A (Thompson) T27
Brian wanted a bigger cruising boat than his Achilles 24 so he purchased Kupia. This would allow him and his growing family the luxury of a fixed pump loo, an inboard engine and room enough to stand up in the cabin. Kupia, was in his own words ‘a little sad’ when she was purchased, but after attention from the dedicated and sometimes reluctant family members she was made sea worthy and the cabin was given an overhaul with soft furnishings and pretty curtains, to keep the all female crew happy.
However, this new cruising boat, turned out to have another side to her. She was a heavy sturdy boat, and sailed very slowly in light winds. Brian gradually discovered that when the winds blew more than a force 4, his boat was fast, and when they blew a force 5, she was even faster. Brian’s lust for competitive racing was always in his heart, and he sailed religiously in Castle Cove Sailing evening races and often at weekends. With a good crew, Kupia was hard to beat when the wind was blowing hard, and Brian knew it. Due to her poor performance in lighter conditions the boat’s handicap was quite high, which perturbed fellow members somewhat. Brian revelled in his new boat, he probably even loved her.
Kupia, though was a family boat, and Joan continued to create a cabin that was cosy and inviting. This included two bulkhead mounted lights, that were filled with methylated spirit and each had a thin glass cover, to protect the flame. They warmed the cabin and gave the family the ambience they enjoyed when spending evenings aboard. These lamps were not great for hard racing, when the boat was heeled over. They were gimballed, so always stayed upright, but in the frenzy of getting the spinnaker down during racing, these glass lamp covers often got broken. The glass would go everywhere. Brian must have bought many, many replacements over the years, but he knew he had to keep his ladies happy otherwise he would not have any crew! Brian was happy for anyone to come and crew for him, he always welcomed others aboard who were keen to learn. Andy Williams began crewing for him on Kupia and Andy discovered that in addition to experiencing some good sailing, he would often be provided with delicious bakes, provided by Joan, and Kupia’s flapjacks became famous throughout CCSC. Brian took his family on many adventures in Kupia and Andy sometimes went too!
Kupia was awarded many many CCSC trophies in her time. A memorable race was a passage race to Lymington with a scratch crew, daughter Andrea, John Mursell and Matthew Palmer in fresh south westerly wind John recalls that Kupia was first across the start line and ‘Brian prioritised holding on to his hat during a broach’ with the spinnaker up for most of the race. They won the race by seconds and for John this has remained ingrained in his memory as ‘huge fun’.
Brian was sad to sell Kupia, as he always had fond relationship with his boats, but when he was offered the chance to retire from Southern Electricity, he wanted to go on different adventures so a change was needed.