Betty and Alan

Betty Alan is named after the two people who infected us with the water-borne virus of sailing.

Betty in 2011

Betty Maggs. Ed’s mother, still a better sailor than him, in her 85th year. Her father owned a succession of interesting boats, including Racundra (though everyone seems to have owner her at one time or another) Nyala, and Talis II.

Talis II, pictured below,  was launched in 1938 or 1939 at Hillyards, though she is not at all the typical Hillyards type and was probably designed by Robert Clark. Her first owner died in the war and Betty’s father E.T. Wright bought her in August 1944. On one of her first cruises she blew up and sank, nearly killing Betty, her mother and brother: they were all plucked from the water by the novelist Nevil Shute, who happened to be passing in his motor yacht. E.T. bought the wreck from the insurers, raised and repaired her at Sparkes’ yard at Hayling, and still owned her into the 1960s. Ed remembers sailing on her then, but she passed out of the family. She turned up in the news in 1998 with reports of her loss at sea on the coast of Tasmania, but once again she was in fact salvaged. Her current owner is Peter Cheek from the Isle of Wight, who bought her in 1987 (their first cruise was into the storm that hit the ’87 Fastnet fleet) and skinned her in epoxy and marine ply, and extensively rebuilt her in Tasmania after her sinking. She’s still afloat, laid up in Newport, Isle of Wight.
Alan Mackerras, of Sydney. Frances’s step-grandfather. Designer and builder of the yacht Antares, which still sails and races in Sydney Harbour.

Talis on the left, Antares on the right, one in the Solent, one in Sydney Harbour


3 thoughts on “Betty and Alan

  1. if you’re in the UK in 2015 and looking for crew… I have sailed with Rob and Dennis on Antares often (did I tell you this previously?) Dennis sailed with me RTI in 2013 where we got the best result for GSA EVER! and was he pleased?

    and I used to moor my canalboat in Limehouse for a while. I’m now in the Midlands.

    if you need a crew at any time I’d love to see your current boat. please let me know if I might be useful to you.

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