SKATE

THE                   PAGE

The Skate was designed in 1956 as a bigger Vee Jay. The hull was designed by boatbuilder and 16ft Skiff sailor Vince Minter, the sail plan by Jack Herrick and the spars by sparmaker Ray Keating. They were assisted by naval architect Don Dickson. The Skate insignia was designed by Bill Denman.
 
The Skate was designed as a restricted development class, which allowed for a variety of hull shapes. Over time hulls developed fairly flat bottoms, vertical sides and round noses to increase staibility. Because of their appearance these hulls became known as "coffins."  There were no restrictions on cockpit, rudder and centreboard design.
The class spread to WA in 1958 and to Victoria in 1965 with a large fleet at Chelsea YC. The Chelsea fleet won three Australian titles. 
Initially Skates sailed with either a single 8ft. swing plank or trapeze but soon a second plank was added. In the 1965/66 Australian Titles in Perth, a 10ft plank was used by the WA sailors, they won the title and the 10ft plank became standad on all Skates. The 10ft plank influenced the design of wings on 18ft Skiffs. 
In 1971 it was decided to introduce a one-design hull and also widen it for more stability that was required by the 10ft planks. The hull was redesigned by Doug Jeffkins. Standardising the hull shape allowed for the production of fibreglass hulls. Foam sandwich hulls soon followed and the sail area was increased in 1983.
The class died out in Victoria around 1980 but has since been adopted in South Australia.
The Skate sail plan has been redesigned and is now much larger and higher aspect which has allowed heavier crews to be competetive. An asymmetrical spinnaker was also added for easier boat handling. The hull shape is still the 1971 design.

1975/76 Australian Champion "La Tache" is a regular sight at our classic dinghy events (see photo right) and a couple of other Skates are currently being restored. We hope to have more classic Skates join our fleet.
Click on the link for the Skate Sailing Australia website to see photos of the latest Skates, find out where they are sailing and lots more information.
Click on the link for a list of past national champions.
Click on the link for the Skate Association website.
"Classic" 1957/58, 58/59
   Australian Champion
The original Skate 
Olympic Champion swimmer Lorraine Crapp with the original Skate and owner in 1957
"La Tache" 1975/76
Australian Champion
1959/60 Australian Championship fleet with most boats
using a single 8ft plank. 
"Vengeance" 1973/74
Australian Champion
3 time Australian Champion "Venom"
"Venom" 3 time Australian Champion
1959/60, 60/61
& 63/64
"OLay"1961/62, 62/63
 Australian Champion
"Bitsa" 1968/69
Australian Champion
    "Fury" 1967/68
Australian Champion

"Valour" 1964/65, 65/66
Australian Champion
The new one-design hull being demonstrated in 1971.
Evonne Goolagong the champion tennis player
                     showing how it's done.
"Henny Penny" 1972/73,
     Australian Champion
"La Tache" 1975/76
Australian Champion
"Attraction" 1982/83
Australian Champion
"Traction" 1974/75, 77/78
Australian Champion