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Zhik 2022 Choice of Champions LEADERBOARD
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 National 18 English Championships at Bosham
Mixing the Classics, the Ultrus and the Chichester Harbour 18s too
Posted on 13 Jul
Free entry and ferry discounts for all
In the Uffa Fox 50 Celebration 2022
Posted on 17 Jun
National 18 Adelaide Cup and Tamesis Anchor
A good variety of National 18s took to the water
Posted on 13 Jun
Entries now open for Uffa Fox Regatta
Uffa's designs to race from Cowes this August
Posted on 13 Apr
Uffa Fox 50 Celebration preview
Cowes organisations unite to commemorate sailor and designer this August
Posted on 27 Feb
Arrested development
Has the restricted development genre had its day?
Posted on 23 Dec 2021
Can you beat Dylan at the Datchet Flyer?
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion will try a National 18 for the first time
Posted on 10 Dec 2021
Owens wins All Ireland Championships
For the second time in 21 years
Posted on 9 Oct 2021
National 18 English Championships at Bosham
Fourteen boats of various vintages take part
Posted on 10 Aug 2021
Uffa Fox 2022 Regatta announced
A series of events in Cowes to mark the highly regarded naval architect
Posted on 27 Apr 2021
Cork300 rescheduled to 2021
Royal Cork Yacht Club reschedules big weekend of celebrations
Posted on 24 Aug 2020
RCYC re-launches select Cork300 celebrations
World's oldest yacht club hoists sails again for tricentenary events
Posted on 29 Jul 2020
9th Bosham Classic Boat Revival
53 boats travelled from as far as the Netherlands
Posted on 16 Sep 2019
9th Classic Boat Revival preview
5 races over the 7-8 September in Chichester Harbour
Posted on 20 Aug 2019
National 18 UK and Ireland Championships
The fleet converges at Royal Findhorn Yacht Club
Posted on 10 Aug 2019
Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy at Ullswater
First-timers win in a National 18
Posted on 8 Jul 2019
National 18 Spring Challenge at Tamesis
Delightful afternoon sunshine and an exciting breeze for the fleet
Posted on 2 Apr 2019
National 18s Flying Ahead of the RYA Dinghy Show
New boat building continues, and will be on display
Posted on 24 Feb 2019
160 boats battle it out at Oxford Blue
National 18 prevails at light airs Selden SailJuice Winter Series finale
Posted on 18 Feb 2019
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
Links
National 18 UK Nationals Attendance
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Photos

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N18 Ultra number 424 'Ace' wins the National 18 English Championships at Bosham
© Claire Veysey
National 18 English Championships at Bosham
© Alison Garrett
National 18 English Championships at Bosham
© Alison Garrett
N18 Ultra number 424 'Ace' wins the National 18 English Championships at Bosham
© Nicky Chapple
National 18 English Championships at Bosham
© Alison Garrett
National 18s at Tamesis Club
© Carolyne Vines
National 18s at Tamesis Club
© Carolyne Vines
National 18s at Tamesis Club
© Carolyne Vines
National 18s at Tamesis Club
© Carolyne Vines
National 18s at Tamesis Club
© Carolyne Vines
National 18s at Tamesis Club
© Carolyne Vines
National 18s at Tamesis Club
© Carolyne Vines
The inaugural Cheddar Chase
© Aaron Geis
National 18 class at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show 2022
© Magnus Smith
2022 Bough Beech SC Icicle Series day 2
© Sarah Seddon
Olympic Champion Dylan Fletcher stepped into the back of a National 18 with Michael Wilson and Ben Batchelor for the Datchet Flyer 2021
© Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk
Ger Owens wins All Ireland Sailing Championship in Crosshaven
© David Branigan / Oceansport
Ger Owens wins All Ireland Sailing Championship in Crosshaven
© David Branigan / Oceansport
Ger Owens wins All Ireland Sailing Championship in Crosshaven
© David Branigan / Oceansport
Ger Owens wins All Ireland Sailing Championship in Crosshaven
© David Branigan / Oceansport
Ger Owens wins All Ireland Sailing Championship in Crosshaven
© David Branigan / Oceansport
Tom Reid, Nick Philips & Will Reid win the National 18 English Championships at Bosham
© Greg Grant
Optimus Prime during the National 18 English Championships at Bosham
© Greg Grant
Startline action during the National 18 English Championships at Bosham
© Greg Grant
National 18 UK and Ireland Championships at Royal Findhorn Yacht Club
© RFYC
National 18 UK and Ireland Championships at Royal Findhorn Yacht Club
© RFYC
National 18 UK and Ireland Championships at Royal Findhorn Yacht Club
© RFYC
National 18 UK and Ireland Championships at Royal Findhorn Yacht Club
© RFYC
National 18 UK and Ireland Championships at Royal Findhorn Yacht Club
© RFYC
Peter Gray, Simon Forbes and Sam Jones win the Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy 2019 at Ullswater
© Sue Giles