2 History

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"We did try the VJ and VS associations to adopt the Skate as a class but they were not interested so the Skate association was formed in 1957 and 1958. The Skate was actually launched in 1956 and we had 14 races over that season with 14 wins against all comers from Lake Macquarie to Lake Illawarra. 1957/1958 saw three clubs sailing Skates with as you know the first title being won by Ray Young at Georges River Sailing Club, this boat was the original Skate.

"From there the class boomed over the next couple of years and culminated in the Australian titles being held at Nedlands Club in WA. Between all the family, we have a lot of old memorabilia from the early Skate days if you are interested we could forward these on to you.

"We have attached a photo of the first Skate taken in August 1956 at Port Hacking. Sure a lot different from the boats of today. Once again congratulations to all concerned in the Skate Associations Australia wide. It's great to see the class 50 years on still with a group of enthusiastic sailors promoting a terrific boat.

"Would love to be present at the Australian titles for the 50th year, so we will see what we can do.

"Kind regards, Richard W

"PS Others involved in the original Skate were:
Boat - Vince Minter
Sails - Jack Herrick
Spars - Ray Keating
Skating Insignia - Bill Denman
Naval Architect - Don Dixon"

The hull was redesigned and widened in 1971 by Doug Jefkins and the measurement tolerances were tightened, and the size of the mainsail and spinnaker were increased in 1983-84 season.

The first fibreglass hulls appeared in 1971, with foam sandwich hulls being produced from 1979.

During the 1990s the rig was lengthened and the sail plan modified to improve the aspect ratio.

The class further evolved in 2000 with thoughts of using an asymmetrical spinnaker mounted from a bow pole. Skates are now configured with the taller rig and bow pole (either carbon fibre or aluminium, extendable or fixed depending on personal preference).

These changes have made the Skate easier to sail, and crew weight is now less critical, as evidenced by the number of younger sailors competing at a high level in the fleet.

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