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BOATOWNER’S REVIEW

International Flying Dutchman By Dave Ellis

The Flying Dutchman is arguably the prettiest small sailboat out there. It has lines that please the eye and the water. A major sailing gear manufacturer uses the FD’s outline as its logo. Photo by Lin Robson.

Flying Dutchman specs LOA: 19’ 10” Beam: 5’ 6” Weight: 363 pounds Main & genny: 184 sq. ft. Spinnaker: 198 sq. ft.

W

e may never again see a battle such as this between two racing sailboats. It was the last race of the Flying Dutchman World Championship held on Tampa Bay, FL, in 1962. Australia’s Rolly Tasker and crew Peter White needed to finish ahead of Hans Fogh and Paul Elvestrom from Denmark. The two of them battled for position from long before the start. The breeze was brisk. Thirty or more tacks were made up a windward course along the shore line south of the St. Petersburg Pier. Fogh covered Tasker tack for tack, with the expert crews taking less than seven seconds “wire to wire” on their trapezes each tack. Finally, Tasker was driven back in the fleet far enough that he could not overtake Fogh’s points advantage in the series. So, Fogh/Elvstrom headed back to the St. Pete Junior Yacht Club dock, arriving with the hull full of water. Some say, my dad included, that they pulled the plug on the boat for effect. Only they know for sure. But they won the Worlds in a classic battle. The Flying Dutchman itself is a classic dinghy. It had a surge of activity before that early ‘60s event in the Tampa Bay area. A young Jim Pardee with his The name Flying Dutchman was chosen as a nod to the designer, Dutchman Uus Van Essen and the location of the original boat trials in Holland. Photo by dad, Dutch, crewing, was the fastest in the fleet that Lin Robson. included John Jennings, Barbara Tolson, Gene Hinkle and others. My dad and I raced our Suicide sailboats, and molded plywood was promising to allow a with them to pad the fleet. One race, however, the Pardees’ better boat to be constructed. The International Yacht Racing boat seemed really slow. Suddenly there was a cracking Union (now ISAF) planned a competition to choose a new sound, and a portion of the wooden laminated hull came dinghy for the Olympics. A sailor in a Dutch yacht club floating out the back. While the boat was repaired and commissioned Uus Van Essen to draw up plans. In early painted a bright candy apple red, it was never quite as fast. September 1951, the plans were sent out to prominent The Flying Dutchman is arguably the prettiest small European sailors and designers for comment. From this, the sailboat out there. It has lines that please the eye and the plans were finalized and a boat was built in two weeks. A water. A major sailing gear manufacturer uses the FD’s outrig from an older class was used on the hull. line as its logo. The FD was an Olympic boat from 1958 to In 1952 the trial was held in Holland. The name Flying 1992, causing the skill level of fleets to soar. Dutchman was chosen as a nod to the designer and the locaAfter WW II, there was renewed interest in small racing 36

March 2012

SOUTHWINDS

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