Ernie Muir, in his late teens, on board the three-masted schooner, Handa Isle in 1916. The vessel was under the command of Captain Jackie Shimmins.
Love At First Sail
Jock first got onto the water in a 10-foot canvas canoe with a fixed centreboard and a sail built by his father: "I loved that first experience, being afloat and skipper of my own little boat driven by the wind. I remember, years later, watching my sons, John and Ross in their first little sailing boat down off South Arm and it brought back that moment so vividly." Then came a l2-foot cadet dinghy, Mayfly, which Ernie bought for his son from Chook Newman for 20 pounds and which Max Muir sailed later after Jock had moved to Kittiwake, the first of the lightweight cadets built of red cedar by the late Skipper Batt, uncle of Neall Batt. "Kittiwake cost 40 pounds and it was her full-bodied, lightweight construction that started the handicapping system in dinghies. She was a revolution really, weighing onty 260 pounds and it was in Kittiwake that I won the Stonehaven Cup in Adelaide with Alf Gough and Bill Humphries as crew." Kittiwake was launched on September 13, won 13 races in her first season and collected 13 pounds in prize money. Max Muir later raced her and regained the Stonehaven Cup in 1935. After which, she was sold to Ediss Boyes who later sold her to Ken Johnston of Sandy Bay.