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Flying 10 wins Concours d'Elegance at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2017

by Mark Jardine 4 Mar 2017 17:12 GMT 4 March 2017
The 'Flying 10' wins the Concours d'Elegance at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2017 © Paul Wyeth /

The Flying 10, an Uffa Fox singlehanded dinghy design from 1949 and the smallest of his 'Flying' series of keelboats, has won the 2017 Concours d'Elegance at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show.

The boat, built by Dan Johnson and Tim Loftus - who together are Johnson & Loftus Boatbuilders in Ullapool - has been a labour of love and went for her first sail only on Monday. Sarah Treseder, CEO of the RYA, and Mark Jardine, editor of, battled their way through the crowds to judge the competition and choose between the huge range of boats on show.

On receiving the award Dan Johnson said, "We're absolutely delighted; it makes all the hard work completely worthwhile. We came here not expecting anything and it has made our show. It's a very special show anyway and to have won this amazing trophy and prize is mind-blowing for us. We're usually working away in a cold workshop in North West Scotland on our own in a village of a 1,000 people. Then to come here and meet everyone is a bit overwhelming!"

Tim Loftus described why they decided to build a Flying 10: "A previous client of mine had left the plans with me, with the view to potentially commissioning one, and since Dan and I merged our two boatbuilding businesses, we both looked at the plans and decided we liked the look of them: let's just build it!"

Dan & Tim went to great lengths to complete the boat, including building their own foundry to make the keel as Tim describes, "the keel was interesting because the nearest foundry is in Glasgow, which is getting on for 250 miles from us, so we built our own foundry with two furnaces firing on diesel! Somebody donated us a lot of cast iron which we melted down."

Sarah Treseder commented on the boat, "The huge attention to detail was staggering. We couldn't believe the boat had actually been sailed and thought surely something this pristine hasn't been on the water. For me it was the meticulous detail, the beautiful grain of the wood, and the thought that had gone into every single millimetre, including the bits that people don't see like the way the keel bolts are all beautifully lined up. We were unanimous in our choice, but I'm pretty sure every single visitor to the show would have been as well. Well done!"

The quality and presentation of the boats on display at this year's RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show has been astounding. Special mention must be made to the Solo class, for the Class Chairman's boat which had stunningly varnished decks on the 17 year old boat, the Challenger trimaran which was decked out beautifully and the newly built, and only first sailed last week, Synergy Marine Cadet called 'Spectre', with the apt sail number 10 007.

The Concours d'Elegance winner is the recipient of three months worth of banner advertising on worth £600 and the Concours d'Elegance trophy.

Previous Winners: