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Researching International 12 Foot Dinghies

by Vincent Delany 9 Oct 2020 11:58 BST
International 12 Foot dinghy © Vincent Delany

I am carrying out research on the above Class which was designed by George Cockshott of South Lancs Yacht Club and was the winner of a dinghy design competition. The dinghies were one of the earliest one-design classes of dinghy in Britain, having been designed in 1913.

In the lead up to the 1920 Olympic Regatta the I.Y.R.U. realised that they had endorsed no dinghy class. When the looked around to see what as available at short notice, they considered the B.R.A. 12 foot dinghy to be suitable and in January 1920 it became an International class, and were the selected equipment for both the 1920 and 1928 Olympics. The 1924 Olympic Regatta was held on the Seine and the French convinced the I.Y.R.U. that a French design would be preferable.

In Britain the B.R.A. 12 foot class was adopted by a number of Yacht Clubs:

  • The B.R.A. held a dinghy week in 1913 at Burnham-on-Crouch in 1913 with a fleet of 12s.
  • Royal Engineers Yacht Club had a fleet of 12s built by Bundock brothers of Leigh-on-Sea in 1913.
  • West Kirby Sailing Club had a fleet of boats built by Shephard of Bo'ness on Lake Windermere. The boats were named after famous battle ships; Audacious (H.J. Uren and S.C. Cross), Dreadnought (TBC), Thunderer (C. & T. Jackson), Bellerophen, Orion (R. Rainford), Colossus, Neptune (O.G. Hudson), Temeraire (F.D. Taylor and W.J. Davidson).
  • East Looe, Cornwall had a fleet in 1939.
  • Littleton Sailing Club, Chertsey had a fleet.
  • Windemere Bohemian Yacht Club Club adopted the class.
  • Trearddur Bay in Anglesea had a fleet in 1920 and one boat still survives.
  • Barnt Green Sailing Club, of Birmingham had a fleet in 1921.
  • The Sussex Yacht Club had seven dinghies built in 1920 with the expectation of the fleet increasing to fourteen boats by the end of the first season.
  • West Lancs. Yacht Club, the home club of the designer had a fleet.
  • Southport Corinthian Yacht Club had a fleet.
  • Bhopal Yacht Club, India had 12 foot dinghies.
I am interested to hear from any club historians who can throw light on the early days of the B.R.A. 12 foot dinghy in Britain. Please email

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