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Ovington Boats 2014

A Commitment to the Committed: Introducing Ovington's John McAfee

by Lester Noble 26 Jun 2017 10:00 BST 26 June 2017
John McAfee in action on the water © Bernardi­ Bibiloni

Let me introduce you to John McAfee, Ovington's export manager. John has been with Ovington for barely a year. He came from the marine industry but more from the windsurfing side and his dinghy sailing experience is limited.

Admittedly, he has been crewing a 49er for the last couple of years, but as it is with a pensioner (i.e. me), it is more a display of his human generosity in 'helping the aged', than his sailing skills. He has helmed a dinghy for little more than a couple of weeks in total.

So, after agreeing to support the Musto Skiff World Championships in Palma, Majorca, with Ovington's spare parts van, he was cajoled by some of the Musto Skiff sailors to actually take part. It seemed quite a radical, if not naive, step accepting the challenge, especially with only a couple of weeks to the start of the event at the end of May, and only a handful of days to practice. Nevertheless that is what happened.

It would be fairy tale to say he went on to win the event, but the truth is that Ovington are not in competition with Disney. They are an innovative but practical, family-orientated boat builder from Tynemouth, in the North East of England, making some of the best dinghies and small keelboats in the world. In reality, he needed the spare parts van more than most, but he got round most of the races and never finished at the back of the fleet.

And the main point of this story? Well it's best summed up by the photographs of him taken during the Worlds, helping customers in the morning, putting numbers on their new sails, and then getting involved in all the action in the afternoon.

Total commitment. He may be a rookie, but that didn't stop him putting in 100%. This commitment runs through the core of Ovington Boats, from the cleaner to the multi-world champion owner. The aim is to produce the best boats and give their dedicated customers the ultimate tool to achieve success. And with every boat they produce they have the same motto in mind - A Commitment to the Committed.

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