Please select your home edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
Sail Trim - Theory & Practice by Peter Hahne
 Sail Trim - Theory & Practice by Peter Hahne

CVDRA Rally at Blithfield Sailing Club - Overall

by Dougal@davidhenshallmedia 1 Jul 2013 21:14 BST 29-30 June 2013

If the Saturday had been a tad breezy for some of the older classic dinghies, Sunday gave every indication of being even more a test for 50 year old plus joints (those made with cascamite, not of the hip and knee variety, though some of these were put to the test too).

As the wind had freshened it had swung further around to the West and was now brisk enough to blow away the cobwebs from the well spiced chilli and Fursty Ferret consumption (a lethal combination) the night before. The Race Team now set a course that would repay the ability to maintain speed on the reaches and with the exception of some controversy about the rounding of the bottom mark, the at times hot sunshine meant that a brilliant day afloat was almost guaranteed.

Sadly, the eagerly awaited showdown between the top two boats from the day before would fail to materialise, as Peter Vinton, who in his elderly Fairey Finn had proved so fast on the Saturday, already had a pressing engagement and had departed early. Runner up to Peter on day 1 had been a singlehander that was almost the complete opposite of the Finn, with Ian Marshall with his very quick and lightweight Shelly 1 International Moth (this hailing from an era when Moths looks liked boats!). Ian already had excellent breezy weather credentials, having won the medium group at last year's Bosham Classic Revival, a result that was in part built on his ability to survive the wild conditions on the Sunday.

In the end the shallow nature of the course and Ian's mastery of what is still a quirky, tricky boat to sail (in the prevailing conditions getting the fore and aft trim right on the Shelly was essential!) saw him romp home the winner from Sandy Lavell and Pat Jones in their Albacore. Mention has to be made of Chris Barker, sailing his Uffa Fox International 14 single handed. With his main reefed down, he still completed all the races and showed the pedigree of this 1938 boat, (a true classic if ever there was one), as a boat to be raced hard rather than just admired ashore. At the other end of the age spectrum were some more modern Merlin Rockets that luckily just sneaked in under the classic 'bar', for they added their own grace and purpose to the activities afloat.

This was the first time Blithfield had hosted a classic event and the untroubled ease at which the superb Race Team afloat and the friendly on shore support handled the event suggest that this is an event that is sure to grow. Next week the Classic Dinghy scene moves south, to the picturesque location of Bosham, but the success of the Revival meeting there must surely be making the organisers at Blithfield think about how quickly their own event could develop.

Related Articles

Solway Yacht Club's online 2021 season launch
And the Club's poignant connection to Uffa Fox and 'Coweslip' Despite the ongoing Covid restrictions still preventing in-person gatherings, the Club went ahead with an online season-opener to coincide with what should have been "Craning-In" day, traditionally followed by the Fitting Out Party in the Clubhouse. Posted on 12 Apr
The John Westell Centenary pt.5
FiveOs, fast multi-hulls and faster cars! This fifth and final programme in the series celebrating the centenary of John Westell kicks off with the 5o5, but now with John not so much as the designer but as the first volume builder of GRP FiveOs in the UK. Posted on 9 Apr
Chelsea Yacht Club Classic Dinghy gathering
A buzz on the beach as the entrants rigged their craft There is a theory that "you shouldn't race offshore in a boat that is shorter (in feet) that your current age". This sort of makes sense but requires that you get a lot richer as you get older. Posted on 26 Mar
The John Westell Centenary pt.4
Happy One Hundred to John Westell Today will be a day of genuine celebration, not just for the 5o5 Class, but for the sport of sailing in the wider context, as we raise a glass to the memory of John Westell, who was born one hundred years ago today. Posted on 11 Mar
A pricey wooden dinghy still sailing today
Swallows and Amazons film prop on BBC1's Antiques Roadshow British sailors enjoying a quiet cup of tea in front of the TV on Sunday evening would have been pleasantly surprised to see their favourite sport grace Antiques Roadshow on BBC1. Posted on 22 Feb
The John Westell Centenary pt.3
A crown made for sailing: The action out afloat and ashore hots up In this the third video charting the life and the boats of John Westell, the action out afloat and ashore hots up. However, at the same time, the timescales are getting compressed, with this video covering the period of just a year. Posted on 18 Feb
The John Westell Centenary pt.2: An eye for design
How his love of speed in dinghies would become increasingly strong factors behind his thinking In Part 2 of this series of videos telling the story of the life and boats of John Westell, we will see how his eye for a shapely design and his love of speed in a sailing dinghy would become increasingly strong factors behind his thinking. Posted on 1 Feb
Jack Knights - Witty Wise Man
Sailing lost the sailor, innovator, journalist 40 years ago 40 years ago in early January, the sport of sailing lost one of its keenest and most observant commentators, when the UK magazine 'Yachts & Yachting' columnist Jack Knights died suddenly at just 51 years of age. Posted on 7 Jan
The John Westell Centenary pt.1: The early years
Exe marks the spot for Dougal Henshall! From the Bloody Mary, to the 50th Contender Worlds and now the Sydney-Hobart, the casualty list from Covid grows ever longer and for a while, it looked as if the next occasion to fall would be the centenary of the birth of John Westell. Posted on 3 Jan
The winningest Wise Man
Charles Currey, an incredible sailor and a clever and insightful innovator Up until now, with the exception of Jon Turner, the wise men that have been featured have all been innovators who sailed, whereas Charles Currey was an incredible sailor, who at the same time was also a clever and insightful innovator. Posted on 18 Dec 2020