George Griffin on Ariel
|Other Name||George Gorilla Griffin|
|Club||Middle Harbour Yacht Club|
|Boat Owner of||Julnar|
|Boats Sailed On||Ariel|
George Griffin was the true founder of the Middle Harbour Yacht Club in 1939. Races were run out of the Griffin Boatshed at the Spit. George Griffin was the starter, positioned at the end of the boatshed veranda. He would start the race, run down to his own boat, and chase the rest of the fleet. He often won!
Because many of the boats racing regularly did not have spinnakers, it was decided that races would be sailed under 'cruising conditions' with no extras, only working sails. This rule led to some heated arguments as to what constituted an 'extra'. At the time, genoa jibs were cut fuller than they now are, and they were not carried to windward: they therefore were not considered to be part of a working rig.
George Griffin insisted that any sail which could be carried all around a course and on any point of sailing must be considered a 'working sail'. But Wally Ward, who designed and built Janaway, argued that any sail sheeted abaft the mast should be considered as an 'extra'. When a Tumlaren-designed vessel joined the fleet there were further complications. Its rig carried a foresail which set inboard from the bow and sheeted well abaft the mast.
He was the first yachtsman on the Harbour to race with a genoa, causing an uproar amongst other skippers.
George Griffin was an amazing man. He was prodigiously strong and agile and, although he had no formal training, had designed and built many fine vessels, including Sea Gypsy, Valiant and Titania - all magnificant, sturdy vessels. Some of his boats are still around today, and under MSB survey for charter. George's last design was a 32-foot boat called Ariel. She included design features way ahead of her time, for instance she carried a genoa as part of her Working rig, and sometimes set it from the masthead.
Boats Designed by George Griffin