Author: Pete Mallaband
For those of you planning to venture to Poole YC this year for the 60th Anniversary Osprey Nationals, then make sure you keep the evening of Thursday 10th August free in your diary. We will be joined at Poole Yacht Club that evening by two Guests of Honour, sailing legends in their own right, telling us about the early days of the Osprey class.
Michael Goffe was the helm in 1953 of Osprey number 1, at the IYRU trials for a new Olympic boat. Initially specialising in the National 12 Dinghy, Michael won the Sir William Burton Cup & Yachting World Points Cup in Weymouth in 1949. Before the 1952 Olympics, the Olympic Organising Committee was trying to decide which dinghy to support in the racing. During the dinghy selection trials Michael ably demonstrated his skills whilst helming Osprey 1.
Cliff Norbury was one of the three man supercrew (with Ian Proctor and John Oakley) who won the Round the Island race in Osprey 1 later that year. Cliff then helped propel another Proctor design, the Tempest, to Olympic selection.
It is worth coming to the Nationals just to hear these two sailors’ memories. If you are a former Osprey sailor or someone who really enjoys the real history of Dinghy sailing who would like to attend the talks, please contact Peter Frith for tickets.
The author couldn’t find a picture of Osprey 1 in the archives; however one of the earliest boats of that era is Osprey 73, recently restored by David Downs. This boat was originally built c 1952/3 and has just won the Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association meeting at Roadford Lake in Devon on the 15th and 16th of July. Not bad for a 65 year old boat.
Photo copyright David Downs