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Old multihulls Video

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I can't follow correctly the directions on how to embed a video (or when I follow the instructions, they are wrong and I can't understand that either), but want to link to this great video I came across in Gary Pearce's Multihull Bar-


Shots of Cheers and Manureva (Pen Duick IV) among others. The courage of these people to cross oceans boggles the mind, and everything we enjoy today is built on their bravery.


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Golden Miller was quite a bit of kit, must have been a lot of lead in those keels to pull that stunt off.


Some of the early stuff looks pretty dodgy! some of it was clearly the shape of stuff to come.

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For anyone interested about old multis, here's some info about the boats in this great vid, from a book about the '68 OSTAR.


I think the skinny low-freeboard tri at 4.20-ish might be Bernard Waquet's self-designed "Tamoure", a 580kg 37' cutter. Waquet had great contempt for conventional boats, and claimed that he had "done more for yacht design in two years than your RORC has done in fifty". He paddled away in the calm at the start but then Waquet, who had said that there was "nothing to it" when it came to navigating across the Atlantic, soon retired because there was an airline pilot's strike and he had intended to navigate courtesy of the Air France jets overhead.


Around 3.48, after the vid of the wonderful Toria, comes the horrible Koala III, a production (!) 39' tri designed by B Waquet of Tamoure 'fame'. Skippered by Edith Baumann, first female skipper to enter. She fell apart after a couple of weeks.


Around 8m 35s is "Yaksha", a 49' tri designed by her owner/skipper, Joan de Kat of France. She was falling apart all the time and did so completely mid Atlantic after pulling in for repairs once.


In what was described as the largest (and probably most costly) rescue of a single civilian sailor to that time, de Kat became the subject of a search by four planes and at least four ships. Take into consideration the fact that the weather wasn't too good (wind a reasonable 20 knots but cloud base only 800 feet) and that two Shackleton aircraft from the same base had been lost in the previous nine months. One of the Shackletons in the search had an engine failure and got back to base only after jettisoning gear - as a pilot said later, it was almost a case of ten lives lost to save one. De Kat was saved by chance - he was spotted by a Shackleton crewman when the plane was en route to a different search zone 150 miles away.


Love the pics of Manureva, Cheers, Toria and the Newick tri! It's amazing how small, and how good, the Newicks look, and how nice the hulls of Toria are. What a pity that idiot Bullimore killed Toria years later.


Thanks for the post.

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Derek Kelsall had these comments on the multihull list- I trust he won't mind me repeating them here. I believe it was Three Cheers that disappeared not Cheers which is a treasure in France today, and I think Colas disappeared in a Route du Rhum.



It was 43 years ago (unbelievable) so guess I have changed a bit.

Vivid memories and exciting times. I have had a lot of fun with a lot of

boats since.


I can fill in some of the details -

If I recall correctly, Pen Duick is the name of a sea bird - in

Brittany. All Tabarlys boats were P.D.

The videos were taken by Colin Forbes. Son Simon worked for me for a

while and is active in UK sailing.

Misty Miller, Mike Butterfield, was one of two ballasted cats in the 64

OSTAR. Folatre, my tri was the first to sail without ballast,

considered suicidal at that time. Rehu Moana, David Lewis, was the

other. Both removed the ballast after the race.

After winning the 66 Round Britain, we were invited to show Toria at the

Jan 67 London Boat show. Toria was in N. Cornwall and I invited Eric

Tabarly to sail with me on the delivery. We had met in the 64 race.

The pics of Eric were taken on Toria - standing on a box to see over the

c'roof. On arrival in London he said "I hope I do not have to have a

tri to win the next OSTAR". He went back to France and started Pen

Duick 1V working with Andre Allegre - we could have done a much better

job in foam. 2 years ago in New Caledonia, I met someone who I had met

in London that time as part of Eric's support team.

Pen Duick 1V disappeared while Alain Colas was sailing trans Atlantic solo.

Dick Newicks proa Cheers and Three Cheers (Tom Follet sailing) were

distinctive. Dick and I were friendly rivals.

Cheers also disappeared - Mike McMullen I am sure we all know that sad

story, which began with his wife Liz losing her life the day before the


The blue tri was typical of some of the crazy projects which were

entered into the OSTAR in the next few events.


Toria was my first own design, first yacht in foam and first multi to

win an open offshore race.

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wonderful vid!



I am a die-hard multihull enthusiast, but, it is easy to see why the early boats scared traditional leadminers:


No trampolines? Open trusses for akas? Newick is one of my favorite designers, but, I understand how leadminers would fear the low freeboard of Cheers (personally, I think that proa and his tris are genius).


Thankfully, open and creative minds have prevailed in the evolution of the modern multis we have today, epitomized by the DOG racers. In the 1960s, who'd of thunk sailboats could average 20 knots on passages?

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