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Portsmouth Regatta 2016 celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Spinnaker

by Adrian Saunders 19 May 2016 14:43 BST 24 September 2016
Portsmouth Regatta 2014 © Alan White

In 1866 H C Maudsley in his 47 ton yacht Sphinx won the famous Albert Cup at a regatta organized by the newly founded Royal Albert Yacht Club. She was a steel framed vessel based and featured a revolutionary foresail flying from the masthead and using a detachable boom. The crew of Maudsley's yacht called it the Sphinxacre.

From there it is a short step to our modern usage of Spinnaker, the first printed usage of which appeared in the August 1866 edition of Yachting Calendar and Review. What is also clear is the enormous impact of the invention, which spread rapidly throughout the yachting world and is to be seen in all its beauty in modern international racing

Regatta Chairman, Miles Linington commented: "2015 was a year of consolidation for us, strengthened by all that is happening in our waters including a round of the Americas Cup World Series. We are ready to go into 2016 ready for a truly major event, joined by many other clubs, to celebrate a key milestone in the history of Sailing."

This year's Regatta will feature a round of the Solent Owners IRC Championship including some of the top racing yachts in the Solent making there way down to the Eastern Solent. Racing will also include the first day of the Portsmouth Sailing Club Autumn Parhelion Series for Club and NHC rated boats together with day boats including Victory's, XOD's and Squibs. The date for the calendar is the weekend of the 24/25th September, with the first race starting at 1100hrs, aiming for two races of either windward/leeward or round the cans followed a prize giving in Gosport. Once again the Regatta will be jointly organised by the Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club, Portsmouth Sailing Club, the Victory Class and the Eastney Cruising Association.

Regatta COO, Adrian Saunders, says "2016 will be a very exciting year with a major anniversary in the design and development which changed the history of the sails and sailing. The Regatta committee is planning to really celebrate and promote the event to a higher level. If you are interested to be involved do email "

For more information about the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Spinnaker, the race instructions, the registration form visit the Portsmouth Regatta 2016 website at or call Adrian Saunders on 07833226999.

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