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Kathy MansfieldKathy Mansfield grew up in Massachusetts and after studying at Cambridge University, made her home in England near Oxford. After a dozen years in academic book publishing, she reconnected with traditional and classic boats, writing for magazines such as WoodenBoat in the US, Water Craft and Classic Boat in the UK, and many others in Europe.

Besides the great classics regattas in the UK, US and Europe, she covers the French traditional boat festivals and also enjoys modern interpretations of all these boats, using new designers and materials – think Iain Oughtred, François Vivier and building in marine plywood.

Her work has been used as book and magazine covers, on posters, and in exhibitions. Travel and garden photography are also keen interests.

She is a judge for the Maritime Foundation's annual Maritime Media Awards for their film, book, journalism and digital media awards.

An introduction to Classic Sail

Few boats can stir the imagination as completely as the classics from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The racing yachts of this formative period have not only great power in their enormous sail area but a grace and style of hull that has never since been equalled. These supremely functional boats were also works of art, a creative marriage of form and line, of wood and cloth and metal, of great craftsmanship. If we widen the word ‘classic’ to encompass other boats of enduring value, we find elegant cruising boats, some many decades old and some modern; magnificent like schooners and pilot cutters, and humble workboats that were designed to face the harsh rigours of sea and coastline and yet were imbued with timeless beauty. They inspire and appeal on many levels: the light on the wood and water, the skills of their boatbuilders, sailmakers, riggers and sailors, and their histories and stories. Let them stir your imagination...