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Jon Montgomery, the designer of the Catapult, passes away

By Stuart Ede on 11 Jun 2009 8 June 2009
Jon Montgomery at the launch of the Catapult class at the Southampton Boat Show in 1982
Jon Montgomery at the launch of the Catapult class at the Southampton Boat Show in 1982
Photo © Alex Montgomery
Alex Montgomery, son of Catapult designer Jon, sailing Catapult No.1, storms to victory in the 25th Anniversary Nationals
Alex Montgomery, son of Catapult designer Jon, sailing Catapult No.1, storms to victory in the 25th Anniversary Nationals
Photo © Stuart Ede

Dear Catapult sailors past and present,

I am sure you will be saddened to hear that Jon Montgomery, the designer of the Catapult, that has given us all so much pleasure over the years, died yesterday.

Jon had been suffering from lung cancer for the last couple of years. He soldiered on remarkably through both chemo- and radiotherapy, until about three weeks ago when he entered his final decline. Typical of Jon, in his last few weeks he had (with his son Alex's help because he was in a wheelchair) been preparing various tips to go on the new class website.

Jon was a remarkable man who had a vision for a unique catamaran that would become a design classic, which he took from the drawing board to reality on the water. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his vision, amazing expertise and dedication. He was also a great guy to know, and I am glad we were able to demonstrate our deep affection for him and for his design at the Catapult 25th Anniversary Regatta at Bala in 2007.

We have much admiration for Jon, not just for the Catapult, but also for Jon's revolutionary Quatrefoil radio-controlled model catamaran that he had been campaigning very successfully, and which he hoped might one day be adopted by a syndicate and turned into a full size, ocean going, round-the-world record breaker. Certainly Jon's passing needs to marked for all he has done for sailing.

I am sure all our sympathies go out to Jon's family.

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