The rebirth of a myth called Resolute Salmon


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WestLiguria Championship 2016/2017

The boat we tell you about in these lines has a history rooted in an iconic period of sailing and offshore racing. If the name Resolute Salmon rings a bell, it will mean that you are a fan of IOR boats from the mythical period of the 1970s-80s. The Resolute’s recent history tells us of its restoration and return to the water on the initiative of Gina Zaoli, her sailmaker brother Beppe and his sons, co-owner Valter Pizzoli and a group of friends, but let’s rewind the tape to tell you about its winning from the beginning.

In the 1970s-80s, actually long before that, they ran a regatta called the One Ton Cup, which in the level class period was among the busiest events, a true world championship dedicated to the 11-meter bracket (then the size grew from the mid-1980s). By the second half of the 1970s the names of Bruce Farr, Doug Peterson, and Olin Stephens were on the rise, but they were not the only brilliant performers of that very prolific period.

Resolute Salmon boats
WestLiguria Championship 2016/2017

An innovative designer was also Britton Chance Jr, later a major player in the America’s Cup, who at the 1976 One Ton Cup in Marseilles presented, under an American flag for an Italian owner, a revolutionary boat-it was indeed Resolute Salmon. The special feature was that it had a retractable drift, which was raised at carrying gaits. An unusual configuration: the less ballast that could be applied to the appendage was compensated for by lead slabs on the interior floor and with a very heavy engine in a central position to lower the center of gravity.

Overall, the boat, built in strip planking (a special construction that combined wood, often Red Cedar from Lebanon, with epoxy resin) was heavier than some Farr designs, but had less hydrodynamic resistance that made it extremely fast in light breezes or wave conditions and not too much wind, although unstable and difficult to steer in strong winds. Dominating in the little wind and defending itself in the trials with strong breeze, the Resolute Salmon won the 1976 One Ton Cup but also due to later rule changes quickly went out of fashion, did not defend the title in ’77, and disappeared from the radar of international regattas for a while.

Resolute SalmonResolute Salmon
Cozzi Trophy 2017 YCSanremo YCAregai

In the 2000s the boat was in the possession of an Italian owner, who continued to race her at IOR rallies, but recent history sees her “parked” outdoors at a boatyard near Trieste. Two great IOR boat enthusiasts like Gina and Beppe Zaoli have been following its trail for the past few years and bought it with Valter Pizzoli. Gina Zaoli is in charge of its restoration, to bring it back to life and, of course, to race it again in circuits dedicated to classic boats and beyond. In 2016 Resolute Salmon, pulled together and with her original moving dinghy, returned to the water showing her skills again in the Ligurian breezes, immediately hitting important results such as winning the 2018 Vele d’Epoca d’Imperia in her category.



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