Looking for all the world like an enlarged Christina this beautiful Ray Hunt designed cruiser is for sale in America….
Tommy Sopwith’s lucky no 400 it seems first saw the light of day back in the early 60′s judging by this new photo from America….showing FLYOVER with Evinrudes (as she was first powered) not Mercury engines,she also carried no 08, it wasn’t lucky then but for Telstar, Miss Enfield 2 and Enfield Avenger it was…..the photo is a little damaged by age I am afraid
In the history and restoration sections you will find the story of A’Speranziella which will be constantly updated as Barry progresses over the coming year/years…..
After moving to the Isle of Wight and starting to build the Crusader range of powerboats at Yarmouth, my involvement with the River Yar Boatyard cemented my passion for powerboats and after a life long involvement with sail switched my passion to power.
I had always wanted to restore a classic powerboat but funds would not allow a genuine example to be purchased.. After deciding to buy a Dell Quay Ranger in the Channel Islands and the sale falling through at the last minute I eventually settled on a Levi Triana, White Egret, this is a work in progress and she will be a superb boat when relaunched for the 2015 season.
The purchase of the Triana led me to research Levi history and thanks to the COPC website I was able to track down an old advert for ‘A’ in early 2012. After speaking to the owner Sebastian in 2012 I quickly realised that she was the boat for me and a suitable premises would be needed to store and restore her. This proved to be a monumental battle that took ages to sort but sorted it was and she now resides in the dry on the Island ready for her rebirth……
My initial trip to see her in Oxford was on Saturday the 1st June 2013, although I was looking on this in my head as a formality I decided to take up an offer from a work colleague to accompany me on the trip. Simon is one of those guys that is a true professional who does not attract the attention he deserves. He is a time served yacht builder who is honest, reliable and always gets the job done.
It is for this reason that I needed his honest opinion on my heart ruling my head decision and from the very moment that the barn doors opened and I saw A’speranziella in the flesh for the first time I had doubts as to my sanity.
I remember the minutes or was it hours of Si’s silence, and my just waiting for his approval as to me purchasing her.
I will make no excuses for the abbreviation of the language used but it is like it was.His initial comment will stay with me until she is relaunched, “You must be f….ing mad” We chewed over the rights and wrongs for ages. My final answer was NO.
Sebastian had another purchaser lined up at this point who had forced my hand to view her at this time as I still had first refusal.
I had said no to the purchase and as I understand it, a call had been made to the
other interested party, Sebastian had arranged to sell her on the following Tuesday.
The return journey from Oxford to the Isle of Wight consisted of a whole list of pro’s and con’s being chewed over. In the main pro’s from Si and regrets from me at saying no.
Sunday came and a telephone conversation with Sebastian confirmed he had sold her to the other interested purchaser who intended to effectively take A’speranziella’s identity and build a replica alongside the original.
I do not profess to know if these facts are absolutely true but the thought that Sonny Levi’s first true race winner and the start of a remarkable blood line could be lost forever was something I did not want to risk.
Sunday night was very long and by Monday morning I had decided that I had to buy ‘A’.
An early and awkward phone call to Sebastian proved fruitful. She was now mine and I thank Simon for his support and honesty.
OK so it was a deliberate mistake …as I was informed by Graham Stevens (Vosper employee) and Ken Raybould….Bert Figgins had nothing to do with Flying Fish. We know we can rely on Graham’s Powerboat Archive for 99% of all information…but as he said Journalists get it wrong!…the picture below was in SEARACE and although it is a unique publication it is riddled with errors….hence the need for anyone with information re the past to let us have it before it is lost forever or quoted as fact!
The crew comprised Dick Staddon Vosper GM, Sam Hutchins,Mike Trimming and a Vosper Engineer….also FF had 2 Daytona’s not 3 as per the caption.
Remember the item about Flying Fish last year…I repeated that Bert Figgins of THUNDERFISH fame had at the last minute bought FF…and I was told not true…..I could not find the item until the other day….so here is that pic and caption…