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Preparations apace for Jack Holt Centenary Regatta at Wraysbury Lake

by Rupert Whelan 8 May 2012 14:39 BST 7-8 July 2012
Jack Holt, with wife Iris and one of Jack's Merlin dinghies 'Fiddlesticks' © The Holt Family

Preparations are going on apace for the Jack Holt Centenary regatta at Wraysbury Lake SC on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th July. Members of Wraysbury Lake and the Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association have been working hard to ensure a memorable weekend of racing, boat admiration and socializing.

Every competing boat will be given a memento of the event, created by expert craftsman and classic boat enthusiast Chris Barlow. These are created from the mahogany centreboard case of the most successful Merlin of all time, Jack Holt's own boat, No16, Gently. Gently herself is currently being re-built in painstaking fashion, including a new centreboard case, as the old one was beyond repair! We hope is that she will be ready for the event.

Saturday will be a day of handicap racing, with 3 races held around a tasty lunch. The winner of the day will not only win a unique, beautifully crafted trophy made from Gently's mahogany centreboard case and oak keel, but will also win a day of sailing for 4 on the Solent in a Laser SB3 courtesy of Pelican Racing, either from Hamble or Cowes.

Sunday Morning will give competitors and visitors a chance to vote for their favourite boats. The fleet will be divided by age into ancient and modern, and people will tie ribbons to the ones they love the most. The boat achieving the highest number of ribbons overall will win her owner another of Pelican Racing's wonderfully generous days of Laser SB3 sailing for 4.

Sunday afternoon will see the boats back on the water in a grand pursuit, with start times based on the results of the day before.

The weekend is also being generously sponsored by Holt, the modern incarnation of Jack Holt's company, and Rondar Raceboats, who build the recently updated Enterprise dinghy, one of Holt's most successful designs.

If you would like to join the boats already entered, please go to www.wlsc.org.uk and download the entry form and Notice of Race. You'll also find loads of chat about the event at www.cvrda.org, on the forum. We would love to see as wide a cross section of ages and designs as possible, to best celebrate the amazing life of Jack Holt.

A list of Holt's designs can be found at www.cvrda.org, and more information about Wraysbury Lake Sailing Club can be found at www.wlsc.org.uk.

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