He was approached by John D. Williams of Easton, and in 1931 he finally built another log canoe, his third. Williams wanted a log canoe primarily for cruising, so John B designed the biggest log canoe built to that time. He even fitted her with a handsome wine glass transom, like a yacht. When racing skipper Buck Richardson of Oxford heard that John B was back in the game, he came for a look. Conv inced that John B’s new canoe was going to be very fast, Richardson urged Williams to race her, offering to be her skipper and provide a crack crew. Williams agreed, and when the Jay Dee was launched, Richardson and his crew took her to the races ~ and blew away the competition. They won every race they entered that year.
Her fine lines, her efficient sailing rig, her waterline length of 35½ feet, and Richardson’s sailing skills made her unbeatable. Many in the racing community were determined to beat her, however, or at least to impose a handicap. Arthur J. Grymes decided to fight fire with fire. (Twelve years later he would build the Tidewater Inn.) Grymes asked John B to build a log canoe that could out-sail Jay Dee, challenging him to better his own design. And thus, in 1932, was born Flying Cloud. These ama zing boats c a r r ied clouds of canvas, running spinnakers right to the top of the foremast and even setting huge square-sails. The races between Flying Cloud and Jay Dee became the stuff of legend. This photo (of Flying Cloud and Jay
Flying Cloud and Jay Dee. 161
November 2014 Tidewater Times