Eric Twiname

How it all Began
The Mirror Fleet is Born
Eric Twiname
Club Champions
Other Achievements
Hosted Events


Eric Twiname was born in Workington, Cumberland, in 1942. At the age of nine he learned to sail in Cadets on Bassenthwaite Lake, then graduated to GP14s when he developed a keen interest in the theory of sailing. While at school he learned to play the piano and cello to a very high standard and also won a flying scholarship which led to him obtaining a flying licence.

He graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Imperial College where he captained both the University and the British Universities sailing teams. After a 5 year spell in the family construction business in the north of England, he made a dramatic career break and returned to London to work as a freelance sailing journalist and writer. At the same time he became a member of the Felixstowe Ferry sailing team which won the Prince Philip team trophy and the European championship. He has won the Sir Ralph Gore trophy in Fireflies, finished consistently well in Firefly and GP14 championships, and was national champion in both the Laser and International Canoe classes, as well as recording a 5th place in the Laser Worlds.

His first book ‘Dinghy Team Racing’ is perhaps still the standard work on the subject whilst his later ‘The Rules Book’ has just been re-published to reflect the recent 2009-2012 rule changes. He was a frequent contributor to the yachting press in Britain and abroad and for a time was editor of ‘Dinghy International’ magazine. Apart from writing a play and several documentaries for BBC Radio, he was also one of the pioneer sailing commentators on outside TV broadcasts – both in the UK and at the 1976 Olympics. He had a profound influence on the administration of sailing, especially in the area of the Racing Rules and acted as advisor to the British team at the 1976 Olympic Games as well as serving on the RYA’s racing rules committee. He was very much in demand as a lecturer to sailing clubs, and spent considerable time teaching and coaching young racing dinghy sailors in the UK and abroad.

Eric died tragically in 1980 but his legacy lives on through his books and the Trust set up in his name.

February 2009

Registered Charity No. 1002313

The Trust was set up in an informal way in 1980 by Eric’s father Alec, in order to perpetuate Eric’s memory and to enable his many and diverse sailing interests to continue. At first the Trust responded to calls for funding from many areas, including round the world yachtsmen, disabled sailors and Olympic campaigns, Alec paying the grants out of his own pocket.

However, a more formal approach emerged with the formation in 1991 of a Charitable Trust, with the concentration on youth sailing, and especially on racing. Alec Twiname settled an amount of capital to the Trust, which was invested to provide a steady annual income. Since 1980 the Trust has provided over £1,500,000 for deserving causes.

Alec died in 1996 and his widow, Hazel, now heads the Trust as its Patron. The finances of the Trust and the designation of funds are run by a small team of Trustees, most of whom are keen sailors, and all good friends of the Twiname family. Overheads are minimal and the income from the capital is always put to optimum effect. Additional revenue is derived from fundraising events (such as talks given by the Trustees) and private donations.

Trustees: Hazel Twiname (Patron), Peter Whipp (Chairman), Bruce Aitken (Secretary), John Reed, Jim Kirkpatrick, Duncan Truswell, Jonathan Denwood
(April 2020)

For further information, for applications for financial aid, or for contributions to the Trust, please contact:
The Eric Twiname Memorial Trust, 26 Ashcombe Avenue, Southborough, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6QA
or visit our website