Here at RS Sailing, we are deeply saddened by the recent loss of Peter (Spud) Rowsell. He is a significant part of RS Sailing history, and his influence will never be forgotten.
When Nick and Martin first had the idea to launch the RS Sailing brand, they had two dinghy models in mind. From the outset, Spud was heavily involved in the design development of one of these, the RS400, and he built the original prototype. Two years later, he did the same with the RS200, and both boats have become extremely popular, enduring and much-loved classes.
Spud also played an important part during a pivotal period of dinghy design development. At the time, he was a leading builder of beautiful competitive wooden boats, including Merlin Rockets, but he recognised the spiralling costs and shared the vision of making sailing more affordable through the use of composites and the one-design ethos.
Spud was a respected sailor, the kind who would pick the right way when others were adrift. He came from an era of big characters and, though he wasn’t loud, he had a great sense of humour and was passionate about creating great boats. He was, in some ways, a loveable rogue; daring, enthusiastic, and hugely affable. A figure whose presence will be missed.
“Spud was a bit of a legend within the British dinghy sailing scene and a great supporter during the formative RS years. His hugely relevant experience and great character are embedded somewhere in it all. Thanks, Spud.”
– Martin Wadhams, Co-Founder of RS Sailing
“From my very early day at RS (back then LDC Racing Sailboat) Spud was always on the phone sorting out MOD orders for the RS200, RS400 and spares. The calls were always full of enthusiasm and always finished the same way, ‘Well done Jon, well done.’. Over 20 years later, when we needed to find a new RS200 builder, the calls were still the same; full of ideas and enthusiasm and, yes, finished the same way, ‘Well done Jon, well done’. Spud was an inspiration to me and others in this industry. I will miss the chat about the industry, his outlook on life and most of all his encouragement. So, this time it is my turn…’Well done Spud, well done.”
Jon Partridge, CEO Commercial of RS Sailing
“Spud inspired so many in the UK’s dinghy boatbuilding scene, sharing his incredible skill in craftsmanship with so many which sets the foundation for many of today’s classes.”
– Alex Newton-Southon, CEO Design and Technology of RS Sailing
We truly recognise the meaningful role that Spud played at RS Sailing and will be forever grateful for his enthusiasm and input.