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The Mother of All Sports Boats Sitting inside an industrial unit in Rushmere Close, West Mersea, Essex, UK is a remarkable piece of yachting history. It is the first keelboat in the world ever designed to plane. She is Zest, Yachting World Diamond No.1, the oldest sister of my beloved Black Diamond (No.44), a class that has an interesting social history. In the ‘You’ve never had it so good’ era of Macmillan’s post-war boom, after the austerity of the aftermath of WW2, Yachting World decided to try and break the perceived elitism surrounding yachting and create a stitch-and-glue plywood yacht, capable of being home-built (and funded) by the capable D-I-Y enthusiast that came to prominence in the late 1950s. Due to the success of his Mirror Dinghy, designer Jack Holt was commissioned to draw the new design, then called the Yachting World Keelboat, a name that was to be changed to Diamond in 1967. The rest of the story is best told in the article in the next posts, from Yachting World in January 1961 – I first saw Zest over a decade ago, in a shed in South Holland, where she had been for twenty years, owned by Bob and Val Provoost. I was contacted by Val last summer, who explained they were selling up and it was time to pass the torch, and I was to be the new custodian of this iconic boat. Fortunately, she came on a purpose-built launching trolley/road trailer combo, by RM Trailers, so all we had to do was drive over in the works Transit van and hook up. Coming back through Calais caused a lot of attention from the border forces, keen to look inside for stowaways, but otherwise, she towed like a dream, and fitted neatly into our small warehouse unit.