Jo Richards talks to madforsailing


Jo Grindley got a fascinating low-down from Jo Richards on the past and the challenge of the America's Cup
Jo Richards disappeared from the sailing spotlight in the UK after winning a bronze medal with Pete Allam in the Flying Dutchman in 1984. In the last year he seems to have been rediscovered, coaching 49er sailor Paul Brotherton, flying out to Sydney two weeks before the Olympics to help Shirley Robertson in her successful bid for Olympic gold, and now part of the Peter Harrison's GBR Challenge design team. Jo Grindley asked what had he been up to in the last 16 years? Quite a lot really. Immediately after 1984 I had to sell all my boats. I had no money and was hopelessly in debt so there was no chance of doing another Olympic campaign. Realistically the only way I could carry on racing seriously was to go and sail other people's boats so I got into big boat sailing. I skippered a boat called Marionette for a year; we were reasonable, not particularly successful because at the time the rule was very biased towards the One -Tonners. So the following year with Ed Dubois we designed and built a One-Tonner. But they biased the rule the other way. We did manage to win the Fastnet Race and be top boat in Sardinia at the One Ton Cup by quite a long way with that boat though. We also won the Southern Cross on another One-Tonner that year. Then came your multihull years. We built a Formula 40 trimaran that I designed with Ed Dubois, and we raced that on the Formula 40 circuit for a few years. With numerous modifications and experiments we ended up basically as the quickest boat, had a great time and many adventures. The problem with that boat was it was a complete epic taking it apart and putting it together every time we went

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