Golden Oldies Trophy 2013
Frederic Monsonnec reports on the annual meet up of classic racing multihulls and the people who love them - from Sète in the south of France. ~Editor
Every year since 2005, many French sailors passionate about “old multihulls”, but also Spanish, English… meet in the Mediterranean around their boats. These “fans” are members of the association “Golden Oldies Multihulls” (you can find an English page and many pictures and video on the Golden Oldies Multihulls website).
This association has a mission: to preserve these “glories of the past”. A “Golden Oldies Multihull” (GOM), is a multihull of at least 25 years of age, designed or modified for offshore racing, speed records or raids. But exceptional boats outside this definition may obtain an approbation, in this case, a “Silver” class has been created.
The “Golden” fleet is largely made up from boats designed by the great Richard C. Newick, who designed the proa CHEERS in 1967. This year, the association invited Dick to be present with the members at Sète.
It was a great pleasure for all of the members to spend a few days with him (meals, discussions, sailing, interviews ...). Dick visited the boats - his “children” - as he likes to say. The Newick fleet in Sète included Moxie, Pat’s, Fine Mouche (Fleury Michon IV), Aile Bleue (Gigi), Gulf Streamer, three Tremolinos, and the proa Lady Godiva built by Rory Nugent. Lady Godiva stayed more than 25 years on a car park, but two “Golden Oldies Jedi”, Anne and Paul, tried to save it for many years and they finally rebuilt it as original in 2012.
Newick also visited the other boats attending (designs by VPLP, Derek Kelsall, Daniel Charles, James Wharram, Gino Morelli, Lock Crowther, Philippe Rivière, Denis Kergomard…). and sailed with Paul and Anne Buttin on Lady Godiva, on Pat’s (his former personal boat) and Gulf Streamer who came from Belgorod Dnestrovsky in Ukraine!
This year the association had the pleasure of hosting other major architects, Henneke Boon and James Wharram, Marc Van Peteghem ( of VPLP) and others. The Golden Oldies Trophy was a perfect occasion to sail, and to meet or find themselves again. For example, the first meeting of Dick Newick and James Wharram, was in the Caribbean aboard their respective multihulls in 1959!
Each year the “GOM” gives different “awards”. Dick Newick and James Wharram both received lifetime awards for their works. The prize for the most beautiful restoration went to Zack Rogerson for the rehabilitation of the proa Tahiti Douche. This big proa (17,3 m), was designed in 1980 by the historian, analyst and architect, Daniel Charles. Zack is now the protector of “Tahiti”. He’s the son of Stuart Rogerson, owner and rescuer of the trimaran VSD (Kelsall design, winner of the Transat double in 1979). In 2011, Zack and Stuart have crossed the Atlantic on VSD, with glass fiber and resin to repair the ama in St Martin (the result of unforgiving climate and original construction using contaminated wood, a five stars restaurant for the termites!). In May 2012, the team from Ibiza again crossed the “big blue” but with two boats! The GOM fosters great stories of men and boats.
The prize for human adventure was awarded to Xavier Sergent for his navigation of 17 days to participate at the event (from Brittany, Atlantic to Sète in Mediterranean) on Black Cap - a Newick designed Echo 36.
The next meeting of the association will be in Brittanny on the Atlantic coast, this summer. The last words are from Dick (from an email sent to the association):
It was wonderful to have been the guest of the Golden Oldies in Paris and Sete. Everyone was so hospitable, kind and thoughtful… I was sorry to have had time to sail on only three of them in perfect sailing weather. Some of these boats I had not seen for over 30 years….The Golden Oldies concept has now spread to Brittany and should be adopted in my country and many others.
This event in video made by Bruno Fehrenbach, a GOM member, with English subtitles.
~Fred Monsonnec for Proa File 2013