1975 - and all that

19/12/2012 11:04:37
David Henshall
Has anyone got a copy of the Y&Y (or Y&BW) nationals report from 1975. It was Weymouth, wind was all over the place, harry Haynes won it from jerry Rook sailing in ASP.

If anyone has 'copy' that they can scan and email (or photocopy and post) then this would be a great help.

Many thanks and seasons greetings


19/12/2012 13:57:46
Robert Harris
Good afternoon David

Although I didn't sail in that Championship I remember it well because I went to Weymouth for the last day to watch my brother John win his first Championship. He didn't of course!

Harry Haynes was winning the Silver Tiller but John and David Wooton in 'Tobacco Road' no. 2926 were undoubtedly sailing faster than anyone else at Weymouth that year. They had been over the line on the first day but had subsequently sailed so well that providing they finished in the first 16 in Friday's final race they could not be beaten

I went out to watch the race in the press launch with Tony Fairchild of the Daily Telegraph and John Nichols of The Times, we had daily reports in some broadsheet newspapers in those days.

We had stationed ourselves about 100 yards from the large committee boat and somewhat ahead of it so it didn't obscure the line. There must have been a general recall, maybe more than one because a minute rule was signalled - like today's black but for the last minute only. Maybe 30 seconds before the start we briefly saw 'Tobacco Road' pop out clearly ahead of other boats and then pop back into the crowd. As we were not on the line we could not be certain John was over the line so we asked the PRO boat who confirmed that he had been over. They crossed the line 3rd but received no gun.

John had a reputation for making good starts but also a reputation for blowing it sometimes, this was his second time in one week! There was a rumour that Harry had pushed him over the line which he had every right to do, John should never have been anywhere near Harry.

John still has deep regrets about that disastrous day and my heart was beating fast just writing about it!

19/12/2012 15:16:19
David Henshall
Hi Robert...they must have been going well as they ended the year 3rd in the Tiller!
Thank you very much for the details, have you any more despatches from "our special correspondent"?

Cheers and seasons greetings


21/12/2012 17:25:00
Big Buttercup
"a minute rule was signalled - like today's black but for the last minute only"

Today's black flag IS for the last minute only

21/12/2012 21:05:30
Martin Watts
I cannot help on the original request but this was certainly a pivotal year for the Merlin class. Guy Winder had made his own boat, 2778 Wide Guy, just over a year earlier and at this champs his first professional boat was sailed by Mike Greenhalgh and Pat Gwalter and they did rather well in some races. I wonder what came of Guy?

21/12/2012 22:23:14
David Henshall
In terms of pivotal years, research so far shows it to be 1972/3. It was all happening, with new designs from Gregory (Echo), Phil M, Keith Callaghan, Chris Howarth and others. Mike Mac went solo with X sails, mains went full length top batten. The price limit was abolished, 4 plank designs were considered, tried and rejected. At the Nationals, the stats say it all; the 159 boat fleet was made up of 34 different designs from 32 builders - of which 16 were home builders. Phil Morrison designs accounted for 44 boats, Greg Gregory 32 and Keith Callaghan 25. Rowsells built 43, Hoare 24, Aln 21, Anderson, Rigden and Perkins 20.

But set against this is the darker side of the class (which is still every bit a part of the story).... 11 General Recalls in a day and a light airs Inland Championships that was marred by some flagrant rule breaking - not just what today would be called Rule 42, but boat on boat instances that didn't see any protests nor retirements. The story still has a long way to go, (and yes, Guy Winder is on my list of planned interviews.... I'll do a extended 'swing' through the North getting the view from there). Next on the list of interviews are Jon Turner and Richard Parslow......that make may for some interesting editing. D

05/01/2013 10:36:41
David Henshall
The core of Chapter 3 is close to complete but I'm still lacking some more detail on the 1975 season. Were you sailing back then? (It's only 38 years ago - there are a number of you out there who were there back then!)

If you have any recollections of that season - the Nationals at Weymouth, Inlands at Draycote... any of the 'big' ST events, salcombe even(spud won that for the 1st time) then please can you assist..

The key thing is that the information isn't just for detail on the page, but also as a help for when i head out to do interviews - if you have half of the story already, it makes the interview all the more effective.

Many thanks for any help someone out there can give!



04/06/2013 10:25:52
Barry Dunning
Message for Dougal. Warren and Dunning ready for interview. Please call to arrange. 07798 582 991

04/06/2013 18:21:18
Tim B
A guy I sail with in the 20 strong Swallow fleet at Itchenor SC, has some interesting things to say about the Chris Howarth's "T-Rex" design he was racing that season and at the windy Nationals in Weymouth. 
Mind you there's a whole host of Merlin/lark/National 12 history in the fleet now with Harry and Pru Roome, Will Henderson.Mike Wigmore and now Will Rainey..
Tim B

04/06/2013 19:00:04
David Henshall
Dunning and Warren...... I think I can squeeze in a line or two about you in the book! Barry, joking aside, I'll call and am looking forward to the interview, even if it does test my skills in 'editing' terms! Can you start thinking about what you'd like to say - you'll both have to remember to be nice to the interviewer!

Tim B... Chris Howarth - he of not only the 't-rex' design but also the Brontesaurus Rex that pre-dated it will indeed be a contributor - the lines of his boats are already being digitised and I hope at least one of them will feature in the book!
Meanwhile, was on the phone 'picking the brains' of both Will R and Pete Richards - who still has Stiletto! Lots more to come...will need a bigger book¬!

10/06/2013 17:34:05
Andrew Wilson
Yes, I've got the YandY report of the 1975 nationals - and also a sheet showing the overall positions (1st to 178th). It was a very high scoring week - Harry Haynes won it with a score of 51.75 (best 5 of 6 races counting). I was sailing a Phantom Kipper and came 8th despite only getting one result above 18th ...... anyway please send email and I'll send you scanned copies.

03/07/2013 10:20:02
David Henshall

I've been trying to call you on the Mobile Number you posted, 07798 582991, but am told that this does not exist! Can you let me know how to reach you and we can set this up?



03/07/2013 10:37:15
David Henshall
Just have to add an update to this posting - anytime 'soon' I'll be talking with Harry direct, so the story of 1975 (and all that)will finally be documented!


04/07/2013 09:48:27
Robert Harris
Hi David. Perhaps you should also talk to my brother John but please don't make him cry!

04/07/2013 13:10:03
David Henshall
as one of the early 'prime movers' of this project, if you set it up, I'll do the interview with care and interest. Have you heard that I'm now being queued in with Harry Haynes too!

as always, any help, the simple answer is 'yes please'


08/07/2013 10:53:43
Barry Dunning
Don't know where you got that number from.
Mobile has always been 00 44 7836 702955

08/07/2013 12:08:08
David Henshall
Barry...you sent it to me, in your last posting on the subject! But I'll call you now anyway...thanks, Dougal

08/07/2013 15:46:28
Robert Harris

Sorry for the delay, I've been sailing a flotilla yacht in the Greek islands for a couple of weeks.

I will be at Salcombe for a few days next week, John will be there so that's probably the best time to talk to him. All these years later it still upsets him to talk about it so I can't promise he'll agree.


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