November / December 2021

Aboard: LOLA

A 40’ canoe-sterned ketch
Aboard: LOLA

Sailing off her homeport in Dartmouth, England, LOLA carries a reefed main and her No. 2 jib. She was first painted green in the 1990s, yet it’s hard to imagine her any other color.

There was a time when wooden boats were just boats—not treated with any special reverence or respect. Such was the case when the BBC sent a crew to film more than 100 yachts taking part in the annual Tobermory Race in Scotland in 1968. LOLA, a 40' canoe-sterned ketch, quickly became one of the program’s stars. Drawn by the amateur yacht designer J. Pain Clark and built by William King & Sons in Burnham-on-Crouch on England’s eastern coast in 1925, LOLA was at that timed owned by David Rombach, “a most affable and easy-going of sailors,” as described in the film.

Among his spoken gems, delivered in a thick Scottish accent, was: “There’s more thrill in doing six knots to windward in a yacht than there is in doing 80 miles per hour in a car.”

After owning LOLA for 14 years and sailing her thousands of nautical miles, Rombach sold her to Neil and Marie McDougall, who, in 1984, won the Clyde Cruising Club Blue Water Trophy for a race from Dublin, Ireland, to La Trinité-sur-Mer, France. They, too, sailed LOLA far and wide over the next few years, cruising as far north as the Shetland Islands in Scotland’s far north and as far south as La Coruna, Spain, winning numerous trophies along the way. When their son, Alasdair, was born in 1988, they took him along, aged six weeks, on a race to Ireland.

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