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Race Training with Jim Saltonstall
Race Training with Jim Saltonstall

The John Westell Centenary, Part 2: An eye for design

by Dougal Henshall 1 Feb 2021 12:00 GMT
The year is early 1947 and John Westell is seen here crewing in his own International 14 Nimbus down on the River Exe © Archive

In Part 2 of this series of videos telling the story of the life and boats of John Westell, we will see how his eye for a shapely design and his love of speed in a sailing dinghy would become increasingly strong factors behind his thinking.

At the same time, the video will show how these were hugely significant years for the sport of dinghy racing, as international influences, new materials and the demands for the sport to make itself less elite and more accessible would see pressure being put on the Administrators of the sport to take positive action. The story of the John Westell Centenary cannot be told in isolation of these changes, for he would be right at the very heart of them, commenting on them as a yachting journalist, sailing in the new breed of dinghies and then, forming his own ideas of what a performance dinghy should be like, with his ideals becoming a reality in the third video, out mid-February.

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