Retro… 1978 World Quarter Ton Championship

Mer IOR-retro (pdf). Är det verkligen 40 år sedan?

Tack till Pelle Pedersen som sparat dessa kulturskatter :-)

How do you like sailing modern quarter tanners?

They’re fine, although definitely not “family cruisers”. I should add that above 35 knots of wind, the only way I care to sail a quarter tanner is upwind. One has the working jib reefed and trimmed outboard, the main reefed three times, the traveller six inches from the leeward rail, the crew is harnessed to the weather rail. Spray is horizontal so vision upwind is impossible, and the helmsman’s only concern is keeping the spreaders out of the water in lifting puffs and avoiding accidental tacks in the headers.

This is tranquility compared to the alternative, sailing downwind. Downwind in 35 plus knots of wind with the chute up, planing at 10-14 knots for minutes at a time with waves break ing all around, one overtakes the waves ahead. Imagine what happens as one overtakes a wave but doesn’t pick a smooth path over it – bumps into it, so to speak. There is a thump, the boatspeed drops from 14 knots to 5, the apparent wind increases 7 knots because of this, and the boat gets a little sideways at the same time. There is an immediate uncontrolled broach, but with luck one only loses a few hundred yards to the competition, gets soaked with seawater, and gets only a little more scared. The unlucky boats tear spinnakers, lose masts, drag crew through the water at the end of their harnesses like shark bait, and bend or break their rudders off.

Downwind is terrifying.