More fantastic new boat news for the BOD Fleet! Today Sue Bouckley, her husband Adrian and daughters Hannah and Abbi Stodel became the very proud owners of Brightlingsea One Design C50 (shown being loaded to transport this morning).
This is the GRP boat that builder John Mullins was constructing for himself and is in fact the first of the GRP hulls moulded (hence sail number 50). John also built C31 Blue Peter, now owned by Adrian and Judith Gibbons, and C51 Grethe, now owned by Fi Brown. John’s quality of work and attention to detail is the stuff of legend, but very sadly he has been suffering from Alzheimer’s for several years and this has made it impossible for him to complete the boat personally.
Sue, whose maiden name is Green, hails from Brightlingsea, has a long family association with the BOD fleet and sailed in the boats herself as a cadet. Having been a very successful dinghy sailor in her youth, including representing Great Britain in the 420 and 470 classes, Sue has done very little of her own sailing in recent years. Instead she has been supporting elder daughter Hannah Stodel in her Paralympic sailing campaigns and building a successful training business which she runs with her husband Adrian and younger daughter Abbi.
Back in their youths Fi Brown and Sue had sailed dinghies together and when Fi purchased Grethe she got in touch with Sue to come for a sail. One very light airs aborted race and a breezy evening cruising up and down Pyefleet with Adrian and her young nephews (the sons of her late brother Jamie Green, who was a very well known member of the BSC Laser fleet) was all it took convinced Sue that it was time to get a BOD and she began looking for the right boat.
At about the same time John Mullins was reluctantly contacting the class to say he was looking for someone to purchase and complete his boat. The stars were clearly aligned for what has proved to be a match made in heaven, not only because it gives Sue a beautiful boat which she can have completed to her own deck specification, but because it also turns out that Sue and John have some unexpected links. When John became an apprentice shipwright his first master was a man called Harry Webb – who was Sue’s maternal grandfather – and he was at school with her mother and aunt, both of whom sailed BODs. Although John must be terribly sad to say goodbye to C50, I am sure he must take heart in knowing that she is going to such a good home and to a family with which he has such a longstanding connection.
Sue advises us that the boat is approximate 2/3 complete and that the final work on her will be done by boatbuilder Simon Hipkin, who fits out the new glass boats. She plans to race with her daughters Hannah and Abbi, another extremely good sailor, and will be introducing Adrian, a self confessed novice, to the joys of BOD sailing too. She is also looking forward to more fun sailing with her nephews and other family members.
Simon will be starting work on the boat next week and she will be launched in spring 2015, after which she will be based at Park and Ride.
Sue tells us that the girls have had great fun naming her. They were keen to keep up the informal BOD tradition of sea bird names and have chosen Eider, the duck from whose feathers Eiderdowns are made and which the RSPB informs us is the fastest sea duck in British waters. We hope she lives up to her reputation for being both cosy and speedy.
We are all very much looking forward to welcoming Sue, Adrian, Hannah and Abbi to the class in 2015 and wish them many happy hours aboard Eider!