14 September 2012

A Lighter Ton - Reviews

Reviews and testimonials -

Peter Montgomery (MBE):

New Zealand sailing had an unprecedented explosion of growth, development and influence during the 1970’s. Richard Blakey has compiled an extensive record and reference of that exciting era that changed World Sailing.

John Macfarlane (Boating NZ magazine, May 2012):

This excellent and overdue book, A Lighter Ton, chronicles the history of the champion New Zealand light displacement International Offshore Rule (IOR) yachts that were so dominant in the mid to late 1970s.

Blakey has carried out an excellent job of researching through the various books, magazines and reports of the period, and interviewing key players such as designers Bruce Farr and Laurie Davidson.

While A Lighter Ton goes into considerable detail about the designers, the IOR rules, the yachts, the sailors and the key regattas of the period, it remains eminently readable.

It begins with why and how the IOR rating system came into being in 1968, then goes on to tell the story of how the designs of Farr, Davidson and the late Paul Whiting came to totally dominate the various IOR Ton classes. Their light displacement designs, especially those built for the 1977 season, made other IOR yachts obsolete.

Blakey’s book also tells the somewhat unsavoury story of how the powerful European and American establishment fought back to protect the value of their superceded yachts. The 1978 IOR rules changes implemented by the Offshore Racing Council (ORC) put the brakes on significant race yacht development by a decade or more.A Lighter Ton will be of keen interest to knowledgeable mature yachties of the era and younger readers interested in the genealogy of the modern race yacht. To those people – and you know who you are – A Lighter Ton belongs on your bookshelf. It’s certainly on mine.

Kevin Dibley (Naval Architect, Dibley Marine):

…the book is out and it’s a must read for those who have an interest in the historical aspects of New Zealand yacht racing of that era. In fact it was in the late 60’s and 70’s that catapulted NZ onto the international stage as designers and sailors, and this book covers it well. We highly recommended the read. All the well known yachting characters of today that came from that famous era are there, and the book is hard to put down.

Seahorse Magazine (June 2012):

Look up Richard Blakey's (fascinating) new book, A Lighter Ton, chronicling the story of how the great Kiwi 'light' designers changed offshore racing in the 1970s and 80s.

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