With every scrap aloft, carrying more sail than many larger keel yachts, and the crew driving her as fast as possible on the edge of control, no other yacht captures the attention quite like an 18-footer in full flight. This is as true today as it was 100 years ago. From its origins in the 1890s as an over-canvassed, over-crewed 18-foot dinghy to the 7-man skiff types of the 1930s , and from the trapeze-driven moulded veneer creations of the 1950s to the carbon fibre flying machines of today, the 18-footer has retained its appeal for both sailor and spectator. For the first time, this 18-footer back-story has been put into context with the State, Interstate and Inter-dominion racing that has made the class so famous. Galloping Ghosts tells the full story and all the familiar names are there, Australian II, H.C. Press II, Aberdare, Taree, Intrigue, Myra Too, Envy, the Jantzen Girls, Taipan, Vernom, Schemer, as well as the men whom made them fly. Meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated, Galloping Ghosts in the history of the 18-footer as it has never been told before.
Robin Elliott is a noted yachting historian with many books to his credit including co-authoring with Harold Kidd Winkelmann's Waitemata: Classic Auckland Yachting; Southern Breeze, A History of New Zealand Yachting; The Logans and Vintage New Zealand Launches: A Winkelmann Portfolio. They have also written columns for Boating New Zealand on our maritime history. He lives in Whangarei with his partner Janet and they spend as much time as possible in the Bay of Islands on their 33-foot classic-style Logan launch Lady Dorothy.