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Spring onion

Spring Onion
Spring Onion

Two friends set out to design & build the smallest and  (at the time) cheapest boat that should sail the Fastnet.

Ian Clark was, then, a physics teacher. Ian is now a Master Mariner and author of “The Management of Merchant Ship Stability”, and  “Stability, Trim and strength for Merchant Ships and Fishing Vessels”. He has an MSC in Marine Geotechnics (what?).

Angus Richardson was a sailing fanatic and had navigated four Fastnet races for the late Urban Taylor, he was, at that time a member of ‘TSC’ you will see his late father J C Richardson (known as ‘Dick’) on the Commodore’s board at Tranmere, Dick was a close friend of our own ‘Dicko’. Conversations are easy to picture: “Hello Dick fancy a pint” …”Yeah thanks Dicko”- I’ll protest next time….”

Sailing in Spring Onion
Sailing in Spring Onion

Angus was a founder member of Liverpool Marina Yacht Club as LYC was known before the alliance with TSC.

Coming ashore after the 1979 Fastnet Angus and Ian collaborated to design this speedy strong cheap boat. It had to be light; keel stepped, and have a fractional rig. They wanted to race it in the Fastnet!

They designed a small “Half Tonner”, (it actually weighs 2000Kg), is balsa cored and has half a ton of lead encapsulated in the lower half of its keel.

They designed the boat in a house in Crosby and borrowed a barn in Thornton to build it; construction took two years. It originally had a Honda outboard head attached to a “sail drive” – an inboard petrol engine.

Sailing around a buoy
Sailing around a buoy

When the boat emerged a neighbour was asked to name it; the neighbour’s daughter was eating a spring onion at the time…no problem with the name then.

30 years later the boat still competes locally, sometimes even staying on the river to ride out a gale.

About another 15 hulls were made from the mould; and called “Pacesetters”, all were slightly different to each other and the original and none of these are now in the marina
Sadly Angus died about 6 years ago.

Ian lives on Anglesey.

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