I started sailing in a Cadet in 1951, progressing to a GP14, which I raced for a time and then started cruising. 8 weeks in the West of Scotland after the Midnight race to the Isle of Man (in a 1908 Albert Strange yawl) gave me a lot of fun and experience before going to university. Crossing the Irish Sea in an 18 foot gaff sloop was an adventure- of which Father disapproved, it was his boat.
On leaving university I joined the Royal Naval Reserve and gained experience in practical marine engineering and seamanship. I bought a 470, which I sailed for 40 years and sold in 2014.
More cruising over the years, in which Gillie participated happily (well, mostly) and the odd bit of racing. Ferry trips for our friends were good fun and sometimes hard work. At some point acquired a Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate from Her Majesty and a Yachtmaster (Offshore).
The sailing continued, with various light hearted attempts at Cowes Week.
After an interesting couple of years with a Cork 1720 (26 foot racer), I looked around for a retirement project. I found it and had to sell the 1720.
My early sailing was in dinghies on the river Cam and North Norfolk coast. I worked at RORC during an Admiral’s Cup year. Bigger boat sailing was off the west coast of Scotland, southern Ireland and Anglesey, beautiful scenery and lovely people but generally cold and wet, hence my preference for more southerly areas.
Gillie and Mike Tomkinson