The Uffa Fox Era, 1928 – 1939

1928 was one of the vintage years for the Class, one in which the pattern for the future was laid. Sloop rig was in, the single sail rig was out, having proved less efficient and resulting in boats that were hard to control. The design of the boats showed rapid improvement under the fierce competition of Morgan Giles and Uffa Fox. By

By the end of 1927 thirty new boats had been built, and in 1928 thirty-one more boats were completed. Among them was Avenger (135), most famous of all dinghies. Avenger was far ahead of her time. Out of 57 starts she made in 1928, she finished first 52 times, including in the P.O.W. Cup, second twice and third three times; and in case it should be thought she was not seaworthy, Uffa sailed her, three up, a hundred miles in stormy conditions across the Channel in 27 hours to Le Havre to race and win against the French, and then sailed home in 37 hours. Avenger set the pattern for dinghies for many years to come. She had a fine bow (although not as fine as today), with prominent V sections seadily developing into a very flat floor. Her greatest depth was a third of her length from her bow. She was narrow, 4ft 8in. beam and her transom 3ft. acros. She was carvel built. Her mast was of interest; up until that time spars had been limited to 15ft.6in., for the reason that most boats travelled by rail in those days. The 14 hull was the largest that could be sent by train for 6/- (30p) anywhere in England and the mast the longest size that could be carried by standard goods wagon for 1/6 (about 7p). This restriction had up to now prevented a Bermuda rig. However, Uffa produced a jointed mast similar in principle to a fishing rod, with the top mast fitting into a metal sleeve revived years later by Bruce Kirby with his highly successful Laser. Although this made Bermuda rig possible, it was not very strong, being liable to fail on compression and being extremely difficult to keep straight, and so

on the rule was amended to allow all-in-one masts. This advance had its disadvantages in that it made the boats harder to sail in a blow, as with gunter rig the spars are reefed with the sail. At a later date at least one Fourteen, Tim Too (295), was to be produced with a reefing mast, the mast being mounted in a tabernacle mast thwart and so arranged that the heel could be lowered to the keelson. Avenger’s real advantage was her ability to plane. She was the first true planing dinghy with a good windward performance. Other Fourteens planed on occasions. Avenger would pick up her skirts and go at the slightest provocation — it became the rule rather than the exception. On the wind Avenger was just as efficient. In 1929 sailed by Alan Colman she came 4th in the P.O.W. Cup, she raced in the 1939 P.O.W. and then dropped out of the news. After the war she spent some time in the Midlands and then on the South Coast — where sadly she was abandoned but was found and is now being restored so she can end her days in a museum.

Sixth in the 1928 P.O.W. Cup was Snark (27) sailed by Mrs. Richardson. This boat was a Conference dinghy built in 1911 and the winner in 1912 of the B.R.A. Championship at Burnham-on-Crouch — the Cup she won then, is now the Morgan Giles Trophy for the first lady home in the P.OW. Race.

An interesting story of the period concerns Sir Edward Stracey; he commissioned both Morgan Giles and Uffa Fox to build a dinghy to beat the best the other could design. Uffa’s boat, the more successful, was Scoulton Pie (177) and Morgan Giles’ Scheherazade (182).

By now a characteristic dinghy was beginning to appear, superbly built, originally single skinned 5/16 in. later reduced to 1/4 in. This proved rather prone to leak and a double skin was substituted with oiled silk between the layers. Apart from a few built without ribs — ‘boneless wonders’ – which proved not stiff enough. Sea Serpent (250) built in 1931 being the first. Most Fourteens had Canadian Rock Elm ribs of about 3/32 X 1/4 on 2 in. centres. These added materially to the torsional strength of the hulls as well as showing off their shape and workmanship. The majority of British Fourteens were built in this manner until 1949 when the moulded-ply boats appeared. It is certain that these Fourteens of the late 1920’s and 30’s were some of the finest examples of boat building craftsmanship ever produced in the world.

The dilemma of the class was that in producing these beautiful, efficient and exciting craft, they had also substantially raised their basic price. In 1928 Morgan Giles designed, and H. Cole of Leigh built, four low-price dinghies for the Leigh Sailing Club; they cost £35 each. One of the owners recalls his chagrin when they arrived at Lowestoft, having sailed up in a 200 ton ketch with the dinghies on deck, and found that they were up against dinghies that had cost up to £100. One of these Leigh boats Argo (136) got fifteenth place, to her owner’s delight.

