As many people will have heard we are very sorry to say that John Noakes, the famous Blue Peter and BBC presenter renowned for his daring exploits, has passed away recently. We have very fond memories of meeting John and introducing him to the wonderful experience of sailing a Dart 18.
John Noakes was introduced to catamaran sailing in the early 80’s , when he was doing the “Go with Noakes” television shows accompanied by the Shep, his dog, traveling in a soft top moggie minor.
The television introduction to catamaran sailing feature was shot at Stokes Bay Sailing Club, Gosport, Hampshire where John crewed for our very own Cornish catamaran sailor, coach and expert Brian Phipps from Windsport based at Mylor harbour.
In those days on water film footage was a challenge but the team made an epic “Go with Noakes” program which included some catamaran racing against other top catamaran sailors.
John went on to join in Dart catamaran racing as a sport, and competed with his wife at the Dart National championships down in Cornwall at Pentewan SC near St Austell. Whilst he may not of been in the top 10 he was both very competitive and enthusiastic and managing to spear and sink one of the rescue boats when launching followed by collecting one of the racing marks between his catamaran hulls during a race!
John presented a special trophy to the class which became known as the “Noakes Catastrophe Trophy” and was present annually to the Dart catamaran team that had the most incidents.