Friday 12 September 2014


Burseldon Blogger was at Dell Quay recently and spotted a rare sight - a schooner-rigged dinghy - and posted some pictures.
But the event was even rarer than he supposed. That is me actually sailing.
The boat is Ever Hopeful, designed by Conrad Natzio and built by her owner and, in these pictures, jib man Wayne Oliver. His mate Marcus has the foresail sheet.
Wayne and Marcus come down every year to the Dinghy Cruising Association's camping week at Cobnor, and it has been interesting to see how the boat has evolved. She started out as a yawl but was terribly slow, so she has now been rerigged as a schooner and is faster, though she is unlikely to win many speed trials (although her downwind performance is surprisingly good).
Graham at Port-na-Storm went out with them one day this year. He beautifully describes Wayne's ultra-relaxed skippering style, and the 'Fletcher Christian moment' when he took command.
Well, I am sorry to say that I had no such moment. I took hold of the tiller the second I got in the boat and kept a'holt of 'er for the entire day. It was great. The sun was out but not too hot, there was a nice steady breeze most of the time and Ever Hopeful's flat bottom and nicely flared sides are supremely comfortable for a lazy sailor.
The only depressing thing was watching Graham disappear into the sunset in his Coot as we had to put in yet another tack before we could exploit the nice long reach down Itchenor channel.
So thanks Wayne and Marcus for a great day and sorry about the martinet behaviour. I'm already looking forward to next year. And thanks to Max at Burseldon for sending the pics.

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