early international 12 foot

an area to discuss dinghy developments
Post Reply
Posts: 2420
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:43 pm
Location: somerset

early international 12 foot

Post by chris » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:24 am

Having moved to Pembroke Dock in deepest west Wales i have been volunteering at a local maritime museum and have been set to work restoring an 'International 12 foot' dinghy. It dates before the 1928 Olympics, when the international 12 was the single handed Olympic boat, and has a direct connection with the games of that year. Many years ago it had a deck fitted and the rig was altered. She is being returned to its original layout. For a boat that is about 100 years old it is still very sound.
To see what it should look like see http://www.12footdinghy.org . the addition of a deck has not damaged the hull much, though the side benches are lost.

YWURRY International 12
Donated to West Wales Maritime Heritage Museum 2018/9 by Francis Gaydon.
This boat was originally owned by Francis’ grandfather H R Gaydon, who represented Great Britain in the 12foot dinghy class in the 1928 olympics.
YWURRY was his first 12’ but he bought a second one called IWUNDER. According to his grandson “ She belonged to my Grandfather Mr H R Gaydon, he raced her on the Crouch (Burnham-on-Crouch Essex). He soon had another 12’ built (Iwunda) and went on to race in the class during the 1920’s, gaining some notoriety he took part in the 1928 Olympics. When racing ended he was so angry that he swapped Iwunda for a radio! and converted Ywurry to use with his family, including my late Father.”

This would suggest that YWURRY is about one hundred years old. The modifications mentioned above are still to be seen. The boat shows a flat foredeck with a pair of rather substantial breakwaters that have strange lid arrangement bolted to them creating a small low cuddy. The mast position has been moved aft by about a foot and now supports a tall bamboo mast taking a Bermuda rig with a small jib. There are side decks with a thin combing making a restricted cockpit. The original side benches, mast support thwart, fore thwart are now missing. A sail bag contains three very old original cotton lug sails (one labelled ‘small’) one is in very good condition and shows little sign of hard use. One of these has K8 on it, the others appear blank but may show old stitching of numbers so I will investigate further. The more modern main and jib are there too but are made from the soft silky terylene material and must presumably date from the fifties rather than the thirties. i have seen a photo showing it sailing in the mid thirties with a foredeck but no side decks. Among the sails are some rigging parts, an oarlock, one belaying pin, and a lead weight ‘sinker’.

1928 Olympics
(The following is mostly sourced from the Official Report of the 1928 Olympiad found here. https://digital.la84.org/digital/collec ... 351/rec/10
The yachting report starts at page 853, which is really page number 861 on the actual report.)

The 12 foot dinghy class had the most entrants in the sailing events at twenty.
Most countries sent one helm but a reserve was allowed; France, Poland and Great Britain sent reserves. GB sending G. Fowler with H R Gaydon listed as reserve. In the results table however Gaydon is shown above Fowler suggesting he helmed in the contest. The race list shows the entrants for France and Poland in the order they appear in the first entry list. I am making an assumption that this is the case but I may be wrong. Perhaps there was some dispute here which caused the anger Francis Gaydon referred to. However GB got through to the final contest of four races having come within the top ten. In one race in the final series he was given last place with a note saying "bumped no.3" . No. 3 (Norway) was also involved in another collision earlier with a different boat yet went to take silver. (the bone of contention perhaps) . The first part of the contest consisted of four races, the fleet of twenty being divided into two groups of ten boats, the grouping being sail no.s 1 to 10 and 11 to 20 and then odds and evens for alternate races. The finals consisted of ten boats in four races. Britain sailed in boat no.14.and acheived 8th place overall. All boats being provided by the host nation.

The International 12' has stayed popular in the Netherlands and Italy and has a small following in the UK.
Do you know of other old ones in the UK? (a few new ones have been built and the plans are available)
Who might the builder of YWURRY, in Burnham on Crouch have been? There is no identification plate.
What is the strange ladle-shaped object containing something gooey for? ( I have a quess but have never seen anything like it before. it swings out from under the thwart.
Does the sail number K8 suggest a class number or a local club fleet number? (the class started in 1913)
Answers not on a postcard please.

IMG_1584 (2).JPG
strange ladle
(22.09 KiB) Not downloaded yet
new deck
(21.18 KiB) Not downloaded yet

Posts: 2440
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: West Wiltshire (Wessex)

Re: early international 12 foot

Post by Pat » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:08 pm

Chris - contact Colin Blewett as he may have contacts and information since he travels his Int12 to European 12 events.
(Half Cut and What a Lark Removals Ltd)

Posts: 2420
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:43 pm
Location: somerset

Re: early international 12 foot

Post by chris » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:16 pm

have done that already Pat. he has kindly lent me his drawings so that i can remake the side benches to the drawings!

Post Reply