Greg Gregory

13/12/2013 18:53:15
Just picked up from Yachts and Yachting forum that Greg Gregory designer of the Ghost rider and Echo designs in the early 70s has died aged 79.
13/12/2013 20:05:51
David Child
Sad news, I remember seeing David Robinsons "Ghost Rider" fresh from Rowesells upside down in his shed and not believing it. It was a refreshing design that sadly really did not go anywhere. I think Greg worked for Proctors at that time too.

13/12/2013 22:05:46
Not sure that it is fair to call it a design that did not go anywhere ... Silver Ghost, Phantom Rider, Nyamani (sorry if I got the spelling wrong), Trespassers W all had their days in the sun, but were eclipsed by the arrival of Phil Morrison and Keith Callahan's designs.

14/12/2013 07:52:04
Not just Ghost Rider but the boats that followed - ending with the Echo (another very successful boat). I've got some of Greg's papers referring to his earlier design, the Ghost. As a 'lad' I remember watching these racing at Hamble River, they raced them in with the FD fleet (yes, they had class racing for FDs then). The Ghost, basically a 15ft Cherub, sported a 9ft spinnaker pole and a flat reaching kite and was way ahead of it's time.

An innovative designer and a great boat builder to in his own right.


14/12/2013 09:39:22
David Child
Perhaps others have been rather more generous I really meant that others stuck at it longer! I do not detract from his achievements.

17/12/2013 16:38:11
Keith Callaghan
Didn't go anywhere? Maybe you were right in one sense David: the radical Ghost Rider did not beget a new design trend. It was an amazing and intriguing one-off design. I remember sailing Harry Haines's Ghost Rider at Salcombe with young Kevin H: it felt very different to the 'usual' MR. But yes, it was highly successful in its day. Maybe if Greg had been an active participant in the Class himself he would have been spurred on to evolve the design further. The follow-on Echo was a disappointment to many at the time, though it later (too late) redeemed itself somewhat.
Greg's son-in-law reports that Greg suffered from Alzheimer's - a sad end for a gifted designer of Cherubs and Merlin Rockets, among others.

18/12/2013 08:46:07
There is so much more to the Greg Gregory story, innovation, first class boat building....rig developments and YES.....Greg could well be the man who gave us the asymmetric spinnaker! I'm already working with Pat to make sure that there is something for the next issue of the Mag, plus I've done an obituary for Yachting World.
Far from these comments being generous, it is more the case that he was one of the unsung heros of that era. Greg was pretty much 'on the mark' with his thinking; if there was an issue it was that he was thinking it 25 years before anyone else!

Pure Magic, 70 Years of the Merlin Rocket.

18/12/2013 11:26:26
Robert Harris
Francis Williams and Derek Sheffer beat many top rank sailors in their winning 'Ghost Rider' no. 2427 at Plymouth in 1971. 

During 1971 tickets were were sold for a raffle for boat no. 2500 to celebrate the 25th years of Merlin Rocket sailing. The winning ticket was drawn at the dinner dance by by chance Francis won the boat. He had another Ghost Rider built by Spud and called her 'Silver Ghost'.

21/12/2013 17:02:55
Rob Gregory
I have just discovered this topic, and it is nice to read the comments about my brother Greg. I sailed several of his designs and others that he built. These range from a Heron through Cherubs, GP14s, Ghost and FDs to a "ghost rider". Never having sailed any other merlins, I can't comment on the fact it was different to others, but it was definitely the nicest and most responsive boat of any I have sailed, requiring little effort to achieve a great performance. I only sailed merlins for one season in 1972, and wish I had discovered them sooner.  If any articles are published in the magazine, I should like to see a copy if this is possible. Perhaps someone could send me a copy. Rob

22/12/2013 12:10:30
I crewed and raced against Ghost Rider 2340 in the early 70's when Andy Holmes owned her. There was nothing comparable to the speed that boat had in light winds. Only if she had sea weed around the board could anyone catch her. The chopping sound she made going through the water was unique. A brilliant design and an inspiration.

02/01/2014 11:53:36
I've posted an Obituary for Greg on the Y&Y website but given the 'audience' there this is fairly general in it's content. Luckily, I'd already got plenty on the role Greg played with Ghost Rider (it's a lovely story with not a little humour woven in) for Pure Magic so will do a far more class specific one to appear in the Spring magazine.

For now though....

Regards and best wishes for 2014


08/01/2014 14:40:09
Derek Sheffer
Just spotted the Greg Gregory item in the forum by chance. Good to hear from Robert Harris. Just a minor amendment. The winning Silver Jubilee Draw ticket was won be me and was only bought on the night of the Draw! The prize was £500 and sail number 2500. Not quite enough for a new Spud Rowsell Merlin even at 1971 prices.The only honours Fra and I had with her were the Inland Champs in 1973 
at QM Reservoir

10/01/2014 11:30:24
Robert Harris
Hi Derek, delighted to hear from you.

I was there for the draw but you I can't be expected to remember all the details after more than 40 years!

10/01/2014 14:32:50
Hi Derek

Have emailed you at the address you get when you click on your 'link'! Can you see if the email reached you or got caught by your spam filters, if it did can you email me at [email protected]



10/01/2014 20:03:10
Chris M
Derek, you may be interested to know that 2427 is in the loft at our workshop awaiting the final stage of its restoration - its been waiting for two years but you can't hurry these things!!

10/01/2014 20:47:40
Chris....will the boat be ready for Blithfield next year (end of May)? Now you could 'make my day' with a picture or two of the boat and you know how I like transom shots. Make me a happy writer and you'll be surprised how I can show my gratitude (oops...still 14 minutes to go to the 9pm watershed!). See you then if not before,


10/01/2014 21:13:11
Chris M
I don't know really, i think May would be a bit optimistic but you never know. It's certainly on the radar for this year, although we did have a similar conversation around this time last year!

10/01/2014 21:19:17
Chris M
I don't know really, i think May would be a bit optimistic but you never know. It's certainly on the radar for this year, although we did have a similar conversation around this time last year!

I'll happily take a photo for you, interestingly we has 2427 and 2500 in at the same time just after we took 2427 in - the transoms are very different.

13/01/2014 08:02:19
dougal...that would be a great idea..may is feasible,i need to finish smart tart first!!


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