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Bosham Classic Boat Revival at Bosham Sailing Club

by Dougal@davidhenshallmedia 8 Jul 2013 17:25 BST 6-7 July 2013

It is easy to forget that the Bosham Classic Dinghy Revival Meeting is still only in its third year of running, yet in that short period of time, the event has quickly become the most high profile and prestigious 'classic' regatta for this growing genre of dinghy racing. Anyone who thinks that the age of these boats would dictate that the racing would be a gentle cruise around the middle reaches of Chichester Harbour could not be more mistaken. The starts were fiercely contested and with the sudden outbreak of summer bringing, at times, almost continuous streams of yachts and motor boats transiting the course area, tactical consideration were at a premium. Crews also needed to be aware of how the rising heat would swing the winds around, this was very much racing with head up and out of the boat.

With the conditions being so tricky, it was hardly a surprise that a boat and crew who hone their tuning and skills on the Thames at Tamesis should dominate proceedings in the Fast Handicap Fleet. Yet, at the outset, the expectation was that the large fleet of National 18s, who were busy gearing up for their National Championships at Hayling Island next week would make the best of conditions to maximise the advantage of their long waterline and towering rigs. Instead, it was the 46 year old Proctor IXb Merlin Rocket of Charlie Morgan who showed just how quick a 'narrow' boat from years gone by can be. Charlie and his two crews (one a day.....) Hayley and Fiona read the wind and tidal streams correctly to the point that in the last race, they finished first on the water by the proverbial country mile. Behind the leaders came a pack of National 18s, led by Brian Hoolahan who took the runners up spot ahead of Ben Marshall and Sel Shah in their Merlin. The light conditions didn't favour some of the heavier hitters, with the Fireball, International 14s and Sharpies all sailing well but struggling to hold their time on Handicap.

The Slow Handicap Fleet was packed full of YW Dayboats who have one of their spiritual homes on the waters of Chichester Harbour. These boats are far from the dinosaurs that some might think, as the boats are highly developed and sailed with a real passion. The racing within the fleet was a real pleasure to watch, as boats traded advantages in the changeable conditions. However, within this mix was a solitary Enterprise that had made the long journey down to the South Coast from Ogston in Derbyshire. With a sail number of 472, this boat showed just how restorations can not only allow the boat to resume its primary role of racing, but can still be sympathetic to the original concepts. The owner of 472, who had rebuilt the boat from something of 'wreck' status had even taken this level of thought through to the rig; when he asked sailmaker Mike McNamara to cut new sails for the boat, they agreed that the numbers should be positioned right up in the apex of the sail (as they used to be back in the late 1950s and early 1960s). It was this attention to detail that saw the Enterprise carry off the Concours Prize (along with a generous voucher from International Paints), just one of the many sponsors who'd recognised the growing importance of this event.

With the pressure from the Dayboats, racing in the slow fleet would go down to the wire and when the wind swung for the deciding final race, it looked as if the Enterprise was out of the running as it was buried behind a pack of boats that included the graceful Emsworth One Design. However, Martin Honnor and crew Bryce Howard are skilled exponents of close quarters fighting and wriggled their way to an inside berth at a very crowded mark rounding. This allowed them to score a 2nd place that was just enough to keep the chasing Dayboats of Colin Blewett crewed by Bosham's Izzie Lee who had come up from Poole for the event and the host club's David and Fiona Macfarlane out of the top spot.

This year's Revival Meeting was a little smaller than last year's bumper fleet but this was very much by design as the organisers had revised their entry criteria to encourage the 'racing' end of the classic spectrum. They are to be commended for not only this move but the way in which they organised the whole event, making everything from registration to recalls stress free. The closeness of the racing and the number of boats who were challenging for top honours, both afloat and in the Concours, showed how Bosham have really got a winning package on their hands. The Club and all their helpers, in conjunction with the generosity of the many sponsors, should all be proud of delivering an event for boats of yesteryear in a style that recalls the charm and fun of sailing back then.

Bosham Sailing Club extend thanks to #GetOutAndSail partners

The organisers of the Classic Boat Revival were delighted to receive the July #GetOutAndSail award. This brilliant initiative administered by is just the sort of shot in the arm the dinghy sailing scene needs and we like to think that our event for classic racing dinghies is also on the right track, attracting some wonderful racing boats out from barns, garages and dinghy parks and back out on the race track where they belong.

The huge pack of prizes and vouchers allowed us to dramatically extend our prize list this year – not only bolstering the range of traditional prizes for the main winners but also awarding prizes to those that would not normally be 'in the chocolates'.

