What! I'm flummoxed by the title of this post. It's just utter nonsense, Joe!
I know that you are dumbfounded, but some folks actually love to sail classics like the International 12 designed by George Cockshott. Imagine that?
In 1912 the Boat Racing Association announced a design competition for a new class of one-design dinghy. It had to be suitable for racing and also for use as a yacht tender and 12 feet long. The competition was entered by several designers some of whom were professionals and others were amateur, like George. The closing date for the competition was 21st April 1913 and shortly after this the winner was announced. George Cockshott had won and received the prize money of five guineas.
They didn't hang about in those days so, by October, the West Kirby Sailing Club had already taken delivery of six boats and the first race took place on 4th October 1913. As there were only six boats available the host club did not take part.
Twelve clubs from the North West of England and Wales raced. After two preliminary heats this number was reduced to six . George Cockshott crewed in the Rhyl Yacht Club boat and the overall winner was his club, the Southport Corinthians, sailing "Thunderer"
The class quickly became popular both in this country and overseas. It was initially called the A Class One Design and later the BRA 12. In West Kirby they were all named after Dreadnought Class battleships and they were known as Dreadnoughts. It was later granted International Status, and became the International 12.
During the First World War Holland remained neutral and the class quickly took off there. By the end of the war there were 120 boats. By 1920 there were over 200 in this country and many overseas. About this time Morgan Giles was invited to improve the design and made some changes, which would improve the windward performance and also make the boat stiffer in a blow. However these changes were never adopted as there were a large number of boats in Holland and Belgium to the original design.
At some stage many of the Irish boats were modified by moving the mast aft, reducing the size of the mainsail and adding a small foresail. The hulls remained unchanged. These became known as the Dublin Bay Twelves.
The boat was selected to sail in the Olympic Games in 1920. This was the first time that dinghies had been raced in the Games. It was selected again for the 1928 Olympics, this time as the single-handed class.
Three versions of the boat were exhibited at the Southampton Boat Show in 2013 - the Centenary year. The first was built by the Good Wood Boat Company in Cockermouth, the second was imported from Lithuania by Anglia Yacht Brokerage, and the third was restored by Cockwells at Falmouth. There are over two hundred boats each in Holland and Italy and about fifty in Japan. The website www.12footdinghy.org lists eighteen countries in total where these boats are sailed. Italy commemorated the Centenary by issuing a Postage Stamp.
The International 12 was not only the first dinghy to be given international status as well as the first Olympic dinghy. It represented the start of dinghy racing as we know it today. It is quite remarkable that it was designed by a little known, amateur designer who was a solicitor by profession. Perhaps he found boats more interesting than law.
Ernest Rowe - Winner of the George Cockshott Cup, 1955