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National 18

National 18

The National 18' began in 1938 following a design competition organised by the then YRA (now RYA) and Yachting World magazine. The original idea was that of Frank Knowling of Whitstable YC (later to be known as the father of the class) for an 18-foot sailing dinghy, suitable for day sailing, yet fast enough to be of interest to racing sailors and at a reasonable cost. (The first rather hopeful restriction of the original class rules was "Price not to exceed £125 complete with spars, all equipment and designer's fee but not including sails"). The plan was to produce an affordable national alternative to the many local one-designs of about this size to be found right round the coast of the British Isles. Many of these local estuary classes survive today, for example the Mermaid in Dublin, Thames Estuary OD, Chichester Harbour 18 etc. The well-known designer Uffa Fox won the competition (over the Laurent Giles submitted version) with his 'Ace' design for a clinker-built wooden boat. National 18' number 1, 'Hurricane', was owned by Stanley Beale and sailed at Whitstable, with No.2 'Gust' and No.3 Foam''. Initial enthusiasm was held back by the effects of World War II but a good deal of 18' building got underway soon afterwards, when mahogany was again available for boat-building and the class became active especially in the Thames Estuary area. By 1950, fleets had appeared at clubs dotted all around the British Isles and Ireland, the Class Association having been formed in 1947. Although most boats were built to the 'Ace' design, the class had always been 'restricted' rather than 'one-design' and boats with a reduced number of wider planks were built when glued plywood construction was adopted and even one moulded carvel boat was built (252 'Sabon'). Several of the wooden 18's, now called 'Classics' are still in commission, and regularly race, principally at Bosham SC. They include No15 Tinkerbell, built in 1938 and still very competitive. With the advent of GRP and the rising costs of hard woods, the Class asked Ian Proctor in the late '60's to design a fibreglass hull that would not outclass the existing boats. In this he was successful and it was some time before a Proctor hull won the championships. The first new Proctor, 'Genivieve' was exhibited at the Crystal Palace Dinghy Show of 1970 when a bare hull cost £153. Since then the Class has progressively reduced minimum hull and centreboard weight, and introduced a single trapeze. Also a restriction which requires all new hulls to come from the class mould so they are in effect one-design. Rigs have been optimised and more recently carbon spars introduced. These changes produced a boat known in the Class as an 'Ultimate' which is fast and exciting to sail and which has provided close and competitive racing for fifteen or so years, both locally and at the annual National Championships. The Royal Cork Yacht Club has the largest fleet. The class strives to be inclusive in providing heathy competition for all generations of 18s through handicaps and separate starts. Thus though the major trophies at National Championships are awarded in the Ultimate class, there are trophies also for the Pen-ultimates (heavy GRP) and the Classics. In 2012 the class mould was declared unservicable, and there was much debate about what to do next. This culminated in a request to Phil Morrison to design a hull that was sleeker, lighter, faster and safer, and in so far as reasonably possible within the existing measurement restrictions. The Morrison prototype was financed by supporters of the Class and built at The Boatyard at Bere in 2013. Named 'Odyssey' and trialled extensively, she ticks all the boxes, is a pleasure to sail and has proved a great success. This development will undoubtedly give the Class a new lease of life, and production of new boats is already under way at White Formula in Brightlingsea.

