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Reclaiming History: Pierre Cayard reunited with his hand built El Toro


  • Reclaiming History: Pierre Cayard reunited with his hand built El Toro

    Pierre Cayard is a fine furniture worker by trade, but when he moved to San Francisco decades ago, his calling changed as he became the primary set builder for the SF Ballet and SF Opera.

    When son Paul got into sailing in the late 60’s, El Toro’s were the in training vessel for youth, and Pierre volunteered his services to build on for the aspiring youngster

    Pierre admits it took much longer than it should of, mainly because of time constraints and working out of his garage after working all day and into the evening at his day job. “ I could have knocked it in a couple days at the shop, with all the tools and room and an assistant to help with the gluing up”

    Pierre and Frances, proud parents with Paul's 1st Trophy, Frances was the " Mom-adore" for the Lake Merced Sailing Club and drove Paul to all his regattas, and even crewed for him in the Snipe class!

    Pierre wasn’t sure how much the boat would get used initially, however, Paul took to sailing with much more passion the his parents thought and the boat assisted Paul in capturing the Dick Marcus Perpetual El Toro Trophy in 3 three straight seasons 72’, 73’ and 74.

    The Dick Marcus Perpetual Trophy, the model on top is exactly how the original Cayard Toro looked

    The boat was sold when Paul went onto bigger on better things, and traded hands a couple times. Paul, with the assistance of the El Toro Class Association, was able to track down the owner after a lengthy search near Auburn CA, the convinced the current owners it’s value for the National Sailing Hall Of Fame, which Paul was inducted in to in 2002

    The dinghy was in remarkably good condition, considering its age (built in 1968) with only minor damage to the splash guard, a replace transom brace some misplaced paint and a narrower boom.

    Pierre will refurbish the El Toro and it will be shipped out to Annapolis sometime soon. “But not before I get to sail it again” Says Pierre who plans on getting at least one more ride on the old beauty before she sails off into the sunset once again!

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