Friday, September 25, 2009

'Voyage to America': Young Tiger, part two

This image was sent to me (Simon) on 13 March 2007 shortly after I had made a phone call and confirmed that I had finally traced the Westerly 22 designed by Denys Rayner in which I sailed across the Atlantic in 1965-66 with Sue Pulford

"We ran south across the Bay of Biscay in Young Tiger - a Westerly 22 - and made landfall on Cabo Ortegal and Los Aiguillones near Ortiguera, at dawn but the wind dropped leaving us riding these swells with little way, typical of the Bay where the long almost invisible swells of the deep Atlantic steepen over the shallower waters close to France and Spain creating, even in calm weather, the steeper seas that gives Biscay its bad reputation with ferry passengers. A small boat like this rides them easily but in a large vessel you can imagine the uncomfortable rolling and pitching they cause."

Landfall on Barbados - 5 January 1966. In the log from which I oil sketched this scene, I wrote: "Clouds collected during the night, obscuring the bright moon, and at dawn it was blowing hard with rain everywhere and haze ahead. We stared ahead until our eyes ached. Suddenly a break in the cloud let through a sunbeam which shone on the land about 10 miles off - green and incredibly exciting. Through the morning the weather cleared as we ran fast down the south coast of the island, staring at the little houses and the distant palm trees bent one way by the constant wind." (5 January 1966)

This was taken by me in January 1966 in Admiralty Bay, Bequia, British West Indies, part of the independent country of St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The boat is a 22 foot gunter rigged GRP sloop with fin keels (that's why she can be so close to shore) called 'Young Tiger'. She was sailed by me and Sue Pulford across the Atlantic from England.
Since being sold to George and Nancy Cochrane in 1966 'Young Tiger' has sailed on the eastern seaboard of the USA, been aground off Cape Hatteras, been sunk and raised. Now over 40 years old she rests on a trailer in Frederick, Maryland. Her owner, John Coyle, told Simon in March 2007 that he intends to take her north to Maine. Some recent images of Young Tiger are at:

Young Tiger's route to the America's

all photos courtesy Simon Baddelley

That's all Folks
Be sure to visit Simon's Flikr photostream, one of the most amazing I've seen. And don't miss Simon's Wikipedia entry on Denys Rayner.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Scottish Coastal Rowing Project: a great and portable idea!

The model of a Fair Isle skiff in the Scottish Fisheries Museum which inspired
the design of the St Ayles Skiff.

Prototype build by the crew at Jordan Boats
courtesy Alec Jordan

Prototype build by the crew at Jordan Boats
courtesy Alec Jordan

Prototype build by the crew at Jordan Boats
courtesy Alec Jordan

Here is a wonderful project spearheaded by the Scottish Fisheries Museum in collaboration with Alec Jordan of Jordan Boats and Iain Oughtred. Nominally the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project, the idea is to involve communities in building this boat, a traditional design updated for modern construction techniques by Iain, with an eye to competitive rowing events. Jordan Boats is supplying the boats in kit form with the goal of making the build an achievable project for amateur building. The boat chosen is the St. Ayles Skiff and as you can see, is quite elegant. Alec Jordan, a longtime provider of kits for Iain Oughtred designs, states that he feels that with this design, Iain has outdone himself, again. I think it's a great concept, and can see it being utilized by coastal communities worldwide, either adopting this design or substituting local historic craft, say a dory for New England groups or an outrigger canoe in Micronesia. My correspondence with Alec Jordan indicates that he is willing to craft kits for amateur construction for any designs submitted to him, copyright permitting. He would of course review all proposals. Seems to me a hungry idea, one which could lead to interaction and competition not just locally but on a global scale. Mr. Jordan estimates that the cost for the St Ayles is expected to fall somewhere around $4500., significantly less than many of the boats currently embraced by rowing enthusiats, bringing the funding possibilities to a wider range of groups. Interested parties can contact me directly or Alec Jordan via his website. Click the top two images for the brochure and full prospectus PDF's.

I would like to add as a postscript that in a telephone conversation with Alec Jordan today he expressed he is not a boat designer and only designs and plans submitted or approved by a registered Naval Architect would receive consideration for the constructing of kits. Understandable. He also stressed that for the Scot's program only boats built in wood ie: ply or larch would qualify. No GRP, or as we say over here, fiberglass. OK? I think this should become the two firm parameters for any groups worldwide who would like to join this iniative.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

'Voyage to America': Young Tiger, part one

Simon's Stepfather, Jack Hargreaves, aboard Young Tiger

Young Tiger leaving for the Americas

Simon Baddeley steering Young Tiger

all photos and text courtesy Simon Baddeley

Simon Baddeley counts the originator of Westerly Yachts, Cmdr. Denys Rayner, as a family friend and his sailing mentor. His stepfather was Jack Hargreaves, an English broadcast celebrity and also a friend of Cmdr. Rayner. Over the cusp of 1965-1966, Simon and his crew Sue Pulford cruised Young Tiger, one of the early Westerly 22's, to Barbados and then Miami from Lymington, UK. This is the record of the voyage, as published in the Royal Cruising Club's 1966 cruising journal. Part one. This was, I believe, the first Atlantic crossing of the newly minted 22' twin keel yacht which was the opening song of the great opus which was Westerly. Simon has very generously shared this record with us, as well as many photographs. He blogs today at Democracy Street. You will need to click the text in order to read it. I have posted the original (albeit photocopied) text to keep the texture of the original publication.

footnote: from the RCC Journal contents page, (This is the cruise for which the Royal Cruising Club Challenge Cup was awarded)
To which I'd like to add my own hearty well done! to Sue and Simon.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

MiniTransat 2009

2007 route

Painting the hull of 724, Chris Tutmark's boat

Ever wondered what the guts of a Mini look like? 724's interior looking at the bilge pump and the autopilot pump through the stern hatch.

Almost ready


Reality is Jesse's boat

Racing in France

Bottom work


all photos courtesy Chris and Jesse

Next Sunday, September 13th, sees the launch of the 2009 Mini Transat. For those of you not familiar with this event, it's a singlehanded bash across the Atlantic from France to Brazil in diminutive 21' high tech racing craft known as the Mini 650(for 6.5 m). First held in 1977, the race was conceived by an Englishman but is administered and dominated by the French and is considered to be one of the most physically and mentally challenging sailing events ever. I was first atracted to the class because I find these high tech little monsters beautiful in their own way, and now marvel at the development of the class and the stamina and seamanship needed to complete this race.
Following the success of Clay Burkhalter in 2007 (he placed 12th. which is considered excellent for an American), two American sailors will be testing themselves in Sunday's event.

Chris Tutmark
, 42, and Jesse Rowse, 24, will both be competing in this event for the first time. They both would like to better Clay's 2007 finish. Both have a subsidiary blog, Chris with Sailing Anarchy and Jesse with Sail Magazine. Both are seasoned racers although neither has ever sailed across the Atlantic. 70.8% wishes them both godspeed and bon chance in this herculean effort. It takes a tremendous amount of work just to get to the point of starting the race, with the job of lining up sponsors, etc. and a minimum of 1000 miles solo at sea to qualify. It's quite a distinction. It is also, historically, a springboard to success as a professional sailor: witness EllenMacArthur et al. Unlike my other favorite transatlantic 'race' the Jester Challenge, this is a fiercely competitive event. The man who conceived the race, Bob Salmon, did so out of motivation similar to that of the creators of the Jester.
I'll be rooting for both American entries!