilders and at 8am the following day the repair was still being faired.
Jade seen here during the build-up stage to the 1985 Admiral's Cup (photo Seahorse)


 
With their new One Ton champion, the Wooddell's secured themselves a place in the 1985 English Admiral's Cup team alongside other One Tonners Panda and Phoenix. Jade won the Channel Race in the Admirals’ Cup, revelling in the fresh downwind conditions, but then took a 20 percent penalty when she acknowledged an error against New Zealand team yacht Canterbury in the third inshore race.  She was well placed to repeat her Channel Race win in the Fastnet when a T-terminal failure caused the mast to come down - frustratingly this happened when the wind had moderated after a boisterous night at sea. Retirement from this high points race dropped Jade to 25th place overall, but the team finished second overall on the strength of Phoenix's top individual boat result. 




Six months after the Admirals’ Cup Jade went on to place first in Class 5 and second overall in the 1986 SORC. Jade was then sold to Frenchman Jean Pierre Dick and, renamed Centurion Musclor and with Laurent Delage helming, went on to win the 1987 French Admiral's Cup trials by a clear margin. She finished as 15th yacht overall, as the top boat in the eighth placed French team, and after surviving being T-boned by Humphreys' latest One Tonner Juno in the third inshore race. 

Jade, as Centurion Musclor and sailing for the French during the 1987 Admiral's Cup
Above and below - deck and cockpit of Centurion Musclor at the 1987 Admiral's Cup (photos Ian Watson)

View from the bow of Centurion Musclor - note the narrow cabin top and titanium staunchions
Centurion Musclor went on to compete in the One Ton Cup soon after the Admiral's Cup which was held in Kiel, Germany. She finished in 15th place, following a 12/16/18/27/13 series. The whereabouts of Jade/Centurion are presently unknown but it would be good to hear if she is still sailing.
Centurion Musclor (middle) seen here after the 1987 Fastnet Race (photo Shockwave40 blog)
Jade was followed by Juno in 1987, continuing Humphrey's theme of low freeboard and other dinghy style attributes.

1 comment:

  1. This could be Jade here http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=1014264235

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