Ian’s historic plans turn up down under

Ian Dibdin on the beach at St Annes
Ian Dibdin on the beach at St Annes

Plans sent to the other side of the world more than 50 years ago have helped restore a sand yacht to its former glory.

Ian Dibdin, current British Sand Yachting champion sent the plans of his sand yacht to three enthusiasts in New Zealand in 1964.

Reece Lemaire's restored sand yacht - 'Sandwich'

Reece Lemaire's restored sand yacht - 'Sandwich'

One recipient of those plans was the father of Reece Lemaire who recently got in touch with Ian.

Reece who lives in Hokitika, New Zealand, believes the plans that Ian sent in 1964 helped start the country’s first ever sand yachting club.

The Nelson Sand Yacht Club was set up in 1965 by Reece’s dad, Jim Crapper and brothers Bill and Trevor Morris.

‘Sandwich’ which was built back in the 1960s was recently given a restoration after spending approximately 25 years in Reece’s garage.

Reece with his brother Ralph and dad Jim riding the first sand yacht built through plans sent by Ian

Reece with his brother Ralph and dad Jim riding the first sand yacht built through plans sent by Ian

After Ian’s daughter bought him an iPad, the 70-year-old racer has managed to reconnect with lots of people in the sand yachting world with Recce being one of them.

He said: “Since going on Facebook, I’ve been contacted by people from all over the world who have competed in events with me.

“Reece got in contact to say I had sent plans of how to construct a sand yacht to his father 50 years ago.

“It’s amazing that he managed to find me and after all this time we have made contact.”

Ian, who became British champion again last year, decades after he first won a national title as a 19-year-old in 1964, now has plans to meet Reece when he comes to the UK in April.

Ian also believes he might even have the offer of travelling to New Zealand to ride the sand yachts.

He said: “I hope to meet Reece in April when he comes across, it’ll be great to get to know him better and find out about his experience is sand yachting.

“In an email, he also asked how I felt about trying out a mini-yacht he’s built in New Zealand so that sounds like an offer to me!”

Ian is now looking forward to the return of sand yachting on St Annes Beach with some 25 mini-yachts and a number of kite buggies arriving for a regatta on March 14 and
 15.