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!