Ian Smith

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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 8:13 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Ian Smith

Post by tonymarston » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:38 pm

I am sad to report the untimely death of Ian Smith on Friday 30th May following a battle with cancer.

Ian won the Quincey Cup (National Championship) three times; 1976, 1977 and 1980 and the Sailing Challenge Cup in 1976.
He joined the IC's from the TOY class in 1975 having won many championships in the TOY's. This was at the end of an era when Alan Emus and John Biddle had dominated the IC's and the Swedes were becoming the top IC sailors. Ian surprised many by coming straight in at the top. In the 1977 championships held at Brightlingsea he held the strong Swedish contingent at bay to take the Quincey Cup. Two of the Swedish team who were competing that year went on to win IC World Championships; Max Tolqvist and Martin Gulberg.

Apart from being a great canoe sailor Ian was also blessed with those practical skills so very handy for a keen canoe sailor. He built his own plug and cold moulded 'Faith' K145, his first IC. He built two other IC's - a chine canoe to his own design which he went on to race in the 'Bloody Mary'. This was the only canoe built when a restricted rule was reintroduced after the 1975 Worlds when a 'Slurp' won. There was a bit of an outcry at the time as the class had adopted the Nethercot hull shape as a one-design in 1971. The 'Slurp' that won had been built prior to the one-design being adopted so was entitled to sail under a 'grandfather' rule. Many felt that they should be able to build a low cost chine boat like the 'Slurp' so a restricted rule was reintroduced for national racing but only Ian had a go. Ian's design wasn't too successful as a sailing canoe but very successful in a later life as gun punt on the east coast backwaters!

His second cold moulded canoe, a Nethercot One-Design, suffered from a bad batch of glue on the last layer of veneers. Building ground to a halt. At the same time he fell in love with 'Bona', an east coat Bawley which he found lying almost derelict in a mud berth at Brightlingsea. He set to and fully renovated her and went on to compete enthusiastically and successfully in the east coast gaffer racing. (The cold moulded canoe was passed over to me and after re moulding the last layer of veneers she went on to become K229 Ogaf the Unbearable).

Ian and I built a Slurp together in 2012, to test the CNC cut kit - to see if there were any difference to the laser cut kit. (There weren't any differences and the result was 'Blackbird' GBR325). We got together again in July last year to build a Slurp which was used for taking fibreglass moulds for the FRP Slurps. It was in the autumn of last year that Ian was diagnosed with cancer.

He was quiet and modest chap. One day on the east coast, many years after he had given up canoe sailing, he helped a canoe sailor ashore after numerous capsizes in a brisk breeze. He asked if he might 'have a sail' on the canoe. The owner said, "well they're quite tricky - you know!". Ian replied, "I think I'll be alright'. He sailed off into open water and proceeded to demonstrate how an IC should be sailed. After 15 minutes or so he returned to shore. The owner looked him in the eye and said, "I think you've done this before - haven't you?!!".

Tony Marston
GBR325 'Blackbird'

Steve Clark
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 2:26 pm

Re: Ian Smith

Post by Steve Clark » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:25 pm

Sorry to hear.
I hope the boats are amusing in Heaven.
Beatings will continue until morale improves

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