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Skate Number 1

 

 

Skate History and Memorabilia

The 14 foot Skate is a high performance two-person racing dinghy know for exhilarating rides. It is commonly held by skate sailors, both forward hands and skippers past and present, to outclass all other sailing craft for consistently providing the sensation of speed on the water at the very edge of control in winds ranging from 15 to 25 knots.

The Skate is a national class unique to Australia, originally developed in 50 years ago to offer high performance at an affordable price. A quick look at the classifieds and boat building areas of this site will show that this is still the case today!

Fourteen feet long, they have few restrictions and so can be configured to suit individual preferences. Most Skates have a 10-foot long plank for the crew, and an 8-foot plank for the skipper. Planks are slid across the hull from one side to the other when tacking. Other configurations include short wings with two trapezes, longer wings with one trapeze, or trampolines.

The Australian 14' Skate Sailing Dinghy is a two-man dinghy designed in 1956 and was the original performance development class, with the sail plan created by J. Herrick and the hull by Vince Minter.

Extract of an email from the owner of the very first registered skate to the skate website hosted by softrade dated 03 May 2005:

"Congratulations on the Skate web page. It's just great to see the class alive and well and progressing as it has over the years. It sure looks like a frantic ride these days just as it was 50 years ago when we launched the first Skate. We have been checking the site for the last few years and the wife said I should contact you, so here I am.

"My name is Richard Wilson and along with my three brothers, Gordon, Ken and John, we had the first Skate built by Vince Minter. Vince's idea was to design a boat that was easy to build, cost effective and would keep the older and bigger sailors of the day who were mainly sailing VJ's to stay on the water. And that was exactly the Skate did in those days.

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