I used to own a good Porter Wooden Wayfarer and voted against the adoption of the Mk4.
The vote was lost and the Mk 4 adopted. I have subsequently bought a Mk 4.
I now realise I was wrong to vote against the Mk 4 and its the best thing that has happened to the Wayfarer Class. Its now much more a level playing field and a reasonable club sailor can now on their day win as the above post by Geof clearly demonstrates.
I am now of the opinion that the variations in wooden hull shapes etc gave some boats a slight advantage. The great thing though is that the Mk 4 can still be given a run for its money by good sailors in older boats, eg Martin in 88 is an obvious one many will know but at our club Colin May has walked away from us in our Mk4 and he was then sailing his old Mk1 GRP sandwich – don’t you just hate some people!! Jackie Dobson also won the last race of the 2011 season with her old woodie. Now while most are now moving on to a new Mk4 its shows that a good sailor in an old boat can still win but the greatest part of it all is that the Mk 4 has fulfilled Richard Hartleys brief that it be as fast as the fastest wooden boat and as such we all now know that if we are not near the front its our sailing thats bad and nothing wrong with the boat!
Parkstone now has about 15 Mk 4 in its large Wayfarer Fleet. Hopefully the new Wayfarer will encourage more into the class and increase participation in National and regional events. We always used to enjoy Falmouth week and Robin Barker was great at promoting it – sad its declined (the biggest decline after they doubled their accommodation prices one year due to the eclipse – we will never go back now!) but for anyone interested Poole week at Parkstone is getting more Wayfarer visitors and with such a strong home fleet you are guaranteed some good one class racing, a friendly fleet and good social events. Unfortunately its so good there are a couple of regular visitors that while I like them I am fed up with just seeing their transom!! Oh well just got to try harder and sail better!!
If anyone is interested go to Parksone YC website for entry form – officially its 26th August to 31st but most visitors are welcomed on the Saturday morning and then also join us for our Saturday afternoon club race (25th August). I should add that the weeks entry is £10 cheaper if received by 19th August – there were 21 Wayfarer entrees in 2011 but with the new Parkstone Wayfarer members I suspect it will be nearer 30 boats this year.