International One Design Mast
Published: Friday, 3rd December 2004
Collars to make new 45ft wooden mast for 1930’s International One Design
Wooden spar manufacturer Collars have received an order to build a new mast for s/y “APHROS”, one of the first of the classic International One Design racing sloops of the 1930’s.
The IOD class is still very much alive and thriving today. There are ten active racing fleets worldwide. Furthermore, the IOD is the chosen yacht for sixteen of the world's top match racing skippers to compete for the famous King Edward VII Gold Cup in Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda, next year. This event is one of the eight rounds in the 2005 Swedish Match Tour and recognised as the oldest trophy awarded in match racing anywhere in the world.
The International One Design class has a fascinating history. The idea of this elegant and sleek looking yacht was originally conceived in the mid 1930's, by racers from the US Western Long Island Sound. These enthusiastic yachtsmen mainly sailed the "Interclubs" fleet of the time. With the best of these yachtsmen, progressing further into Six Meter class racing.
Somewhat disillusioned with the extravagant cost of Six Meter yacht racing and the relatively unfair advantage of "cheque book" sailing. It was one Cornelius Shield who initiated the idea and design for a strict one design class, based quite closely upon the design of the existing Six Meter class yachts, yet easier to handle.
Having secured the support of his fellow racers in the principal for completely fair competition, in boats of strictly equal design and of manageable costs. An initial order of 25 yachts was placed with the highly reputable boat builder, Bjarne Aas of Fredrikstad, Norway. The first of the new fleet was shipped to New York in the middle of 1936, and so began the history of the IOD.
Yacht "APHROS" is owned by Mr.Bruce Harrison and with sail number 15 is clearly one of the earliest made boats. IOD yachts are 33ft LOA, with 21ft 5inches waterline length and beam 6ft 9inches. They have an extremely powerful rig, carrying 426sq.ft of sail, representing only 50sq.ft less sail area than a Six Meter class.
Having sailed Finns and Flying Dutchman in the past and regarding GRP boats as largely 'soul-less'. Owner Bruce Harrison was well placed to take over ownership of "APHROS" from a close friend, due to illness.
Mr.Harrison had considered an aluminium mast, before turning to Collars for a new wooden replacement. After further thought is was deemed proper and correct to maintain "APHROS" in as original condition as possible. Furthermore, the cost differential between aluminium and wooden masts and spars is often never as wide as the perception might have you think.