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Photo of writer by Graeme Ogier, photo of boats by Lesseps

December 2013

From a 'bums up' to to a great victory

Time now I think to put the America's Cup series behind us. Oracle had a great comeback victory and retained the cup after a bums up incident during practice (photo courtesy of Oracle). Once the crew mastered sailing what was a very fast boat they deserved to win, but Emirates Team New Zealand can be justifiably proud of their efforts.

The America’s Cup is now only for the wealthy such as Ellison and for wealthy countries other than New Zealand able to spend millions. I say leave the bloody cup where it again liveth, or race for it in boats that are more affordable to enable more countries to compete. Having said that, the New Zealand Government has spoken out that they will financially back another challenge by Team New Zealand when next the America’s Cup is held, and Australia has indicated it will also mount a challenge.

Time to get back to the world of model sailing boats which don’t cost millions and which we sail in a cruising or windling manner for pleasure rather than financial gain, and for friendship in perhaps(for some of us) the last quality years of our lifetime.

Andrew Charters magnificent Fife schooner Cicely On a pond adjacent to where he and his family live in South Carolina

The name Andrew Charters, his state of abode, South Carolina is one that I have written about virtually from the inception of this column, a friend who is renowned for his building of many large scale schooners. It seems that Andrew due to pressure of work earning a living has ceased sailing and I haven’t heard from him for ages. Let us hope that he has not entirely given up the pastime of building and sailing beautiful model schooners.

The new emerging schooner fan is David Querin of Ohio whose website I think I have mentioned before. David is another who also loves schooners and his latest build is a double-ended sharpie San Juan schooner, previous to that a Malabar schooner and  a stylish looking schooner Prospero.

Since his son lives in New York, David has also  become a Central Park sailor on visits and has been lucky to have been granted space in the New York Model Yacht Club boathouse where he now keeps the Malabar schooner shown with him in the photo taken there that appears below.

Dave Querin's new San Juan sharpie schooner

Dave with the Malabar schooner in the New York Boat club Storage area.

Another view of the sharpie schooner

Additional to the sharpie building project, sometime ago a kindly gentleman offered David an antique (approx 1937 vintage) 6 metre pond yacht in need of a total rebuild on which he spent just short of 200 hours rebuilding. Seen above (left) in its restored state and above right with the previous owner, it is a classic example of a gracious pond yacht from a golden age.

Antique 6 Meter fully restored and rigged for radio control

The restored boat on launching day with the previous owner and his wife

A sea battle at close quarters!

Something completely different now, with an opening image of  display, one of many put on by members of the Portsmouth Model Display team at various venues in the United Kingdom. Several of the models are controlled by operators sitting within the model
particularly in the case of the battleship models in separate battles.

Smoke screens damage from the first salvo.

The victorious battle fleet return to port.

Members of the team build the large size models on one night a week and their sailing pond is Canoe Lake, Portsmouth where many performances are performed to raise money for various charities. I have seen a video and their special effects are incredible with sound and light that makes it all seem so real.

Allan Read's fine model of the Caliph

Caliph was an extreme clipper built in Aberdeen for the China tea trade that was to have a very short life. Launched on September 6th 1869 she went missing on a journey to Shanghai and mysteriously disappeared.

Not a huge quantity of models have been made of her, but sailing in the fleet of RC models of the Solent Radio Control Model Boat clubin Britain is one made by member modeller Allan Read.

The Solent club is one of the finest in the British Isles and their website has a comprehensive pictorial record, the majority of the photos taken by Peter Taylor who devised and maintains what is an excellent website. New models are constantly being
added to the website:

A word at this point about the future  of this column – a straightforward answer. `I don’t really know!’  Over the last year or two, it has become more and more time-consuming in order to access stories of new models, news of model sailing events, in fact anything related to model sailboating.

An attempt to broaden the scope was not successful and a cutback to quarterly (from monthly) still poses the problem of lack of material. Maybe I must accept that I have done my dash, after all my rambling have been ongoing for many years. I get nothing from clubs and associations in the way of copies of newsletters and inhouse publications that could be informative and this all makes it all the more difficult.

So my friends, for the time being I have to say that if you see the next issue appear end - March online you will know that it again drew breath, I’m afraid there can be no promises, I will just do the best I can.

Chiel Gildermans in the boat, gets his big Clipper Stad Amsterdam off on a sail at Bornerbroek

Up close and personal, that's how some are taken

Felix Wehrli of Zurich with his 75m2 Nationaler Kreuzer

A Scottish Fifie by Joris Jan Priem of The Hague Club. Model built on a polyester hull of Orion Mouldings

Jason deCairies Taylor's underwater sculpture The Ressurection in its underwater site.

The Resurrection (above), part of a new series of works at MUSA (Museo Subcuatico de Arte in Mexico. This recent work by Jason Caires Taylor brings his contribution to the project to a total of 510 works. The sculpture represents a female-avian form emerging from the seabed.

Peter Simmonds of the Isle of Wight, with one of his Thames Sailing barges, this one Haughty Belle with which he won the Bowsprit class race series last year, the trophy having been presented some years ago by the writer for annual competition.

Peter Simmonds lives on Britain’s Isle of Wight in the Channel Islands and is a model Thames Sailing Barge enthusiast, fairly regularly travelling by ferry and car to other parts of Britain to take part in the model Thames Barge racing regattas staged in various parts of the East Coast and Kent  by the Association of Model Barge enthusiasts. Several years ago the writer took to Britain and presented to the association a trophy for yearly competition by those sailing barges with a bowsprit, and last year. Peter won the event sailing one of three barges he owns and sails called Haughty Belle.

The barge TEAL


Peter's three barges (right to left) Westmoreland, Teal and Haughty Belle  make a nice picture

Igor the Phantom Rower by Jeremy Stott as he appeared suddenly at Auckland's Onepoto lake on Thursday 20th October. Among the fleet of yachts he battled the gusts and chop. Igor was made By Jeremy, the dinghy by his grandfather, John Stubbs.

Something a little different now, a short YouTube video of the Red Bull Air Race in New York, the final four fliers, one at a time in an aerial battle for the championship.

Left to right, Ian Kingston, Peter Braithwaite, Hugh Hobden with their Joel White Shellback dinghies, and Wes Purvis (New Zealand Moth). Photograph of the intrepid old bugger boy racers from the Christchurch Model Yacht Club taken at the Mt Pleasant Yacht Club on the estuary.

Are those foils I see on the Shellback dinghies?


Andrew Charters with his model of Gloriana, another of his fine models.


Click Here for a List of Articles and Columns by Mark Steele