Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 62

C R O S S IN G T H E L IN E

B y J o h n M o rris

T h e 6 0 -Y e a r -O ld B ird

P h o t o g r a p h y : G r e g S m it h

T h e w o rld w a s tu rn e d o n its e a r w h e n A u stra lia II w o n th e
A m e ric a 's C u p in 1 9 8 3 . E v e ry th in g sh ifte d to D o w n U n d e r, so
ju st p rio r to th e 1 9 8 7 d e fe n c e , I fo u n d m y se lf h e a d in g to P e rth
w ith a b u n c h o f C a n a d ia n w rite rs to p re v ie w th e F re e m a n tle
v e n u e , w h e re th e A m e ric a n s w o u ld re tu rn to try a n d ta k e b a c k
th e p re c io u s C u p .
T h e flig h t to A u stra lia 's w e st c o a st w a s in sa n e ly lo n g . It to o k
a c o u p le o f d a y s a n d m u ltip le p la n e c h a n g e s to g e t to P e rth .
W h e n w e stu m b le d in to th e a irp o rt, o u r h o st a sk e d if w e w a n te d
to sle e p o r g o se e th e A m e ric a 's C u p a t R o y a l P e rth Y a c h t C lu b
(R P Y C ). S o m e c h o ic e ! O ff to th e c lu b .

A fte r g e n u fle c tin g in fro n t o f th e C u p , I w a lk e d th e R P Y C
d o c k a n d c a m e u p o n a ro w o f T -b ird s. I k n e w th e re w a s a
fle e t in P e rth a n d re c o g n ize d a n o w n e r's n a m e fro m th e in te rn a tio n a l ro ste r. R a th e r th a n h e llo , h e g re e te d m e w ith a n
a u th e n tic T B q u e stio n .
"D o y o u th in k m y u p p e rs a re to o tig h t?"
T h e n h e in v ite d m e to jo in th e W e d n e sd a y n ig h t c lu b ra c e in
a n in sta n ta n e o u s d isp la y o f B e st F le e t F rie n d sh ip . "F iv e b u c k s
fo r b e e r th e n ," a n d w e w e re o ff. T h e b o a t fe lt a lm o st p re c ise ly
lik e m y o w n b a c k a t h o m e a n d m y n e w p a l le t m e d riv e . I w a s
m a d e to fe e l a t h o m e v ia th e c o m m o n a lity o f o u r a ffe c tio n fo r a
o n e -d e sig n b o a t.
H a lf w a y a ro u n d th e w o rld , fle e t a lle g ia n c e s w o rk b e tte r th a n
p a ssp o rts, o r p e rh a p s it's ju st a T h u n d e rb ird th in g ; T -b ird s h a v e
b e e n d e sc rib e d a s th e m o to rc y c le g a n g o f sa ilin g . T h e e xp e ri-

