Thursday, July 24, 2014
For Throwback Thursday this week I give you the Dirty Duck.
Dirty Duck was a wooden Optimist that I bought for my sons in the winter of 1985/86. We were in the process of moving house from west of London (where I sailed at the sailing club on Taplow Lake) to the county of Rutland where I planned to sail at Rutland Sailing Club on Rutland Water. Rutland SC had an excellent Optimist junior training program and so I was keen to buy an Optimist so that my eldest son (then 7) could join the beginners' class in the summer and my younger son (then 5) could do the same in a couple of years.
One of my colleagues at work was a member of RSC and had a daughter (older than my sons) who was already in the RSC Optimist program. It was the time when all the hot sailors were switching from wooden to fiberglass Optimists, so he was quite happy to sell me the Dirty Duck. I took the boat back to the rented home where we were staying and set her up on the lawn. My sons just had to try her out right away.
By the time we moved to America at the end of 1988, both sons had learned to sail in the Dirty Duck and we had acquired a new fiberglass Optimist for the older boy. We imported both boats into the USA in the container with our furniture (along with Laser 134628 which I had bought earlier that year before I knew I was moving.)
Dirty Duck (sail number K1400) was sailed in New Jersey at Mountain Lakes Sailing Association (the home of Sunfish Fleet 17) and eventually sold to another English sailing family who lived across the road from us. They exported her back to England, their kids are now grown up, and I have no idea where she is now. Probably rotted away or ceremonially burned. Does anyone sail wooden Optimists any more? All that painting and varnishing every winter!
Posted by Tillerman at 10:57 AM