Over the years repeated attempts have been made to build a successful low cost, high performance Fourteen, and at least two classes, the National Twelve and the National Merlin Rocket, owe their existance to those who felt the International was too expensive. The Fourteen owner has always demanded perfection and up until 1963 none of the low priced boats had ever seemed to match the performance of their more expensive sisters, that is not to say they were not good, just that no-one seemed able to prove they were.

In 1929, 35 more boats joined the class and among them Uffa produced Daring (201), a refinement of Avenger, flatter aft with a wider transom designed to improve further her planing ability; she won the P.O.W. Cup in 1929. Among her innovations were an inboard rudder at the end of the plate case, this proved too fierce and was discarded, she also had a hollow mast with the halliards inside, and her mainsail set in grooves on the mast and boom. Neither of the last two ideas was entirely new, but Daring was to mark their general application to racing dinghies.

The 1930 P.O.W., postponed for two days due to light winds, was won by Golden Eye (225) built by Uffa Fox, but designed and sailed by Tom Thornycroft. She was very different from the Uffa boats, being more rounded and having the U bow shape characteristic of the Morgan Giles boat. In 1931, at Ryde, Morgan Giles won the P.O.W. in heavy weather by 5 seconds in Catherine (258), capsizing as he crossed the line. He took the lead in the final run by using his spinnaker when others, on account of the weather, had left theirs ashore. It was at the start of this race that an owner was said to have cut 3 ft. off the top of his mast while awaiting the postponed start. This race was to be the swan song for Morgan Giles as a designer in the class, although he went on building and sailing Fourteens for another five years. From now on until the coming of Austin Farrar in 1950, Uffa Fox was to dominate the class. By the end of 1930 the pattern of the International Fourteen was firmly established and the pace of development and building slowed up. Generally speaking each year’s boats – an average of 20 a year – were to prove marginally superior to their predecessors. Owners could now be reasonably certain that their boats would not be quickly outclassed. It is often held against development classes that they date too quickly, but a study of results show that only in the late 1920’s and again in the 80’s could this be said to be true of the Fourteens and this was due to the whole concept of the class having changed.

Also at this time an attempt was made to get the class established on the Continent, but although boats were raced in Denmark – Paul Elvstrom sailed one as a boy – in Germany, Spain and France they failed to make any lasting impression. Many reasons have been given for this, amongst them the comparative high cost of a Fourteen, the Continental preference for one-design boats, the different type of boat, long, heavy and slim which was popular, and the fact that they did not fit very neatly into the metric system. Also, as in the early days of open boat racing in this country, lack of effective communication – Yachting journals had not the international circulation they have today – tended to make each country inward looking.

During 1930 the first lightweight plates were fitted, one being the Tim Too, another in Dazzle (181), the latter’s plate weighed 17 lb. and being made of untreated alloy, came out in pimples as soon as it was put in salt water; a coat of varnish however cured that problem. Dazzle was later fitted with a 32 Ib. plate. She also had a roller jib which reached 15 ft. 6 in. up the mast. As there was a tendency for the jib to go even higher up the mast resulting in breakages, the Dinghy Committee brought in a limit of 14 ft. This fixing of the height of the jib was later introduced by many other classes of dinghies and yachts.

In 1932 and 1933 the P.O.W. was won by R.I.P. (267) with Stewart Morris at the helm. In the thirty-eight Prince of Wales Cup races up to 1970, Stewart started in 34, finished in the first six in 24 and won the trophy 12 times. A record that no-one has yet approached.

Uffa writes in one of his books (Sailing Seamanship and Yacht Construction by Uffa Fox. Published by Peter Davies Limited) of how R.I. P. came to be built and receive her unusual name. ‘When I met H.A. Morris (Stewart’s father) at the Easter All-in Meet at the Tamesis Club in 1930, he told me of his aches and pains, and agreed to my suggestion that he was only walking about to save funeral expenses. I said, “Why not have a new dinghy built, she’ll finish you off and you can be buried in her”. The idea tickled him so much that he ordered and named R.I.P. right away, and throughout her designing and building we wrote letters describing her successful race against Charon across the Styx and his astonishment at being beaten for the first time upon his own waters’.

