The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club has never before welcomed so many internationally recognised sailors as appeared to hear Roger explain the development and building of Mingming ll on Saturday.
Jester sailors, past, present, and hopeful, together with members of the Junk Rig Association and the Achilles 24 Owners' Association, listened as Roger told his new single-handed boat's story, pulling together her component parts as they developed in Rice and Cole’s yard, Roger’s garden and Brenda’s study – there can’t be many boats whose dimensions of the sail plan were regulated by the space available on a study floor!
Mingming II is the culmination of years of knowledge and experience, by a yachtsman who over a 45 year period has built and remodelled a number of small, sea-going craft, each one a development of the previous project. Roger has acquired most boat-building skills on the way, even extending to designing and making his own sails. He is in many ways a romantic as far as sailing is concerned, but with a romanticism underpinned by ruthless analysis, a practical sense of survival, and tempered by the aesthetics of form and function.
The audience of seventy plus included not only the Jesters but local craftsmen who helped out with ideas and practical assistance and Burnham residents who have spotted the distinctive black junk-rig sailing up and down the Crouch and were curious to find out more.
Watch out for Dick Durham’s article in next month’s Yachting Monthly together with a video of Mingming II’s sea trials which we were privileged to preview. And Roger’s plans? Into the High Arctic, East of Spitsbergen in mid-June if all goes well…