Designer Julian Everitt has been doing a retrospective series and here is one if you have not seen them. They are quite good!

Marionette IV. Sparkman & Stephens designed 41ft Admirals Cupper competed in the UK selection trials in 1973. She was part of a remarkable line of racing yachts owned by Chris Dunning over many years starting in 1964 with a Nicholson 32 that he raced with considerable success after electing to go with a new sail loft in Lymington – by the name of Hood.

His next boat was a Swan 36 – the third off the embryonic production line of Nautor. Next came his first foray into an Admiral’s Cup sized boat with the Dick Carter designed Red Rooster which Carter put on the market after winning the 1969 Fastnet Race. But after many race successes Rooster had to go due to swinging rating penalties on her lifting keel configuration.

Then came the first of many custom Marionette’s. For the 1971 Admiral Cup came Marionette III – a 44ft Camper & Nicholson Design built alongside a sistership – one of many Winsome’s for David May.

Dunning then switched to S&S for Marionette IV and again for 1975 with the 44ft S&S Marionette V.

Admiral’s Cup success came in 1977 with the Ron Holland designed 43 Marionette VI, which was a member of the winning team that year.

Dunning went back to Holland for his 1979 bid, but then switched to Doug Peterson for 1981. After a break Dunning chose the rapidly formed design partnership of Ed Dubois and Rob Humphreys to create a 43ft fractional rig race boat for the 1985 selection trials.

But like all the other 8 big boats built that year for the UK trials she came up short against One Tonners which were all benefiting from erroneous Time Correction Factors.

This experience of poor rating management put Dunning off AC racing, along with many other owners and so when he returned to the fray, in 1987, it was in a production One Design Lightwave 395.