R.I. P. was a development of Avenger and in fact she had been leading the fleet in the 1931 P.O.W. when in the fourth lap she partially filled and in seeking calmer water inshore had hit her rudder on the bottom and lost a pintle. R.I. P. was later sold to George Ford in the U.S.A., renumbered U.S.1., and became the pattern for several of the first American ‘Internationals’. At that time an interesting comment on the North American type 14ft. dinghy was made by George Ford — “The old boats we used to sail were unseaworthy and required an acrobat to keep them from capsizing. Due to this trouble we could not interest many people in sailing them, but we feel sure your type of boat (the International 14ft.) will alter this.

In 1932 the kicking strap or boom vang made its appearance aboard Wilfred Godfrey’s Swift (246). In fact it later transpired the first craft with it was Scott Freeman’s Kestral (160) of Upper Thames. The idea having been developed by him and a friend Mr Daniels on Model Yachts in the 20’s, whilst Douglas Heard’s Huff (247) sported the first halyard winches – the most sinful of all devices, if critics of the class are to be believed. Huffs winches were attached to the mast. The first boat with winches inside the mast was Tim Too.

Masts were also going through a change at this point. In the early days before hollow spars many boats had bamboo spars. Today bamboo has a strangely old fashioned ring about it, but in the 1920’s bamboo proved a highly efficient medium, being light in weight, strong, flexible yet able to retain its shape – a typical bamboo mast weighed 16 1/2 lb., a boom 4 lb. As the dinghies developed, so the rig became more complex; the original Bermuda rig had one set of spreaders and often a topmast forestay, with one, two or three shrouds on each side. As the jib overlap increased so it became necessary to devise a different rig to allow the jib to set more efficiently, and the ‘bird cage’ rig of three sets of spreaders, jumpers, etc., was devised by Uffa and became standard for many years.

With design stabilising, a new technique of sailing had to be learned as, unlike the older boats, the modern planing hull had to be kept upright at all costs. No longer could one sit in as the boat ploughed along on her ear. From now on it was a question of getting right out, if the boat was to be kept going.

Across the Atlantic events had been taking place that were to bring the Fourteens on both sides of the Atlantic under the same rule. In 1930 the Canada Cup Races for 8 metres were held at Port Charlotte, Lake Ontario. One day when the racing had finished early, C.D. Mallory, later founder of the North American Yacht Racing Union, proposed a race in ‘Gloriette’ type dinghies. Because of the strong wind, the race was run between two piers jutting out into the lake, an area of about half a mile by 150 yards. The boats were cat rigged with Bermuda sails and, true to Canadian dinghies of the period, had very fine bows. Four contestants took part, Clifford Mallory, Chris Ratsey from Cowes, Herbert Stone, Editor of Yachting, and Peck Farley, who was to win the race. Because of the high reputation of the contestants the event attracted a large crowd. The race was keen tough and terrifying. The word terrifying is used deliberately as there was a beat to the mouth of the piers and a run back in the most confused of seas, caused by the waves from the lake ricocheting between the two piers; with single-sailed unstable boats, the result was spectacular. After the race C.D. Mallory ordered a similar dinghy from Charles Bourke of Toronto for his son. It arrived some time later just as he was leaving his home for Newport to be a guest on board Enterprise during her trials to defend the America’s Cup against Shamrock V; He took the dinghy with him, One day fog prevented the ‘J’s’ from racing, but the harbour was clear so he sailed the dinghy round the harbour and over to the English camp. The boat attracted much interest and inevitably a rousing debate was started between him, Charles Nicholsan, Chris Ratsey, Major Heckstall-Smith and others on the merits of the British and American Fourteens. Following this, correspondence began with Sir John Beale in England with the object of arranging a match between Canadian and British dinghies. The Americans got to hear of it and an article appeared in Yachting an the speed of Canadian dinghies. This was replied to from England by G. Prout and before long the match had become a three cornered affair — the date, September 1933, the place Oyster Bay (Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club). The British team: Argosy (259) Mrs Richardson, Daring (201) David Beale, son of Sir John Beale, and Telemark (268) Alan Colman. Three other boats were taken for the Americans to sail, including Arrow (241). The Canadians sailed cat rigged boats. One American team sailed Canadian type hulls (one boat being cat rigged, the other sloop rigged), while the other American team used the borrowed International Fourteens. The races were sailed in fresh 20 knot winds. The British team won by a narrow margin from the Canadians but, of the fifteen races sailed, the International Fourteens won nine. Two points about the British boats impressed their hosts, their ability to lie to moorings and the way the British boats could plane. The basic difference between the two types were:

