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National 18s celebrate 80 years young this year

by Fiona Brown 6 Jul 2018 10:20 BST 15-20 July 2018
National 18 fleet © Event Media

The National 18 Class will celebrate 80 years of vibrant life at West Mersey Yacht Club when the Irish, Scots, Manx and English fleets gather for the British and Irish Championships from 15th to 20th July 2018.

Also supporting the event will be the Dabchicks Sailing Club, with Paul Jackson officiating as Race Officer for the five days series of up to three races per day.

Alongside the sailing programme, this special celebration will also feature a packed social programme. From a Welcome Reception on the opening Sunday to the Final Prize Giving on Friday via an 80th Anniversary Gala Dinner on Wednesday evening, there will be plenty of fun to be had.

The largest of the GBR National Dinghy Classes, the National 18 is a three-man boat with a single trapeze. Starting with the wooden clinker Uffa Ace in 1938, the Class moved on in the 1970's with the GRP Proctor 'Ultimate'. In 2015 the speedy Phil Morrison 'Ultra' hull and a modernised larger rig were adopted and so far, 25 of these excellent boats have been built. All three versions co-exist within the Class, and race to Portsmouth Yardstick handicaps when they meet up.

The English made the most of the champagne weather over the last weekend in June by getting some practise in at the English Championship, hosted by Blackwater Sailing Club. Five great races were sailed in 15 to 25 knots and bright sunshine, producing three race winners and a very close result on overall points.

The English Championship Trophy was awarded to 'Hurricane' (Ollie Houseman, Jeremy Vines, Steve Watton), with 'Second Chance' (Brian Sargent, Will Sargent, Matt Peregrine Jones) in second, 'The Shadow' (Maria Richards, Julian Berney, Hugo Berney) third and 'Panther' (Jessica Berney, Alicia Mellish, Christine) fourth.

Further information about the National 18 British and Irish Championship and the class's 80th Anniversary celebrations can be found at or by emailing

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