Oct 14, 2012, 1:34 PM
Post #1 of 8
Britton Chance Jr., lead designer for the successful 1987 and 1988 Stars & Stripes America's Cup campaigns, died October 12 at the age of 72 years.
EIGHT BELLS - Britton Chance Jr.
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Britt Chance grew up around boats - both sail and power - became seriously interested in yacht design at 15, trained in the sciences at the University of Rochester, worked at the towing tank at Stevens Institute, studied mathematics at Columbia University, worked for Ray Hunt and Ted Hood, and went on his own with Chance & Company in 1962.
Britt has a diverse design portfolio which ranges from racing shells to dinghies to multihulls, fast cruisers and offshore racers to power boats, including the high-tech Flarecraft, as well as Meter and America’s Cup boats. Indeed, Chance is closely identified with Cup design; Britt was a lead designer in both the ‘87 & ‘88 Stars & Stripes campaigns, played a leading role in the formulation of the IACC Class, and, in the ‘92 Defense, led the joint PACT/Boeing appendage research project for all US Syndicates.
Britt’s Shark Series racing shells have won Olympic and World Championship Medals, U23 Worlds, the IRA, NCAA, NEIRA, at Henley, HOCR, as well as Canadian Henley, Canadian University Championships and English Schoolboy Championships.
Britt’s sailboat designs have won numerous awards including: the America’s Cup three times, Olympic Gold and Silver Medals, the One Ton Cup, the Gold Cup, 5.5 Meter Worlds, the Astor Trophy, the NORC, PORC, CBYRA, LMYA, Boat of the Year in Chicago and Detroit, and also: North Sea, Kiel, Marseilles, Genoa, Larchmont, and Alassio Race Weeks, Semaine de Geneve, New York Yacht Club Cruise, and Off Soundings, and have attained at least class in SORC, Bermuda, Transpac, and Block Island Race Week. His boats have been selected for various Admirals’ Cup, Sardinia Cup, NYYC, and Onion Patch teams, and have held the course records for Ft. Lauderdale, Vineyard, Key West, and Capetown-Rio Races.
An active rower and sailor, with extensive dinghy, IOR, IMS and 5.5 & 12 Meter experience, Britt was alternate helmsman in the Olympics for the 5.5 Meter and Dragon Classes. He has crewed, or skippered, in major events including the America’s Cup Trials, One Ton Cup, Admiral’s Cup, 5.5 Meter Worlds, and offshore in the Bermuda, Fastnet, Middle Sea, and SORC Races. For a change of pace, he rows competitively.
Britt has taught engineering at Yale University as well as Wesleyan and Trinity Colleges and has taught Computer-Aided Naval Architecture at the Center for Creative Imaging. Britt has presented numerous papers to the Society of Naval Architects, the AIAA, the American Philosophical Society about his work. Britt also has consulted for the USOC Sports Science & Technology Committee regarding rowing technique/biomechanics and designed for the shell supplier to both US & Canadian National Rowing Teams and reported on this work at Joy of Sculling Conferences.
Born: June 12, 1940, Philadelphia, PA; single, daughter Tamsin, 30 years old; resides in Lyme, CT; President and Chief Naval Architect, Chance & Company, Inc., Lyme, CT since 1962. Hobbies: sailing, sculling, fly fishing, music, literature, art, and mathematics.