Chris Dicks Footy Design Award

A brief note on the MYA Chris Dicks Design Award 2006 for British Footy designs. This is from the viewpoint of a competitor. Roger Stollery will be publishing the official judges’ report later but since he is very busy at the moment (and his computer as blow up), I thought I’d let you have some early news.

There were 8 entries. One, Roger’s very interesting Bug 3 design, was disqualified by Roger himself because he was the Chairman of the panel of judges. The remaining 7 were:

An interesting conceptual design from Alex Austin which came seventh

My own Red Fox, in sixth position. I gather from Roger that the method of construction was considered to be over complex. I have no gripes about this: the construction of Red Fox is intended to make it relatively easy for those of limited skills to produce a light hull of a complex shape reasonably accurately. It is definitely not something you build in a couple of hours.

A very elegant free sailing design from Ian Dunmore, which has already been posted on this forum came 5th. This would have done better had it not been a purely free sailing boat.

My Dingo design (Roger was very industrious in soliciting entries) was fourth, held back by the total lack of innovation of its female moulded GRP construction. The plug for the Dingo mould was on show on the Footy stand.

My best effort, Fennec, was third – its vacuum-formed construction being its major plus over Dingo and Red Fox. The judges also had reservations about the detailed arrangements for sheeting the high wishbone booms and believed that parts like very small ball races for the most pivots would put people off (actually they are easily obtainable model helicopter parts, but I obviously did not put this across very well).

The joint winners were Phillip Wiles’ and Jon Birnie. Both were presented as complete boats. Phillip’s was a most impressive vacuum formed hull of lightish displacement and rather voluptuous curves – all the more commendable in that he is 14 – and its fittings and rig incorporated some intriguing novelties.

John Birnie’s Shazam was also presented as a complete boat – wide and light, allegedly partly inspired by a Cherub dinghy. Her hull was of laminated brown paper laid up over a male mould and she had some interesting twists in her fittings – for example, she used a grommet to adjust the attachment point of the main sheet: nothing new in that you say. But what was new was that the tail of the main outhaul was led under the grommet to make it fast. What could be simpler.

All in all it was a very satisfactory entry and I for one am sure that the best boats won. My congratulations to the winners. Next year we’ll be back using toilet roll over a bubble-wrap core!

Thanks for the very interesting preview. Will the final report include photos (including close-ups of rigging and fitting details) and/or plans?

Last year’s report was only available in a low-res pdf via a very circuitous, unindexed path on the MYA website (and fortunately linked by the Footy website; otherwise it would have been impossible to find!). It was not possible to blow up the photos and plans to a usable size with enough resolution to make out the details. Email requests to the MYA for higher resolution and some questions about details were never even acknowledged, much less answered.

(I am still very interested in details of the “bottle boat” swing rig used on the Bug 2, particularly the bearing scheme used.)


I will pass the comment on to Roger Stollery. Unfortunately he is computerless at the moment (I think that’s just an excuse to retire to his workshop and make things. However, you have to remember that the designs remain the property of their designers. However, I’ll try to get as much suporting information as possible available.

The official report will go directly onto the Footy Website as soon as I get it.

I know that the MYA’s supply of information about Footys has been pretty disastrous in the past. I am now the UK class secretary. I can’t promise to achieve anything, but I can promise that I’ll answer e-mails promptly and do my best to give people what they want. You can reach me through the registration section on the Footy website (and hoefuly throught the MYA site soon as well!).

I had a Bug 3 in my hand on Saturday. Unfortunately I was too intrigued by the other marvels of the swing ring to pay much attention to the pivot. A 4-way joint for the mast/pivot/jib strut/boom is available in carbon from PJ Sails (fax +44 1202 744 101 - guy’s name is Peter Wiles).

However, full drawings and instructions on Bug 3 should be available on the web pretty soon (a few weeks) at no charge.

Hope this helps.

Agreed, but you once said that your designs would be freely available, and apparently Roger is doing the same. Couldn’t the MYA, as a condition of entering the contest, require (and assist) designers to make the design (or hulls, or something) available, even if there would be a charge? It looks like there could be a big enough market that Traplett might become interested.


I can and will suggest that. There are sometimes problems. I know for a fact that the drawings/templates for last years winner Footloose were accidentally destroyed.

But definitely good idea.

On the last point, Roger Stollery who runs the competition is receptive. We (Brits) will do what we can.

The judges’ official report is now on the official Footy website. Photos etc. will follow tomorrow when Charles gets round to it.

Thank you Charles

I have been trying to find the description of the radio module that is written of within the BUG 3 report.
There is aparently a multi page explanation of the boat design and it included this devise.
I must say I find the MYA website most user unfriendly.
I realise that Roger has had some computer glitches but it is starting to get to the silly stage now.
Angus, can you rattle someones cage please. Not trying to be a prick …but.:rolleyes:

I don’t think you are being anything even resembling a Swordfish at all. I have just been reading Roger Stollery’s (presumably) official report. I am quite disappointed. The only slight hope is the use of the phrase “A photograph of this is included here”, which - with the absence of any photographs - suggests I am looking at a reproduction rather than the official document. I went to the MYA site but… well, enough said.

I am particularly disappointed because Alex Austin’s ‘Phin’ sounds fascinating… but I even have to imagine what it looks like… and as to dimensions, displacement, fittings, layout…
With digital cameras, inexpensive bandwidth and cheap web server storage, there is no excuse for a write up that contains no pictures and the very briefest of descriptions.

As I did say in the post, the photos will be available on the Official Footy Website, when Charles has got round to putting them there (hopefully today). Roger sent me an overall picture of the board - which was frankly of no use at all - but responded immediately with the individual elements when asked. These could have been put on my rather chaotic Photobucket site but I decided that somewhere more ‘official’ would be more appropriate.

Sorry for the delay. As I hope you know, I do try to turn these things around as quickly as possible, but sometimes there are problems and neither Roger’s nor (particularly) my judgement is infallible!

And, yes, in my view the MYA website as currently constituted should be in a private test mode. Hope fully it will improve. In the meantime, if you want to try to bring some more life to the nascent MYA Forum ( ), you are much more than welcome.

The photos are now up on the Official Footy Web Site. All thanks to Charles Hall!