After 12 years as Secretary of the J Class Association, and the great success of the two UK J Class events this year, David Pitman is retiring from the role. This has been a fascinating era for the J Class, starting with the inaugural meeting of the Association in 2000.
David created the constitution and a set of rules that would defend the historic original yachts (Shamrock V, Velsheda, Endeavour) but would allow for the building of new yachts, to original hull lines plans. This led to interest in new projects.
David is extremely proud of his role in assisting the development, build and launch of four new J’s - Ranger in 2002, Hanuman in 2009, Lionheart in 2010 and Rainbow in 2012. One more yacht is nearing completion at Holland Jachtbouw Shipyard, whilst two more have plans approved and are scheduled to start shortly. Few people can have such a lasting, visible legacy of their work with four new J Class yachts on the water and three more on the way.
The two major UK regattas were a culmination of many years of planning, and he is delighted to have completed these events with such success, bringing four J Class yachts to the UK for the first time in over 70 years and putting on racing to rival the glory years of the 1930’s. Regatta organisation is a complex task, encompassing container movements, berthing for yachts and support ships, awareness of large crew requirements, plus all the onshore activities that make a successful event.
In his last two years as J Class Secretary, David laid the foundations for future events at top sailing destinations around the world. His superyacht knowledge and contacts were invaluable in the formulation of these long-term plans. David leaves a legacy of a strong class association, comprehensive rules, accurate handicap and measuring systems, unique event trophies and seven J Class Yachts on the water, with more in construction and planning.
David stated: “It has been my pleasure to work and sail with the J class fleet for more than 15 years, creating an environment where the Class can grow and flourish”.