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Dave Christensen was recently featured as "Sailor of the week" by the well known organisation "US Sailor", well done Dave!
This design has one of those histories that sound like a lot of fun, the designer, Clark Mills, is said to have done the design drawing on a scrap of paper. This was around 58 years back and he lived until just last year, to see his single design out sell all the other dinghy classes combined. He also gave his design to the world and never charged a design fee, allowing what was to become a world wide Optimist Association to run and control the class.
Living here at the end of a rather unstable continent always brings those stories that seem to be special,this one needs some understanding from the point the when Frelimo took over power in Mozambique, after years of trying. They turned what was a once vibrant country into one that had nothing. It was posted amongst the worlds poorest countries at one time. The sad thing was that people like Barry Johnston (who I know) and many many others like him, had holiday homes on the coast in Mozambique. Nothing fancy, just simple beach houses with basic stuff in them. Beach bars run out of a 20ft container that really was a large fridge full of beers in front of which was the bar and its owner. Normally from SA or Rhodesia and able to offer a service and support he locals.
A decade back, Neil Rusch, the then editor to 'SA Yachting’, a long running South African sailing magazine, asked if I would draft a story on how I thought yachts became the expensive things they tend to be. The story was written and duly published and I would like to think it might have given a bit of 'food for thought' to any one who may have had the time to read it. It was titled ' Yachts Are Not Expensive, We Make Them So'
From time to time we are asked make masts, spinnker poles and the like. Our largest spar set to date was for an Italian Schooner that hit trouble when en route to Cape Town along Africas East Coast. The yacht was some 70 feet long and in a heavy Carvel Planked timber construction, so quite a large boat.
With the recent launch of a new open decked ‘Flicka 20’ in Hout Bay Harbour, Cape Town, South Africa, a new chapter in this tiny pocket cruiser's long history has just begun.The boat is named ‘Godspell’. It has an important roll to play in the local community and because of this the boat was partly Catholic Church funded. Peter and his son, who thought up the idea spent some fourteen months in her creation. To a standard so high and full of tiny details that have you staring at the boat for a long time, trying to take it all in!
This story starts in 1934 and in Sweden. A young Yacht Designer, Knud Reimers, then only around twenty six years old had just designed what was termed a Cruiser Racer and at just 27 feet long was neither too small or too large, at a pinch it will sleep four persons.
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