It was along time ago but I probably met Derek about the time he started sailing Merlin Rockets. His first boat (I think) was no. 778 'Chopsticks', she was beautiful rolled deck Merlin Rocket built by Jack Holt at Putney on the tidal Thames. Derek was a good dinghy sailor.
Somewhere I may have some photograph, if I have I'll scan some and send them to you.
Derek was an only child brought up by his mum and dad in a pub in NW London which we all knew pretty well. I believe they also had an urban farm with pigs.
At Merlin Rocket Championship venues like Torquay the sailors from Minima Yacht Club and elsewhere usually led by Derek were pretty naughty. Mention white hats to Derek and The Golden Hind and the Imperial Hotel. Nowadays I think we'd be called hooligans!
Derek did his National Service in the army and was commisioned. In the evenings after sailing young Merlin Rocket sailors from all around would congregate at Minima Yacht Club on the the Thames at Kingston on Thames. Minima Y.C. was in a shed and lacked the facilities other nearby clubs. but it was very popular. There was no men's toilet so what do men do? Derek will tell you.
One Sunday Derek turned up with pockets full of powerful wizz bangs (I've forgotten what they were actually called). He lit one and threw it in the river. The result was a huge bang and the bright under water lighning soon disappered. WOW do it again Derek, he did several times! I doubt wether many fish between Teddington and Surbiton survived
I have other things to do, if I think of anything else I'll let know.