BRITISH CANADIAN
Open Half Decked
Carvel Clinker
Sloop Rig 125sq.ft. s.a. Cat Rig 140 sq. ft. s.a.
Spinnaker No Spinnaker
100 Ib. metal drop keel deep and narrow From 50 Ib. wood or alloy, wide boards, held down by shock cord
Hollow Mast and boom Solid Mast and boom
Hull: sharp entry, beam carried well forward Hull: sharp entry, fine bow, little beam forward

The event had been a great success, and as a result Sir John Beale arranged for a British team to accept the invitation of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club to send out a team to Toronto in 1934. Again it was an American, Canadian and British affair, and again our team came from the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club. Stewart Morris was Captain, sailing R.I.P. With him were Peter Scott, Eastlight (318), John Winter, Lightning (290), and David Beale with Canute (322). Uffa Fox was team manager. Britain won impressively against teams of mixed cat and sloop rig, beating the Canadians by 3 to 1, and the Americans in all three races sailed. The Americans and Canadians were at last convinced and the International Fourteen was accepted – although it was not until 1959 that the Canadians fully came into line with the I.Y.R.U. rules.

The 1934 P.O.W. Cup in light weather was won by Lightning sailed by John Winter, close behind him was Mrs Richardson in Magheralin (323) — the second occasion that Mrs Richardson had finished 2nd in the P.O.W., the highest place to date to be achieved by a helmswoman of the class. This was to be Ladies’ year, as another boat Joanna (213) finished 5th with Mrs Tracey at the helm. 1934 was the first year when boats had to have 200 Ib. of buoyancy instead of 112 Ib., 80 Ib. of which had to be within five feet of the bow.

In the winter of 1934/5, Uffa designed and built a boat for Leslie Lewis in which the beam was increased to meet the needs of the owner’s long legs. This was Daddy Long Legs (334). Uffa used to pick the best of his previous year’s designs and make it the theme for his new dinghies — he would then adjust the basic design as with Daddy Long Legs to meet the needs of its crew — thus each boat was custom built for its first owner.

Alarm (347) built for Stewart Morris, had her buoyancy tanks built into the hull in the form of two side tanks carried well forward of amidships while the bow tank came aft 4ft., and had a breakwater at the mast thwart designed as a tray to catch spray and drain it into the centreboard box; she also had two American foot pumps. In Alarm Stewart won his third P.O.W. in fresh winds at Osborne Bay. There were those who thought the automatic bailing devices had helped him in his task, so the rules were altered at his request to bar similar devices. Neither Stewart nor Alarm were deterred as, with the offending items removed, they won again in 1936 in much worse conditions. Alarm also had the first thwart stepped mast, but this was not a success as it tended to bend too much. Her centreboard was also of interest, being a deep streamlined shape as opposed to the then popular hatchet shape. Like R.I.P., Alarm’s design achieved fame across the Atlantic, her lines being used for the large fleet of U.S. 14ft. One-Designs.

Overseas development through the 30’s and early 40’s continued apace both in Canada and America. Charles Bourke was the leading helmsman designer in Canada while in America the pace was set by Gordon (Sandy) Douglass. Gordon has achieved fame as a designer, builder and sailor of canoes. Through the 1930 International canoe matches in America and England, he became a great friend and admirer of Uffa Fox. The Rochester Gang of International Fourteen sailors; George Ford, Chuck Angle, Norm Cole and Lew Howard, unhappy with the quality of existing American built Fourteens observed the standard of Douglass Canoes, and asked him to build Fourteens for them to Alarms’ lines. This he did with great success — some of his craft ending up on America’s West Coast. In the early 40’s he was the first Fourteen builder to appreciate the advantages of the recently introduced ‘Vidal’ method of moulding hulls. The cost of traditional ribbed Fourteens, with some 7000 copper rivets having to be hammered home for each hull, was already a problem. So he ordered from the US Plywood Corporation, what is believed to be the first moulded Fourteen. Again Alarm’s lines were used and 25 US One Design Fourteen were taken from it before the mould was accidently destroyed. After the war another Alarm mould was constructed and 150 more One Designs’ were taken from it. But under International competitive pressure, the One Design concept of America Fourteens started to break down as owners modified their craft to keep pace with the Canadian and British International Fourteens. ‘Sandy’ Douglass considered that toe straps were also wrong for general sailing as they limited the effectiveness of husband and wife teams. Allowing male crews to sit out and use their weight more effectively than their female counterparts! In any event in American the ‘One Design’ idea, while an outstanding success at the time, demonstrated another problem that is still with us, namely the need of a development class to restrict the speed of change to encourage professional builders. Builders need reasonable runs to allow them to recover their setting up costs. The problem is that this sometimes tends to turn the class temporarily into a ‘One Design’. But to return to Sandy Douglass, the Alarm story was not over. The mould was sold to another builder and 800 more Alarm hulls were produced, but rigged with the popular America ‘Snipe’ sail plan and sold as the Jet 14 — thus the Alarm lines of the 1930’s must be by far the most common hull of any Fourteen.

