The show goes on...
Wed, 10 Mar 10 17:48
Hello to everyone... after a lengthy absence from these pages.
We have been very busy over the past few months. The build of the next boat is well underway. A long delay in getting all the composite material meant that we spent all our time building all the female moulds in anticipation for when the carbon did arrive. Now that it has... it's a case of 'pick a mould, any mould'.
MIX THIS STUFF WITH THESE PEOPLE AND LET'S SEE WHAT HAPPENS!
Now we will build things as quick as the drawings can come off the designers table.
We have already begun building real components that will be going down the course.
The news of Bernard Smiths passing was quite upsetting to us. I felt it was the least I could do to fly over to Florida and go to his memorial service. Meeting his wife May, daughterand step children was a wondeful experience. I guess I wanted to show them how the spark of genius from this brilliant mind had affected other people and started little fires of innovation and adventure all over the world that are set to continue well after his passing.
The family were wonderful and the time I spent with them was special. To sit in Bernard' office and look at all his work before me was quite surreal.
OUTSIDE BERNARD SMITHS HOUSE IN FLORIDA WITH STEP-SON ERIC, PAUL, BERNARDS WIFE MAY, STEP-SON EVAN AND DAUGHTER IDA.
Later Evan dug out some video tapes of Bernard sailing some of his boats and models way back in the 60's and 70's. There were his models flying along the ponds just like ours do now. It was just fantastic to see his take on things. Some of the aspects of our new boat are already there on his 40 year old boats. Actually, in many respects, very little has changed when you cut it down to the basics.
Hopefully we will have the opportunity to share some more of Bernards work with you as the project unfolds. All his work is in good hands and will be archived as it should.
Last weekend we got to take VESTAS SAILROCKET to the RYA VOLVO dinghy show in Alexandra Palace where she was put in the main foyer for all to see.
At first I was a little reluctant about doing this as I knew she was so beaten up... but in the end when I couldn't bring myself to re-varnish her... I realised that the fact she was so beaten up was the actual story. It was what people needed to see to appreciate her and the journey she had been on.
The fact is that this project has mostly gone to the people through the media. Not many people have actually laid eyes on the fully assembled boat in her fastest form. Whether they be the public, sponsors or even designers... the boat had come to them through Youtube videos, magazine articles or this here website. To actually see it in the flesh was the missing connection.
The whole experience made me quite reflective. Around 8 years ago, Malcolm and I first walked around boat shows like that looking for support armed with only a dream. Now, here we were at the other end of the story. The journey has been brilliant and offered all the thrills and spills we could have imagined. It was worth it and we thank everyone who helped us along the way.
All along in Namibia, we told Hiskia that oneday we would put this boat on display in London and he would be there to see it. Once we knew we were going to go to the RYA VOLVO dinghy show... we called Hiskia up and flew him over. It was great for him to see the boat outside of Namibia and realise who was watching all the action back here in the UK. I suppose it all makes a bit more sense to him now. It's a long way from where I first met Hiskia working as an ATM security guard three years ago. He has been with us all the way and become an integral part of the team.
HISKIA WITH VESTAS SAILROCKET IN LONDON... A LONG WAY FROM THE LAWNS OF THE WALVIS BAY YACHT CLUB.
So many people had never actually seen the boat before them. I include our biggest sponsors and even some of our design team in that group. The boat had a different effect on all who saw her. Some thought she was big, some small. Some people could imagine themselves sitting in there... others thought I was mad.
I still think she is thing of elegant beauty... despite her misgivings and hard earned scars.
I wonder where she will come out next. The fact is she is a doddle to put together and is all ready to go out and punch out 50 knot runs at the drop of a hat. With a few little mods to the foils she could more than likely beat the existing record. I think we will just keep her that way for now. Our focus however, is on the next version.
Whilst up in London, I got the chance to go and check out some of the reservoirs around London as possible development/record venues. They were better than I was expecting. I will look into them further as it would be great to take speed sailing to the people.