The new prizes were extremely well received - individual fleet prizes, Concours d'Elegance, Furthest Travelled, Top Lady Helms, Family award, Oldest Boat, awards to all those who had attended all three Classic Boat Revivals and a number of special awards for our photographic team, Ambassadorial services to individual classes, 'In At The Deep End' for a lady new to dinghy racing, plus an award for a team delayed by an horrendous traffic jam.

A big thank you to the #GetOutAndSail partners : Crewsaver, Gul, Harken, International Paint, Navigators & General, Noble Marine, Ovington Boats, Rooster Sailing, Seldén Masts and Wildwind.

Fleet One Results:

PosBoat TypeSail No.HelmCrewPYR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stMerlin Rocket1978Charlie MorganHayley Manning Fiona Bolwell10422‑41115
2ndNational 18368Brian HoolahanTim Reynolds Paula Hoolahan10384233‑512
3rdMerlin Rocket1477Ben MarshallSel Shah1072‑5145313
4thNational 1815Richard StirrupJono Prosser Dave Hall1038‑10672419
5thNational 18225Richard WatneyMags Watney Jim Gibbona103879‑174222
6thNational 18107Gordon CurreyRobert Bailey Sarina Currey103885210‑1125
7thN18 penultimate273Simon VeyseyBruce Garrett1020135(DNC)DNC31
8thPIEGBR92Dick PrattAnne Rehill102712129‑14639
9thPIEGBR96Jim McEwenRichard Meakin102711‑131211741
10thMerlin Rocket1074Richard StevensJenny Stevens10721310109(DNC)42
11thChichester Harbour 18CH7David Edmund‑JonesAndrew Young1038678(DNC)DNC43
12thNational 18 ultimate330Jessica BerneyGregor Davidson Hugo Berney9573811(DNC)DNC44
13thMerlin Rocket107Patrick RaynerJane1062‑15141481046
14thMerlin Rocket3428David ThomasTed Cordell10229116(DNC)DNC48
15thAlbacore6818Charles McNallyIan Rogers106617‑181312850
16thInternational 14K 850Simon MeacockKate Middleton1000‑161615131357
17thFireball6Chris TurnerJamie Prescott10521415(DNC)7DNC58
18thNational 18133Tom ReidNick Phillips Mimie Currey1038(DNC)DNCDNC6959
19thChichester Harbour 18CH9Michael Camps1038‑181716151260
20thJollyboatJ325Chris WoodClare Nicholson1000191918(DNF)DNC78
21stMerlin Rocket1920Nicky Erskin‑TullockPhilippa Daniels1062(DNC)DNCDNC16DNC82

Fleet Two Results:

PosBoat TypeSail No.HelmCrewPYR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stEnterprise472Martin HonnorBryce Howard1117‑312126
2ndYW dayboatDB647Colin BlewettIzzie Lee12001232‑48
3rdYW DayboatDB597David MacfarlaneOliver / Fiona macfarlane12002‑41339
4thYW DayboatDB673Jimbo Davies1200‑5355518
5thYW DayboatDB616Alastair SeatonJacqui Seaton12004744‑919
6thEmsworth 1 DesignD1Tom WareJames Ware Marcus Waring12001287(DNF)128
7thTorbay Minnow19Adrian WellerJane Weller12007‑111181036
8thDevon Yawl371John CoylePeter Ray120013‑14106837
9thYW DayboatDB617judy robertsJudy Roberts Liz Adams120065(DNF)DNF640
10thFireflyF3184Michael BriggEmma Brigg1170866(DNC)DNC43
11thGP1428Stewart ElderRose Hanbury11271615(DNF)71149
12thYW DayboatDB634Barry ColgateJan Colgate12009128(DNF)DNC52
13thYW DayboatDB615John FletcherPhilippa/Charles Zorab12001410(DNC)DNF754
14thYW DayboatDB533Mark StantonShirley Stanton1200109(DNC)DNCDNC65
15thYW DayboatDB 614Iain MacphersonCass Macpherson120011(DNF)9DNCDNC66
16thFirefly3255Duncan PatersonNicola Paterson1168(DNC)1312DNCDNC71
17thSolo467Steve Bailey115515(DNC)DNCDNCDNC84
18thFirefly3145Christopher MooreTBC TBC1168(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC92
18thFirefly1811Alex FrancisRichard Root1168(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC92
18thDevon Yawl348Steve BaileyJennie Hallet1200(DNC)DNCDNCDNFDNC92
18thYW DayboatDB197Adam HowardJo Howard1200(DNF)DNCDNCDNCDNC92
18thWayfarer1751John Meredith HardyBartholome Meredith Hardy1125(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC92

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