queen of the classics
In the rarefied word of classic yachting, one person has contributed more than perhaps any other. Without Elizabeth Meyer, literally dozens of classics just wouldn’t exist. There would probably be no J Class, certainly no Endeavour, and one of the most pleasing niche in sailing would be a shadow of its current self. Our pal ‘Froggy’ sent us some words about his old friend, who has earned herself the badge of Sailor Chick of the Week, along with a very big birthday tomorrow. We won’t tell you her age; that just wouldn’t be classy. More from Froggy:
In the early 80′s classic yachting was completely different than it is today. You could see black & white pics of the J Class from Beken of Cowes or Rosenfield, but the period was long gone, and even forgotten by the world.
Everyone told her restoring an old J was impossible, but her stubbornness and perseverance prevailed, and she restored the most beautiful of the J’s – Endeavour. She went on to restore Shamrock and ignite a fire for J-Class yachts that has seen more restored and even seen a brand-new version built today. A magazine gave her the nickname “Queen of the Js” and it fits. During the restoration she got the idea of a restoration school and so she founded the excellent International Yacht Restoration School, which has further changed the face of classic yachting.
But small is also beautiful. After the big boats she saved Seminole, a 1916 gaff-rigged yawl and Vanderbilt Bystander tow boat/tender to seven America’s Cups; if possible, they are even more lovely than the J.
What she really did most though, is make our dreams come true. Happy Birthday, Elizabeth.
February 5th, 2013