The design of Stormvogel was the result of an unusually close collaboration with her owner, Kess Bruynzeel of Bruynzeel Plywood, E. G. Van de Stadt, Laurent Giles and John Illingworth.
Kess Bruynzeel was mainly interested in speed, boat for boat, to be first across the line, to achieve line honours, that was his goal. His experience with Van de Stadt designs, in 1949 Zeevalk, a 12.5 meter offshore racer, and in 1956, Zeeslang, a 9 meter radical light weight racer convinced him that light displacement was the key if you wanted to be first boat home. Both yachts were hard chine construction, built of Bruynzeel plywood, and had a spade rudder and attached fin keel. In 1959 he decided to apply this to the biggest possible yacht that was allowed to enter races, a boat with a 70 foot rating, and a length of approximately 23 meters, better known today as a Maxi. The yacht had to be as fast as possible, but it also had to be safe and easy to handle in all conditions, because it would be used as a charter vessel in between regattas.
Celebrating his 60th birthday, Bruynzeel asked Van de Stadt to design the boat and make all the construction plans. However, the Van de Stadt Zaandam drawing office was very busy towards the end of 1959 so Bruynzeel subsequently turned to Olin Stephens, but Stephens did not dare risk his reputation as a designer with a project that he felt involved a considerable risk.
Bruynzeel then asked the English designer Laurent Giles, who had experience with building large, lightweight stringer construction wooden hulls to come up with a design. While Giles was still working on a preliminary design, Bruynzeel by chance meet John Illingworth, a man who loved to experiment and Bruynzeel could not deny him the opportunity to put his vision down on paper. Bruynzeel was thus given two widely differing designs, making it difficult for him to choose. He asked Van de Stadt what his preference was, but he appeared not to be very enthusiastic about either plan, so during the following weekend Van de Stadt developed a preliminary design including lines. Bruynzeel subsequently had models of the three preliminary designs tested in the towing tank of the University of Southampton. The tests showed the Van de Stadt round bilge design had by far the best characteristics. The Van de Stadt Zaandam office, however had absolutely no time available to develop the plan in great detail. It was therefore agreed that Van de Stadt would design the hull, the keel and the rudder, and Giles would take care of the construction plans and overall construction, Illingworth would work out the rig plan.
The project became even more complicated when no suitable shipyard could be found to build such a yacht. Bruynzeel then decided to have the yacht built by his own company, Lamtico, in Stellenbosch, South Africa, where he had moved by then. Despite the complicated start-up phase, the actual building process went smoothly. In the circumstances it was of the greatest help to the project to have an owner of such great experience and knowledge, and much of the design of the yacht reflects his own ideas and views. Much credit also reflects on the personnel charged with the building of Stormvogel at Table Bay, South Africa. To build such a vessel and launch her on time in a yard unaccustomed to large yacht construction was indeed a great achievement.
After the briefest of trials off Cape Town, Stormvogel sailed for England on the 3rd May, 1961 with a ships company of fourteen. She called at Ascension Island and the Azores and arrived at Dartmouth, England, on the 22nd June. In spite of predominately light winds, the 7,660 mile voyage was completed in a good time averaging a speed of 7.6 knots. Her high basic speed was proved time and time again, particularly by her records in the Fastnet and Dinard races.
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2008
Van de Stadt
|Rolex Middle Sea Race 2008||Rolex Middle Sea Race||IRC||Class 2|
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