When three is not a crowd it is a triune
According to Jack Giles dairy notes “the design team worked together extremely happily, Van de Stadt producing a very beautiful set of lines, and John Illingworth applying his practical knowledge to the sail plan, masting and rigging with, as results have shown, very easy and certain working”. Laurent Giles & Partners were able to devote to the hull and internal work, their careful engineering of light construction, and their experience of vessels of this size.
Designed in 1961 Stormvogel is a yacht of exceptional interest, since basically she carries ultra light displacement into a size in which, as far as is known, it had never before been used.
On a waterline length of 18.05 she has a designed displacement of 31.7 tonnes, and in fact achieved this within a very small margin. In respect of her displacement size ratio she was therefore comparable only to certain light displacement (mostly chine hull form), small yachts designed for ocean racing, and to the Scandinavian Square Metre classes.
After the briefest of trials at Capetown, on the 3rd of May 1961 with a ships company of fourteen, including a nine month old baby, Stormvogel sailed for England and the start of the Fastnet Race in which she took line honours. She continued to race competitively in British waters for a number of years in spirited fleets which she was pitted against the likes of Myth of Malham and Lutine (both Laurent Giles) and although it is common today for a racing yacht to achieve such speed Stormvogel, described as a ‘huge yacht’ was reported as making more than 12 knots over the ground in the Morgan Cup of 1962. Read more about the biggest, light-weight sailing yacht before Blue Leopard here.