Monday, August 3, 2015


John H. Ilingworth, Francis Bouygues, Baron Bich.

This Post is prompted by an e-mail I received following the article by John Rousmaniere about Dick Carter in the August issue of Seahorse magazine. See above Post.

P. A wrote: " In my life I have worked for three or four "Rock Stars" and Dick Carter was the first. We were all in our twenties ( and Dick was only 42) when he hired all of us and gave us the freedom to do great things".

I wish to everybody to have had Mentors like I have been privileged to be associated with. No less than three, whom by finding something in me, allowed me to find myself.
Their paths crossed mine. Found about boats, Yachting and enthusiast with sailing, their presence allowed someone very young to pursue a passion in many interesting ways.
Yes, this is talking about myself but thanks to the Social Media and search engines, one can find everything there is to find about the above personalities. All larger than life.

Illingworth and Primerose, then Illingworth and Associates.
My year with the firm, barely nineteen years old started in St-Malo, Brittany. With the building of Oryx a Class 1 Ocean Racer for Mr. Francis Bouygues. Then to be the skipper over the summer on Maryka in the 1966 One Ton Cup in Denmark. Richard (Dick) E. Carter won that event with Tina. Then on to England to design boats. Wow!

Francis Bouygues.
Living in Paris now, being there studying, I became a frequent guest of the Bouygues. I also became involved with the Magazine Neptune-Nautisme where I had my own column reviewing boat designs.
Implying many times to redraw in ink the submitted drawings. 
Sailing took the full season of 1967 aboard Oryx ending with the Fastnet Race of that year.
A little side story.

I got to think. If I am to draw, re-draw drawings from designers for a magazine then why not buy the publication in order to publish myself and perhaps sell my own yacht designs. So I approached Francis to meet with Jean-Michel Barrault and Alain Glicksman the Chief Editor of Neptune-Nautisme, my boss there. Well, as you can imagine there is nothing that a magazine can bring to the table of a Trump. I am not comparing the person, just the type of business. Entreprise Francis Bouygues is one of the largest building companies in the world with Bouygues Construction, Bouygues Immobilier and Colas. But, his interest in Media came a few years later with Films, and Program TV Bouygues TF1, and the creation of telecoms, Bouygues Telecom. Telephones, Internet. A giant.

Baron Bich.

At the time in France, every young Frenchmen were obligated to 2 years to be spent in the Military services. I thought that I had better to do it fast rather than waiting and postponing. No time to lose.
It happened that my younger brother had joined the AFCA, the Association Francaise pour La Coupe America, the syndicate put together by Baron Bich to challenge the Defender of the America's Cup.
With my design background and the need to design a "12 International Metre" it became an easy shoe to get into the program. But first, the "Bataillon de Joinville" where athletes practicing their sport leading to the Olympics, could best serve the country for that length of Military service. This was the venue to feed the rang for crew needed to sail the training boats purchased by the Baron. Kurrewa, Sovereign or Constellation. The stable of new recruits spent 3 months in boot camps, for me it was about climbing hills and shooting canons in mock war games. My feet never felt so hurt, I had real bad boots and piercing was the only relief necessary just to be able to walk. But, after all this training over, we still managed to climb, "faire le mur" almost every night. The wall, circling the barracks had a very obvious hole in the perimeter of barbed wires to allow our nocturnal escapes. Personally, I had rented a room where I actually designed boats. While others had more mundane rendez-vous of the ladies kind.

Finally delivered from the 3 months of boot camps, we sailed almost everyday. Eventually I went to Marseilles to work for Andre Mauric, the Naval Architect for the French Challenge. There, I learnt a lot. Mauric, a mathematician had developed techniques in drafting close to what is now all translated into computers hull design programs. I mentioned on another blog post how we redesigned most of the famous twelves of the time. Based on Rating certificates and hundreds of pictures. The most important for sure was Intrepid. All this for a reason: Tank testing.
This took me to Brittany, at the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, originally l'institut Polytechnic de l'ouest transformed into the L'Ecole Nationale Superieure de Mecanique, where we tank tested the 12M. models. I followed engineering courses as well under the supervision of Professor Ravilly. The basin was relatively small but had seen Pen Duick 3, and is mostly used for the big shipyards around the area.