Wyldwind - About

Wyldwind is a Nauticat 35 yacht purchased by John & Julia Strudwick in May 2013. She was built in Finland in 1993 - 1994 and launched May 1994.

John & Julia previously had a Legend 29.5 called Selene and before that a Hunter Medina 20 footer.

She is now British Registered and owned by us, and she was launched at Hamble Point on Thursday 23 May 2013. We are the second owners, the previous owner, Mr. Hempelmann having bought her new from Nauticat. We bought the boat through the current Nauticat dealer Gruendl in Hamburg, and she was shipped to the UK by lorry after months of sorting out the paperwork and finances. She now lives in our berth at Hornet Services Sailing Club Marina in the Haslar Creek, Gosport.

We are keen cruisers and until we retired we were out most weekends in the Solent and crossing the Channel at bank holidays and summer holidays. Now we are retired we like to spend the entire summer in France and are out in the Solent mid-week and join RNVR rallies when we can. We are members of the Royal Naval Volunteer Yacht Club, Hornet Services Sailing Club, where we keep the boat and the Royal Naval Sailing Association. John sailed Merlin Rockets for 13 years both as crew and helm, and was a regular on the open circuit and on the National Committee. He was a member and later Sailing Secretary at Upper Thames for many years. See John's Boating / Sailing BIO below.

The name Wyldwind comes from our love of sailing ( wind ) and the Wyld is derived from the Wyld Wood in Wind in the Willows (The name of  John's first cabin cruiser ) and for a few years we lived on a private estate called the Wylds.


John has crossed the English Channel 60 times as skipper

36 times in Wyldwind
2024 - 2 (Cherbourg)
2023 - 2 (Biscay)
2022 - 2 (St Malo)
2021 - 2 (Jersey)
2020 - 2 (Granville)
2019 - 4 (St Malo, Dieppe)
2018 - 4 (St Vaast, Jersey)
2017 - 2 (St Vaast)
2016 - 4 (Biscay & St Vaast)
2015 - 4 (St Vaast, Jersey)
2014 - 6 (St Vaast, Granville, Dieppe)
2013 - 2 (Guernsey, Paimpol, Perros, Cateret, Cherbourg)
24 times in Selene
2012 - 4 (St Vaast, Jersey)
2011 - 2 (St Vaast)
2010 - 4 (St Vaast, Alderney/Cherbourg)
2009 - 4 (St Vaast, Guernsey)
2008 - 2 (straight to St Helier 123 miles)
2007 - 8 (Cherbourg, Deauville, St Helier, Alderney)


John's Sailing / Boating BIO

As a youngster, John was in the Sea Scouts and was always into boats, especially canoes and rowing. He rowed for his school (Rowing 8) Hampton Grammar. However, it wasn't until 1980 that he was introduced to sailing in Salcombe on a day boat. Very shortly afterwards Merlin Rocket Gwylan (894) was purchased and John learned to sail on the river at Tamesis Club in Teddington. During this time he expanded his sailing horizons and crewed a trimaran to Alderney and Cherbourg and raced as crew a number of times on various offshore racers.

He then teamed up with Chris Rathbone of Upper Thames and crewed Merlin Rockets for a few years. They had tremendous success together winning nearly every trophy at Upper Thames and doing well on the open circuit, including winning the Ranelagh Autumn Trophy (sponsored by the Royal Thames YC).

John joined Upper Thames, where he was a member and Sailing Secretary for many years, and took up helming Merlins competitively again. It was a hard first season, having been in the top three for the past few seasons, being nearly last in every race during the first season of helming at this level was tough. The hard work did pay off, and soon John was out on the open circuit, was winning the major trophies at his home club, beating his old helm Chris, and he was a regular in the Merlin Fleet, being on the National Committee for a number of years, and re-writing the class history.

The most notable successes were with No. 3381, "Seventh Wave", winning the Ranelagh Autumn Trophy as a helm (as well as a crew mentioned above) and the coveted "Early Bird Trophy" for Merlins at Queen Mary Sailing Club.


During this time John had a SeaMaster 23 motor boat "Wind in the Willows" and in 1984 he bought and lived on "Whim" a converted 1912 Humber Keel Barge - some 84' long, 13' wide and 11' high. He could often be seen taking up most of the River Thames at Bourne End in this which only had a 40hp engine and chain steering.


John gave up Merlins in 1991 and after a season in OKs, crewed for Pat Blake for a season in his X99 "Reflex". He was the "Foredeck Monkey" and had a great season - they won the Warsash Spring Series and were second in the Nationals.

After a break of around 10 years, John took up cruising and bought "High Tension", a Hunter Medina 20 footer and he and Julia liked cruising so much they upgraded to Selene in October 2005.

John has so far attained the following Qualifications:

VHF Radio Certificate 16th December 2004

Yachtmaster Theory (Shorebased RYA/MCA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore) 10th November 2006

RYA First Aid Course 18th February 2007

ICC (International Certificate of Competence) 1st March 2007

RYA Radar Course 20th May 2007

Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate on 8th November 2007 (RYA / Department of Transport)