The world lost a shining beacon of talent and inspiration last week when pre-eminent yacht designer Ed Dubois passed away. He was not only hugely talented and passionate when it came to yacht design, but he was a fun-loving, vivacious character with a skill for story-telling, which he always did with an enormous smile stretched across his face and a level of eloquence I so hugely admired.
I had the enormous pleasure of working with Ed on one of his latest projects – a book about his life growing up and the success he experienced in his professional career. Although not as yet published, I wanted to share a small excerpt from the manuscript as a celebratory tribute to Ed, the man, the sailor, the designer, the traveller, the writer.
For Ed – you will be missed.
“My first experience on a full-sized yacht was when I was ten, when there were still four single-sailed eleven foot boats for hire on The Regent’s Park Lake in London. On pleasant summer days these boats were kept moored up against a pontoon, their sails set and ready for hire.
On a summer trip with just my mother we came across these boats and I asked if it was possible to have a go. The next thing I knew I was being propelled by wind on a sail for the first time in my life across a limited (but to me utterly unlimited) expanse of that lake. It is no exaggeration to say that I felt the sensation to be heavenly.
We went again and again and finally my ‘instructor’ said I would be allowed to take the boat on my own. I proudly took my mother, and told her about tacking and jibing.
And then, some three years later, came the gateway to my career; my mother’s discovery of a boys’ sailing camp in Milford Haven, Wales.”