Design number: 38 Year: 1982
For any racing yacht designer the Admirals Cup represented a huge milestone, and it is to Larry and Debby Wooddell that gratitude must be expressed for creating that first, all-important opportunity. For Jade was the first Humphreys design to be built to this level.
Jade, built by Neville Hutton in Lymington, was inspired by Roller Skate. Larry and Debby had been racing their She 36 Chevalier in the same class as Roller Skate, and had been impressed by her. Some IOR rating help for Chevalier furthered Humphreys’ case and the decision was made to go for the Admirals’ Cup. Although Humphreys had carried out a huge amount of rating consultancy work for a number of eminent Admirals’ Cup owners, it is never quite the same as the complete design responsibility. For obvious reasons the whole package, including the boat in fact, was green. For the Wooddells it was a jump in experience, as of course it was for Humphreys, Hutton and just about everyone else involved.
Jade did not in fact make the British Admirals’ Cup team, but she did come extremely close and was a natural choice for the British Southern Cross team the following winter.
For all participants the Jade experience was exciting and extremely useful, with seeds sown that were to blossom in a big way two years later.
Jade herself was sold to Peter de Ridder and became Mean Machine, first in a line of Admirals’ Cup yachts for the Dutch sailor.