Paul and the team competing in the 2016 Etchells World Championships
Like so many things in life my career in sailmaking started entirely by accident. Coming from a madly keen dinghy racing background, I was intent on pursuing a career in yacht design but back in the mid-sixties an indentured apprenticeship proved not to provide a sailing wage so I moved to Bowker and Budd, working directly under the legendary Stan Budd in the days when they counted over 45 National, European and World champions using their sails. Having had a successful dinghy career including winning National titles, leaving full time yacht design behind and moving into the footsteps of 2 times World Champion Fireball helmsman and sailmaker Peter Bateman proved to be a good fit. After a fantastic time learning serious sailmaking and absorbing Stan’s advanced production skills, the lure of big boat racing led me to Hood Sailmakers, then the new American whizz kids opening up in the UK. There I had the good fortune to work with high profile yachts such as the “Morning Clouds”, “Noryemas”, “Quivers”, “American Eagle” (the 12 metre), the 3 masted Schooner “Creole” and many more. At the end of the 1971 season the urge to start my own business took serious hold. The rest as they say is history. Here are a few of the way points encountered on the journey.