&copy; Steve Arkley / <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sailshots.co.uk">www.sailshots.co.uk</a> © Steve Arkley / www.sailshots.co.uk
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Show news Saxton and Lewis reign supreme
At the 2018 Endeavour Trophy
Posted on 15 Oct 2018
Saxton and Lewis annihilate Endeavour fleet
Four straight wins for reigning champions at opening day
Posted on 13 Oct 2018
Big winds arrive for Endeavour Trophy training day
League of legends prepare for battle at Burnham-on-Crouch
Posted on 12 Oct 2018
Stakes are high for 2018 Endeavour glory
The best of the best head for Burnham on 12-14 October
Posted on 5 Oct 2018
National 18 Inlands at Tamesis
An excellent day's sailing in bright sunshine
Posted on 3 Oct 2018
Bosham Classic Boat Revival
The biggest classic dinghy event ever?
Posted on 4 Sep 2018
National 18 British and Irish Championships
Triumph for the Crosbie family from Cork
Posted on 27 Jul 2018
National 18s eighty years young
Celebrating 80 years of vibrant life at West Mersey Yacht Club
Posted on 6 Jul 2018
National 18s at the Southampton Boat Show
Exhibiting and also racing in the Battle of The Classes
Posted on 16 Sep 2017
Bosham Classic Boat Revival
The very best of Bosham
Posted on 8 Sep 2017
National 18 Championship at Hayling Island
50 Shades takes the title in star studded event
Posted on 1 Aug 2017
National 18 Championships at Blackwater
Panther wins in convincing style
Posted on 16 Jul 2017
Test sail a National 18 this weekend
At Lymington Town Sailing Club
Posted on 6 Apr 2017
National 18s at the Dinghy Show
What a great weekend!
Posted on 10 Mar 2017
National 18 Hospitality
At the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show
Posted on 19 Feb 2017
Second win for National 18
In RYA Scotland Champion of Champions
Posted on 24 Oct 2016
National 18s at Southampton Boat Show
On display and racing in the harbour
Posted on 11 Sep 2016
National 18 UK and Irish Championships
Held east of Inverness on the Moray Firth
Posted on 11 Aug 2016
National 18 class builds on success
Eleven new boats racing now will soon become sixteen
Posted on 5 Apr 2016
National 18 goes square top
See new rig at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show
Posted on 1 Mar 2016
National 18 Inlands at Tamesis
Ultimate and Ultra designs mix it up on the river
Posted on 29 Sep 2015
Bosham Classic Boat Revival preview
Event enters its fifth year
Posted on 21 Aug 2015
National 18 Class Championships at Cork
England, Ireland and Scotland represented in Crosshaven
Posted on 11 Aug 2015
National 18 English Championship
A variety of craft qualified to race at Bosham
Posted on 8 Jul 2015
New Morrison National 18 public launch
At the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2015
Posted on 12 Feb 2015
Cork Dinghyfest 2015 launched
Seven class championships plus handicap racing in August
Posted on 16 Jan 2015
Morrison National 18 approved
Overwhelming support at class AGM
Posted on 5 Dec 2014
National 18 English Championship
A fleet of 11 race at Bosham
Posted on 28 Oct 2014
National 18 Inlands at Tamesis
Gloriana: 1 - National 18: 0
Posted on 30 Sep 2014
National Eighteen Foot Class Championship
Held in Abersoch for the first time
Posted on 24 Aug 2014
Links
National 18 UK Nationals Attendance
see the full nationals attendance table here

Photos

Show photos from

GJW Direct Bloody Mary 2019
© Alex & David Irwin / www.sportography.tv
GJW Direct Bloody Mary 2019
© Alex & David Irwin / www.sportography.tv
GJW Direct Bloody Mary 2019
© Mark Jardine
GJW Direct Bloody Mary 2019
© Mark Jardine
Peter Gray's National 18 during the 2018 Grafham Grand Prix
© Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk
Sam Goodchild under jury rig
© Route du Rhum
National 18s at Tamesis Club
© Susan Green
National 18s at Tamesis Club
© Susan Green
National 18 British and Irish Championships at West Mersea
© Peter Hickson
National 18 British and Irish Championships at West Mersea
© Peter Hickson
National 18 British and Irish Championships at West Mersea
© Carolyne Vines
National 18 British and Irish Championships at West Mersea
© Carolyne Vines
Action at the leeward mark, Two And Half Men leads from Second Wife, in the National 18 British and Irish Championships at West Mersea
© Carolyne Vines
National 18 fleet
© Event Media
National 18 fleet
© Event Media
GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series Tiger Trophy at Rutland
© Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk
Peter Gray's National 18 wins the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series Datchet Flyer
© Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk
Peter Gray's National 18 wins the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series Datchet Flyer
© Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk
National 18s during the 2017 Battle of the Classes
© Simon Lovesey
A mixed bag of high class classic dinghies in the fast fleet at the Bosham Classic Boat Revival
© David Henshall
Gregor Davidson, Jessica & Hugo Berney during the 2016 Battle of the Classes
© Simon Lovesey
National 18 Championship at Hayling Island
© Angus Peel / www.proaction.co
National 18 Championship at Hayling Island
© Angus Peel / www.proaction.co
National 18 Championship at Hayling Island
© Angus Peel / www.proaction.co
National 18 Championship at Hayling Island
© Angus Peel / www.proaction.co
National 18 Championship at Hayling Island
© Angus Peel / www.proaction.co
National 18 Championship at Hayling Island
© Angus Peel / www.proaction.co
National 18 Championship at Hayling Island
© Angus Peel / www.proaction.co
National 18 Championship at Hayling Island
© Angus Peel / www.proaction.co
National 18 Championship at Hayling Island
© Angus Peel / www.proaction.co