In a dinner speech in 1964 Jack spoke of his initial interest in yacht designing ‘I first got the silly idea of designing yachts when I was at school. Then I had three years of comparative sanity doing engineering at Cambridge, At the end of my time there the lunacy took on a slightly different guise, and I found myself signed on as an apprentice at Armstrong Whitworth’s Naval Yard. There the crack in my brain opened again and I started playing with design competitions’.
In the 1920’s Jack Giles had served his apprenticeship with Vickers Armstrong in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and his love of sailing bought him to join Camper and Nicholson in Southampton where he developed his unique flair which created so many beautiful and successful yachts.
In the 1930’s Jack Giles had already joined the Royal Ocean Racing Club; he had sailed on the Alexandre Pâris designed 56’ gaff cutter Jolie Brise in the 1931 Fastnet Race with Bobbie Somerset and Evelyn Martin, both of whom were founder members of the Ocean racing Club, and he was to serve on the Technical Committee of the R.O.R.C.