It was only a few years ago that Archie Willis was a cadet sailor messing around in the Blackwater in an Optimist and a Topaz and more recently crewing on the Tollesbury racing smack ‘Charlotte Ellen’ so it was really exciting to be invited by his parents (Laura and Will) to go to New York to watch Archie and the rest of the crew on ‘Ranger’ which was taking part in the celebrations for the America’s Cup meet on the Hudson River, which hasn’t been done since 1920. It was amazing to watch the 6 America’s Cup teams competing over the 2 days cheering on Sir Ben Ainslie and Team GB to bring the Cup home, currently 3rd in the race leaderboard
But it was especially thrilling to see a Tollesbury boy aboard a J-Class yacht again as many local men in the 1930’s had not only crewed but captained various J-Class yachts when competing in the Americas Cup – Shamrock V, Endevour, Endevour 11 and Velsheda.
Archie gave us a tour of the yacht and told us the ‘Ranger’ with 6 other ‘J’s are competing in Bermuda next year ahead of the Americas Cup Challenge 2017.
One for the diary!
So to all cadets, if you aspire to sail all over the world… It can be done.