At the end of 1935 Sir John Beale was taken ill, and on the 3rd of December died. Thus dinghy sailing lost one of its greatest supporters and the Fourteen Foot class a wise and valued friend. He had been chairman of the Dinghy Committee since its inception, and had given much of his time and no little money in the interest of the sport he loved above all else – dinghy racing. At the time he was taken ill the Dinghy Committee had on its Agenda a plan to bring together the various local 12 ft. classes in the same way as the Fourteens thirteen years before, and in 1936, the National Twelve class was started as a trainer class for younger people who could not afford an International Fourteen. It quickly became a National Class in its own right. From now on the Fourteen was to meet competition from an increasing number of new National classes — although the problem was not to become acute until the 1950’s

In 1936 it also became apparent that a rule change of the year before had had undesirable results. Originally the boats had to weigh 225 Ib. stripped, the metal buoyancy tanks not being weighed with the boat. With the introduction of built in tanks an allowance had to be made for the weight of them. The stripped weight was therefore raised to 245 Ib. As the allowance was too great, the boats became heavier, and being heavier were less inclined to plane, so a new design with much more V’d sections was produced. The object was to produce a hull that would knife its way to windward and only plane in fresh winds. It proved very unstable and at the end of the year the rule was changed back to a minimum all up weight of 225 Ib. with a restriction on the maximum rise of floor aimed at preventing the class splitting into two types, sea and inland. Daybreak (365) was one of these V’d boats built by Uffa for Peter Scott. Another, in fact the first, was Tiercel (363) specially designed for H. Scott Freeman for use on the Thames, with lower freeboard forward to save windage. Tiercel proved extremely fast in light airs and to windward, and has had a long and successful career. She also was fitted with the shortlived semi-wishbone rig as was Adler (362) owned by James MacDonald. The wishbone rig was ruled out on the grounds that it could not pass the 4″ circle rule which the boom had to pass through and the half wishbone was out as a permanently bent spar.

In this year a very different hull shape made its appearance; Henry Curtis Hall of New Rochelle, U.S.A., argued that a wide flat boat would be more stable and so more powerful, thus the helmsman would not have to spill wind and throw away driving force. Nicknamed ‘Flat Irons’ they had very fine bows — shades of today — and with less rocker than usual they proved to be very fast although inclined to broach. Uffa built one for Chris Ratsey, Hawk (364), which won the P.O.W. in 1939. However she had her first success on the Clyde in 1936, when after the P.O.W. a match race was arranged between Alarm sailed by Stewart and Hawk, sailed by the Ratseys. The trophy, given by Clifford Mallory, the then President of the North American Yacht Racing Union, was for a match race between a dinghy of American design and a British design. In brisk conditions Hawk went into the lead; Alarm then went ahead on the close reach, but on the run had trouble with her spinnaker. Hawk having set a large spinnaker, tore down wind and back into the lead with both her crew sitting on the transom, and finally crossed the line the winner.

The Clyde meeting, which was sailed in very heavy conditions, was the first occasion on which an all wood centreboard was fitted to a British boat. Painted the colour of brass – it was fitted in Daybreak by Peter Scott. Also of interest was the three boat-a­side team racing between ourselves and the Americans who had recently returned from Denmark, and their victory over the Danish Fourteens. The British team consisted of Stewart Morris with Alarm, John Winter with Lightning, and Peter Scott with Daybreak. The Americans brought over R.I. P., sailed by George Ford, also Tartar, W. Tarr and Ha Ha, Ed. Pillsbury. Britain won all three races. Two months later, the Canadians came over to Lowestoft. Their boats still did not conform entirely to our rules, being somewhat lighter; in fact one was 190 lb. another 215 Ib. They had canvas foredecks with a zipper down the middle, also seen in National 12’s of the era and side decks. Their plates were streamlined wood, ballasted with lead at the bottom, weighing 45 Ib. All boats carried a small compass. The British team was the same as for the American races, with the addition of Afterthought (371) James Beale. The Canadian team consisted of Chinook, Charles Bourke, Cavalier, Atwell Fleming, Maple Leaf, Harvey Bongard and Lisbeth, Walter Windeyer, Jnr. (who won the Dragon Gold Cup in 1960). The Canadians won the series by three races to two.

