Having started sailing in the mid seventies with boats my Granddad (Ken Jones) built for my Brother (Chris Elliott) and myself, we sailed at Birkenhead, with our annual holiday to either Fleetwood or Gosport for the week long ‘A’ Nationals being the highlight, many lifelong friendships were formed at this race.
Sailing then moved on with the introduction of radio controlled yachts, this also included another holiday to Gosport for the 1st Radio Marblehead Worlds in 1974 where my Grandad sailed his Merseybeat Marblehead. He then built two Squire Kay Marbleheads for us to sail at Birkenhead in the late seventies. The IOM was then introduced and we were lucky to acquire a few Chris Dicks designs that my Grandad planked up for us, this then moved onto sailing a fibreglass Gadget and Widget build by Ken Roberts and later the skiff decked Widget built by Dave Creed which was my first really successful IOM. In 2010 I was then really lucky to persuade Brad Gibson that I was good enough for him to build me one of his designs, the BritPOP!, I am still sailing her now. Not an awful lot of boats over 25 years of IOM sailing but when you make the correct choices of design and build it is not difficult.
The IOM World and Euro Championships has taken myself and my friends all over the World from the first IOM Worlds in France in 1984 to the present day. I have also sailed in countless National Championships and ranking races in the UK but it is at Birkenhead Club events on a Saturday afternoon that are the toughest test of all.
On a personnel front, I am 52 years old, married to Debbie with two Daughters. I work as a mechanical engineer at Pilkington/NSG Glass located in St Helens. I also follow Tranmere Rovers and Everton and played football for many years but when I got too old for this I took up running and have competed in many half marathons and even managed to compete in the Chester Marathon for my 50th Birthday (3hr 36min), the friendships within sailing extend to the running and there are now quite a few of us competing against each other.