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Leaderboard Dec 2021

The John Westell Centenary, Part 4: Happy One Hundred to John Westell

by Dougal Henshall 11 Mar 2021 09:30 GMT
John Westell © Archive

Today will be a day of genuine celebration, not just for the 5o5 Class, but for the sport of sailing in the wider context, as we raise a glass to the memory of John Westell, who was born one hundred years ago today.

As the first three programmes in the series of videos that have charted his life show, John was a committed sailor, designer and innovator, whose influence spreads over many fields of technical engineering.

However, the design for which he is rightly best known is of course the 5o5 and so, in a special celebration of John’s creative vision that gave us this amazing boat, his centenary programme will be focused on how his idea for a racing dinghy took shape, firstly on the drawing board and then in the workshop.

For now though let us raise a glass (as John loved a glass or two) and salute the memory of the man who gave us and the sport so much, but in particular, what many still see as the best racing dinghy – ever.

Happy Centenary Woodroffe John Westell,
11th March 1921 – 11th January 1989

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