sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Volvo Legends: Great Britain II - Her builder's story

Volvo Legends: Great Britain II - Her builder's story

'Great Britain II leaving Auckland in the 1977-78 Whitbread, which she was again first around the World'    © Richard Gladwell

The ketch rigged Great Britain II was the first boat to finish in the first Whitbread Round the World Race which started in September 1973.

Derek Kelsall was the builder of the 78ft maxi designed by Alan Gurney and skippered by Chay Blyth writes to give his perspective of how the foam sandwich ketch was constructed. She went on to compete in five round the world races:

Prior to GB 11, I had designed and built the first foam sandwich yacht of note, trimaran Toria, which won us the 1966 2000 mile Round Britain Race and along with a number of other multihull winners, I built the Robert Clark design mono Sir Thomas Lipton, the winner of OSTAR 68. Chay Blyth chose a near sister ship, British Steel, for his solo around the World.

Chay had found a sponsor for his mount for the first Whitbread yacht and approached me to discuss building the 78 ft Alan Gurney design in foam/fiberglass sandwich. No problem. STL was the biggest sailing yacht in fiberglass at that time and another jump in size to 78ft. was the kind of challenge I enjoyed.

The late Rob James at the helm of Great Britain II at the start of the Auckland leg if the 1977-78 Whitbread Race -  © Richard Gladwell?nid=90648   Click Here to view large photo

I was designing only at the time and I would be happy to be consultant on this prestige project. We would find a suitable established builder. We talked to several, but none came forward or were in a position to launch by May of the next year, which was the date set for Princess Anne to crack the champagne bottle.

The time came, when I said to myself and then to Chay, if this boat is going to get built, someone had better start building.

To cut a long story short, I put my hand up. A week later I had employed a model yacht builder and found an old sail loft in Sandwich, Kent, in which to loft the frames. Lots of hurdles were climbed during the next six months. There were still some jobs to do when GB 11 trundled down the old fashioned slipway in Ramsgate but she got to the water on schedule.

The most remarkable part of this story is not that we achieved in six months what most such projects take 2-3 times as long, but that the crew, which built up to 32,working in three shifts around the clock at launch time, had all learnt their boat building on the job. Half of these men where the sailing crew of Royal Marines. What a fantastic group they were to work with. The motivation was to ensure their place when the boat sailed. There can be no better testament to the dedication of the crew than the boat and its history since. Of course, having helped build the boat, most of the crew then had to learn to sail.

Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta: Great Britain II. -  Ian Roman-Volvo Ocean Race©?nid=90648   Click Here to view large photo

One question I do wonder ? Is there a more travelled yacht ever?

About fifteen years ago I was talking to Alan Toone, one of the original crew who has skippered and followed the progress of GB 11 on its various projects since. He counted to 50 Atlantic crossings and 6 or more times around the World. I have met dozens of those crews. There was one common factor; the confidence they all had in GB 11. With 17 tons of lead ballast, she was no light weight racer by today's standards but a great boat for her time and for the event.

At that time GB 11 seemed to have been sailing almost continuously. I would love to get in touch with the present owner or crew and learn her story since.

Today I have an active design company in NZ where we continue to specialize in refining foam sandwich build methods (KSS) and design catamarans of all kinds, with clients in 20 countries around the World. GB 11 is testament to the efficiency and durability of the materials and the Kelsall methods.

Amazingly, we continue to find refinements to our KSS building technique for these exceptionally versatile and effective materials for composite boat building. The materials have changed little. The handling methods are now very much more build time efficient.

Derek Kelsall, FRINA.
www.kelsall.com

For the Volvo Legnds story on Great Britain II click here?nid=90648

Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta Prizegiving: Great Britain II. -  Ian Roman-Volvo Ocean Race©?nid=90648   Click Here to view large photo




by Derek Kelsall

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=90648

10:42 AM Sat 12 Nov 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race

Related News Stories:

21 Aug 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Official Video of latest edtion
21 Aug 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: All-Women crew announced for the 2014-15 edition
31 Jul 2012  B&G helps Volvo Ocean Race winner to victory
18 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: And when the race is over.... + Video
18 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Calling up the Reinforcements
16 Jul 2012  The most successful Volvo Ocean Race yet
16 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Sanderson wants to go again
16 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Reluctant hero Marsh takes seamanship honour
16 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean race: How the closest ever race was won
10 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Perfection never enough for Franck Cammas
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World





2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins by Vanessa Yates, Hawaii






























































Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race - First blood to Team Brunel
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - Competition heats up on day 2
Laser Radial World Championships - Competition aplenty on day 3 +Video
Extreme Sailing Series - Penultimate Act to take place in Nice
Leukemia Cup - Images by Leighton O'Connor
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Meeting of the grand designs
29er North American Championship - Final series kicks off
29er World Championship 2014 set to start in Kingston, Ontario
Barcelona and Parnu chosen for 2015 ORC championship events
2014 Race for Rady Yacht Race - Benefiting Rady Children’s hospital
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Doubleheader events start tomorrow
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 3
Sailing through STEM Night at California YC
Six Metre European Championship - High temps and little wind on day 3
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Light wind opener in Vannes
International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Unsatisfactory conditions on day 4
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - American unbeatable on day 1
RS Feva World Championships - All set at Yacht Club de Carnac
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards - Nominations now open
BIC Techno 293 Worlds - Steady winds on day 2 + Video   
29er North American Open Championship - Qualifying series wraps up   
Opening ceremony O'pen Bic World Cup, Travemunde Week, Germany   
Six Metre Europeans - Wind fails to make an appearance on day 2   
Edgartown Race Weekend - Let the sailing (and good times) begin   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Action commences July 23   
International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Ireland remains out front   
Spirits high as Team Alvimedica completes Transatlantic crossing   
Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature   
29er North American Championship - Day 1 in Kingston   
Red Bull 49erFX: First look at the Olympic sailing venue at Rio   
Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam - Classic conditions on day 3   
NYYC Race Week Part II images by Rolex/Daniel Forster   
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 1   
Six Metre European Championship - Blazing sunshine on opening day   
National Sailing Hall of Fame to present Lifetime Achievement Award   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Tactical evening ahead for the fleet   
International Moth Worlds: Greenhalgh and Rashley tied at the top   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT