In 1977 Yamaha wished to repeat the sporting success of their motorbike entrance into the UK and John and Hilary Chitty of Sepia PR were appointed as PR agents to introduce a Yamaha works team into the national circuit and offshore championships.
In their first year Mick E won OCR B and Mick Chick won the circuit NF championship. A partnership with Norman Fletcher ensued in 1977 and an integrated team of Fletcher and Yamha produced some memorable firsts, like the 24 hour enduro and the Round Britain enduro, all in boats of less than 14'.
Unfortunately, Mick Chick was killed in a club event shortly afterwards, but Yamaha's taste for exciting drivers was extended with the appointment of Paddy and Sheena Reilly in B28 Stumpy, who won the OCR 'B' championship in 1977, 78 and 79, while making Windermere records at the same time.
During that period, other drivers were recruited to the works team, some stayed, some didn't. But it was an awsome period, with the likes of engineers Bill Brown, Mark Abbot Cole, Mark Coleman and Eric Smillie, great parties, and swopping props for curries. It was a huge pleasure to drive for a works team and great to reward them with one national championship title, but not as good as Pad's three 'though.
I got him back when I went to Mercury, I think the final score in national championships ended up at 5-3, but who cares, in B28 'Stumpy' he was unbeatable. Mind you he's crap at golf!