62

C a n a d ia n Y a c h t in g

e n c e I fo u n d in th e fle e t d id h a v e so m e sp e c ia l, a n d p o ssib ly
u n u su a l, m o m e n ts.
I h a d lo n g b e e n in trig u e d b y th e g a u d y p a in t jo b s (b u m b le b e e strip e s!) o n th e se b o xy lo o k in g b o a ts a n d th e o w n e rs
a p p e a re d to b e b o iste ro u s c ra zie s w h o n o n e th e le ss to o k th e ir
ra c in g se rio u sly. In th e first ra c e I e n te re d , R o g e r R e n a u d w a s
h e lm in g F a u v e tte in a fu ll b e a r c o stu m e a n d fin ish e d q u ite w e ll.
I'v e e n jo y e d th re e d iffe re n t T h u n d e rb ird s, in c lu d in g a p ly w o o d o ld ie , m y first. D e sig n e d in 1 9 5 8 , th e id e a w a s a b u ild -ity o u rse lf fa m ily c ru ise r/ra c e r. T h is w a s b a c k in th e d a y w h e n a
fo lk b o a t w a s a b ig d e a l a n d th e S h a rk w a s ju st h a tc h e d . B o a ts
w e re sm a lle r fifty y e a rs a g o . T h e 'B ird
isn 't sta te -o f-th e -a rt, b u t th e d e sig n
re m a in s re m a rk a b ly q u ic k a n d sta b le six
d ecad es on .
M in e h a d b e e n b u ilt a t C liff
R ic h a rd so n 's sh o p in M e a fo rd , O n ta rio ,
in th e e a rly d a y s o f th e L a k e O n ta rio
fle e ts. I su b se q u e n tly o w n e d a fib e rg la ss
v e rsio n fro m Jo h n B o o th 's g a ra g e in
V ic to ria , B ritish C o lu m b ia , a n d e v e n tu a lly a n e w e r g la ss m o d e l b u ilt b y R ic k B o tt
in R ic h m o n d H ill.
I o n ly o c c a sio n a lly fin ish e d w e ll - th e
fle e t a ttra c te d so m e p re tty fin e ta le n t
e v e n a s J2 4 s a n d E tc h e lls sw e p t b y in
b o th fle e t size a n d sta tu re . B u t w e sh a re d
a sp e c ta c u la r a m o u n t o f fu n a n d c a m a ra d e rie (a n d d id I m e n tio n b e e r). L o u d
p ic n ic s, o p e n c o o le rs, a n d a c c o m p a n y in g
la n d a c tiv itie s - lik e sa il b a g ra c e s - k e p t
th e fle e t o ff th e m o st d e sira b le g u e st lists,
b u t w e la u g h e d lik e te e n a g e rs e v e n a s
so m e o f o u r a rriv in g silv e r stra n d s sh o u ld
h a v e p ro m p te d m o re p ro p e r d e c o ru m .
O v e r th e y e a rs, m y c re w g o t p ro p e rly th ra sh e d b y a b ig
W o rld s' fle e t in V ic to ria , b ro k e th e sp a r o n a lo a n e r in S a n
F ra n c isc o B a y, a n d h u n g o u t w ith th e za n y A u ssie s o f th e S id n e y
fle e t o n th e w a y b a c k fro m P e rth .
A lth o u g h so m e o f u s h a v e re tire d d u e to c ra n k y lim b s, th e
h a rd -d riv in g , fu n -lo v in g fle e ts o f fa n a tic s w h o a d o re th e ir 'B ird s'
a re still a t it e v e ry W e d n e sd a y a n d S a tu rd a y fro m B o sto n a n d
S h e d ia c to V ic to ria a n d N a n a im o to b e y o n d . U n p re te n tio u s
sa ilo rs in d o w n -to -e a rth b o a ts m ig h t b e a n a p t d e sc rip tio n .
T h e re a re a lo t o f fle e ts lik e th a t - o r w e re . M a rtin 2 4 2 s
a n d S h a rk s c e rta in ly liv e o n a n d th e J1 0 5 h a s a ttra c te d a v e ry
d e d ic a te d g ro u p o f se m i-h o tsh o ts. B u t I th in k I g o t lu c k ie st th e T h u n d e rb ird th in g h a s d e fin e d a p re tty in te re stin g
a p p ro a c h to b o a ts. *

M A Y 2 0 18



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Yachting May 2018

At the Helm: Sit down to read the paper
Special Event: View To A Thrill - 2018 Melges 24 Worlds Preview
Travel Destination: Lake Simcoe and The Trent Severn
Club Profile: Mixing it up at the Newport Yacht Club
The Port Hole: May 2018
Power Review: Scarab 255 Open
Sail Review: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440
DIY/Tech: SmartPlug
Crossing the Line: The 60-Year-Old Bird
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - Welcome
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - Cover1
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - Cover2
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 3
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - At the Helm: Sit down to read the paper
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 5
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - Special Event: View To A Thrill - 2018 Melges 24 Worlds Preview
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 7
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 8
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 9
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 10
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 11
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - Travel Destination: Lake Simcoe and The Trent Severn
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 13
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 14
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 15
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 16
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 17
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - Club Profile: Mixing it up at the Newport Yacht Club
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 19
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 20
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 21
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 22
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 23
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 24
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 25
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 26
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - The Port Hole: May 2018
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 28
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 29
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 30
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 31
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 32
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 33
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 34
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 35
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 36
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 37
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 38
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 39
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - Power Review: Scarab 255 Open
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 41
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 42
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 43
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 44
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 45
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - Sail Review: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 47
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 48
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 49
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - DIY/Tech: SmartPlug
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 51
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 52
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 53
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 54
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 55
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 56
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 57
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 58
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 59
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 60
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - 61
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - Crossing the Line: The 60-Year-Old Bird
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - Cover3
Canadian Yachting May 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/october2019
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http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/december2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/october2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/june2018
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http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/december2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/october2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/june2017
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http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/april2017
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http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/december2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/october2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/june2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/may2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/april2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/february2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/december2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/october2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/june2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/May2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/kerrwil/canadianyachting/april2015
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