by Gun Caundle
When Dean Barker came home from work on his 40th birthday and saw Evolution floating in his swimming pool, he was blown away.
Evolution on display at the Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show 2014 - Day 1, Weta Dinghy Central
It was fully rigged with its original Tanner and Tauranga Cups winning sail (which Ray had carefully stored since 1988) with the hull restored to how Bob Senior had built it in 1985.
Evolution was built in 1985 by Bob Senior for his son Geoff who sailed at Murrays Bay. It was built with minimum beam and lots of forward rocker in the keel. The aft sections are straight and flat and although Evolution was average up wind, it was a downwind flyer. Geoff Senior was runner up in Evolution in the Tanner Cup in 1985 & 1986, and won the Tauranga Cup in 1986.
Dean Barker is re-united with his winning P-class
Dean Barker was sailing a P Class at Murrays Bay that time, a couple of years behind Geoff Senior. He and his father Ray had always admired Evolution from observing how well Geoff Senior performed in it. When Geoff won the Tauranga Cup, Ray Barker wanted to buy Evolution. Bob Senior initially wanted to keep it for his younger son but later changed his mind and Ray Barker eventually bought Evolution in March 1987. In 1988 Dean Barker won the Tanner Cup and Tauranga Cup in Evolution.
Dean had long harboured a desire to have Evolution back in the family. He shared this with his wife Mandy and his father Ray. With a work associate, Dean tracked Evolution down to the Buchanan family in Charteris Bay near Lyttleton. After enquiring, the work associate reported to Dean it was not for sale. In actual fact Dean’s work associate knew of Mandy’s idea to buy Evolution as a surprise for Dean, so he told Dean a porky.
Ray Barker bought Evolution off the Buchanan family in 2012 on behalf of Mandy, who asked Ray if he could oversee the restoration back to its original condition for Deans 40th Birthday.
Mike Pearce boat builders in Silverdale undertook the restoration with the work being done by Peter Webster and Mike Pearce.
Ray Barker rigging Evolution after restoration
Geoff Senior helping Mike Pearce with the positioning of the deck fittings