Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chris Benedict with his Mk1's under construction

Mark Adams sends along a photo of Chris Benedict with his original Mk 1's under construction, circa 1978 (cold-molded out of Western red cedar). Of all the American designers of International 14's of my generation, Chris was the one who made it big (at least big in terms of I-14's). He garnered a large share of the new British market with his popular Mk IV, even moving to England to be close to the dinghy action. He also developed a junior trainer, the 404 for a English builder (maybe Ovington, I can't remember).

Chris was out of San Francisco and made his name initially as an excellent boatbuilder, working for the firm Sailnetics that produced top quality Fireballs and Kirby MkIV's in glass composite. One of the legends in the class; sadly, mostly unknown to the larger sailracing community.