1985: The Germans Retain the Title

Excerpt from "The Admiral's Cup" by Bob Fisher

At right: Sweden's Carat, sailing close to the Gurnard shore with one mile to go before the finishing line. With a 40 foot rating, she was the largest boat in the Admiral's Cup fleet. Click for a larger picture.1985

There was a certain smile of satisfaction on his face as the words came from his lips. The German team manager had reason to be pleased. "My team is wunderbar," said Michael Iand. He was praising them and he was right. They had retained the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup in a comfortable manner, achieving this with a combination of skills. Not only were the Germans good sailors, they had stayed out of trouble throughout the series, a factor which was to prove the downfall of other teams who might otherwise have won the Cup.

The Germans arrived immaculately prepared. They presented themselves in Cowes as the Cup holders and also the holders of the previous year's Sardinia Cup, but not one of the boats which had won in Sardinia eleven months previously was in the team. Outstandingly, in a year when one-ton design dominated, Germany selected a 43 footer for their team. Diva, which was jointly owned by Freddy Dieckell and Peter Westphall-Langloh, scored heavily by the experience of her crew. Berend Beilken, who had been with almost every German team since they first won the Cup in 1973, skippered the boat, which was navigated by the tall Eric von Krause, the navigator of Outsider two years previously.

Another powerful combination was the crew of Outsider, owned by Tilmar Hansen whose previous boat of the same name had been one of the cup winning team in 1983. Star class silver medallist, Achim Griese, was the principal helmsman and Stephan Lenhert the navigator. Outsider was the clear winner of the German trials and showed too what she could do in the early races of the One Ton Cup, until she pulled out of that series as her crew had to return to work - they claimed, in Plymouth, to be a totally amateur crew. A 40 footer, Outsider rated 30.2.

Rubin, far from being a clone of Outsider, was a totally new 40 foot design by Judel and Vrolijk, for owner Hans-Otto Schumann. Hans-Otto, one of the most experienced German yachtsmen, has been a long-term exponent of tank testing and the latest Rubin was no exception. He added the expertise of aerospace designers to provide Rubin with a different keel shape - one which was radically modified as Rubin hit the underwater extension of the Plymouth breakwater at the end of the Fastnet Race. Rubin was steered by Michael Schmidt who had been responsible for the programme which built Dusselboot in 1981 and which became Outsider in 1983.


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