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Entries building for the celebratory David Thomas Regatta

by Peta Stuart-Hunt 31 Mar 2014 13:37 BST 9-12 May 2014

Entries of a variety of David Thomas-designed yachts are flowing in steadily for this event being staged in May by the Hamble-based Royal Southern Yacht Club. Several sailors are travelling long distances to attend.

Runar H. Steinsen from Iceland says: "We got in contact with David in 1976 and built two 1/4 tonners of his design. Then several Delta and Horizon models were bought from Hunter Boats. In 1986, David designed us a 26ft boat with three trapezes. We built it [in plywood] and from that developed a 26ft sportsboat! In 1993 we made this in fibreglass and formed the Secret 26 class... one of David's best designs. In 2005 David designed for us a special IRC 31ft racing boat called Icecube that can do 20 knots.

"David has been made an honorary member of the Icelandic Sailing Association. If he is being honoured at the Royal Southern, we should be there because nobody has done more for Icelandic sailing than David."

Jo Schauble plans to sail his Hunter Liberty 23-based Golden Wind over from Germany for the great occasion, commenting: "I live on the Rhein near Freiburg and will soon start from here and I am packing now and preparing the boat, hoping to make it in time. I am really eager to express my gratitude to David because in our Golden Wind over the years we experienced lots of joy."

UK entries already cover a wide spread of David Thomas designs including Sigmas, Hunters, Elizabethans, Quarter Tonners and Cornish Crabbers. There is always room for more, so keep the entries coming in!

David Thomas' friends and fans who no longer own DT-designed yachts can still book in for the Celebration Dinner on Saturday 10th May. How about a Sigma 33 sailors reunion?

The Saturday racing will be in two formats so entrants can take their choice.

Solent Snooker!

For the racier boats, there is 'round the cans' handicap racing. For those who prefer something less sporty but equally challenging, there is the Hunter Association-instigated 'Solent Snooker'.

How does this work?

There are red and coloured 'balls', represented by Solent racing marks situated in the central Solent. Your boat is the cue ball and you 'pot' a 'ball' by rounding it. Start by potting a red 'ball' at any point on the course, then alternate with a coloured 'ball'. Once you have rounded a red 'ball', it is no longer in play for your boat. Whilst you still have other red 'balls' in play, coloured 'balls' are 'returned to the table' (so can be rounded again) until all the red 'balls' have been potted; whereupon coloured 'balls' must be potted in ascending order of their score; just as in table snooker. Engines may be used up to six times for a maximum total of 30 mins. Competitors fill in the record sheet by entering the time of rounding each buoy; totting up the total score in the process.

The challenge (and fun) of Solent Snooker is as much in the advance planning (studying tides etc) as in execution on the day. Detailed event instructions will be issued to entrants well in advance!

The Royal Southern YC, David Thomas and his family hope that many yachts will enter this unique event. Overnight berthing is available on the Club's pontoons or on Harbour Master-designated berths. To register, or if you have any questions please contact Natalie Gray, Sailing Secretary on +44 (0) 23 8045 0302 or email

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