Afterwards a meeting took place to try and bring the two types of boats closer together. The Canadians brought an interesting device with them, which was subsequently banned. This was a harness worn by the crew with a cleat in the middle of the wearer’s chest; to this he attached the jib sheet, allowing him to sit much further out without so much strain — the beginning of the trapeze.

1936 also saw the introduction of the Itchenor Gallon — a trophy that rates high in the class, the first winner being Stewart Morris in Alarm.

The following year, Uffa built Thunder (388) for Peter Scott. Her shape was similar to Alarm, but with a finer bow and a long clean run, a theme which year by year was to be followed with an occasional diversion right up to the present day. Thunder had a 60 lb. ballasted centre board. With Thunder Peter Scott won the 1937 P.O.W.; 32 seconds separated the first three boats.

The following year Peter Scott and John Winter, each having won the P.O.W. commissioned Uffa to design and construct them a boat, Thunder and Lightning (409). During the P.O.W. Race of that year at Falmouth the ‘Establishment’ of the class were somewhat surprised to find Peter Scott lying outside the boat with his feet on the gunwale, supported by a harness attached by a wire to the hounds. The first trapeze had arrived. The origins of the trapeze came from a device ‘The Bell Rope’ which Beecher Moore had rigged on his ‘Thames Rater’. This was a rope attached to ‘the hounds’ on which the crew was expected to hang by his hands – in a similar way to native craft in the Indian Ocean and Pacific. Peter Scott and John Winter had crewed Beecher and they, together with Charles Currey and Uffa Fox, refined the idea by adding the hook and harness, allowing the user to hook rather than hang on. The equipment was developed in great secrecy with Uffa building a special stronger mast. Thunder and Lightning won, using the trapeze with Peter Scott and John Winter alternating as crew and skipper while Charles Currey also used a trapeze on his Fourteen. But the trapeze did not find favour, as it was felt that it was hardly in sympathy with the traditions of the class, and in any case could not be used by many boats on confined inland waters. Taking their lead from ‘The Mikado’, the dinghy Committee asked Peter Scott to draft the rule banning the device, so the trapeze joined the sliding seat which had been rejected some years earlier. Thunder and Lightning was also designed with an outsize genoa lift. on the foot, but this was unsuccessful on such a narrow boat. In the Autumn she was shipped to Toronto with Mirage (410), Colin Chichester Smith, and Thunder, Charles Currey, to race against the Canadians who were represented by Wigeon, Charles Bourke, Lisbeth II, Hank Hill, and Lady Kate, Jack Wright.

Canada won in light conditions by three races to one. During the winter months of 1938, the Dinghy Committee decided to tidy up the rules of both the International Fourteens and the National Twelves – one innovation being the compulsory annual buoyancy test.

In 1939, the Island Sailing Club celebrated its Jubilee and it was appropriate that the class which had had such constant support from the club should come to Cowes for the P.O.W. This was won by Hawk, the first time since 1931 that the race had gone to a boat not designed by Uffa. On the Monday of P.O.W. week in somewhat hectic conditions, 33 boats had started but only eight finished, which had prompted the question by Captain Boyd of Yachting Monthly, as to whether the boats were as seaworthy as they should be, and whether life-belts should be carried in all boats, as they were in Canada, where the Race Committee could order all competitors to wear life jackets by means of a flag signal.

One boat competing during P. O.W. week was Preface (426), another attempt to produce a low cost Fourteen. Clinker built, she was designed by Jack Holt and sailed by Beecher Moore, who finished 4th with her in one of the races.

By now, sail numbers had reached 430, the class was in excellent heart, competition was keen, the standard of sailing very high and the boats in an advanced state of development. Indeed there were those who said that they could not be further improved. But it was to be some years before anyone could prove the opposite, for the war soon put an end to all such pleasurable occupations in the U.K. although 14 sailing continued for a time in North America.