A formidable

When Ivor Wilkins started researching the life and work of New Zealand yacht designer John Spencer even he was surprised to discover just how far-reaching had been the influence of this maverick free-thinker. As surprised, in fact, as several other world famous naval architects to whom he talked during his enquiries

In the summer of 2008 Californian Chris Welsh brought his sleek, lowslung 63-footer Ragtime to New Zealand to engage the local racing fleet. Although the name was different, for the cognoscenti there was no mistaking its identity. This was Infidel, a maverick boat designed and built by John Spencer in Auckland in 1964 for wealthy industrialist Tom Clark, who would go on to wield considerable influence in the fortunes of New Zealand yachting.

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