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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Found in the archive - Amateur colour footage of the 1959 Flying Dutchman Worlds at WYC

One of several reels of film found in the club archives, we think that this amateur colour footage shows sailing during FD Week held at Whitstable Yacht Club in July 1959. It was run in conjunction with the FD World Championships and there is brief footage of this event. It was the year before the Rome Olympics and attracted competitors from across the world. Most notably it was the first time competitors from Russia, Poland and East Germany had competed this side of the Iron Curtain. There were also two boats from South Africa.
Competitors were in two fleets sailing Olympic courses of a triangle, loop and beat. The World Championships with one competitor from each country went first and the FD Week, which was open to anyone, went 15 minutes later. Local sailor “Slotty” Dawes (K36) who features prominently in this film, won FD Week and went on to represent GB at Rome where he finished 7th. Five Whitstable crews competed in FD Week.
The Flying Dutchman was a new Olympic class in 1960 and had been introduced into the UK by “Slotty” Dawes. “Slotty” was President of the International FD Class Association. Whitstable was the centre of UK FD sailing and went on to run many international events including the Europeans.
The cream coloured motor boat used for finishing belonged to local builder and Club member, Jack Philpott. Note also the marks which were black square or triangular top marks mounted on old Fairey duckling dinghies or old carley floats that the Club had bought in bulk.
Note the film has been reversed on the reel and sail numbers read from right to left!