Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

Squib 50th Anniversary Nationals Runners & Riders at Lendy Cowes Week

by Vincent Delany 3 Aug 2018 15:00 BST 4-11 August 2018
Squibs racing at Cowes © Steve Baker

Winning the Squib Nationals is never easy. Winning in any 100 boat fleet takes special qualities, particularly in Cowes. This observer has been involved with the Squib fleet for over ten years and has a good knowledge of the scene. Undoubtedly, the winner of the Squib Championship will come from the elite end of the fleet, from a team which acknowledges that crewing a Squib is not a physical endeavour, it is a mental one.

This year the East Coast Championship was won by Nigel and Jack Grogan from Burnham in No. 105 'Helmut Shoing II.' They have great tactical skill and, being sailmakers, are experts in changing gear as conditions change with their Hyde Sails. I believe their greatest strength is in wind strengths between 9 and 16 knots. However, I would ask the question, is their starting ability enough to get them into the front row of every start?

The local Royal Victoria YC team of Stu Rix and Steve Warren-Smith in the 50 year old No. 13, 'Aquabat' have won Cowes Week, but have never won a Squib National Championship, but they have got progressively closer over the past few years. I believe that their skill of starting in big fleets in Cowes, and their local knowledge could take them to the top.

Never to be overlooked is many times Squib champions, Josh Metcalf and Mark Hogan in No. 136, 'Ric O'Shea.' Like Warren-Smith, here, the boat owner is crewing, and the helmsman is just the guy who looks at the tell-tales! Josh and Mark with their Batt sails excel in strong winds, particularly over 20 knots. Is this the weather we can expect as a high pressure weather system approaches.

Last year in Holyhead, joint winner, who lost out on the countback was sailmaker Dick Batt and Pam Phelan from Batt Sails in the oldest Squib afloat, No. 11, 'Squib'. This team could rise to the top if the wind strength does not rise above 14 knots. Dick won this championship previously, in the days when he had long hair and bell-bottom trousers!

Not to be forgotten is dark horse Colm Dunne from Kinsale, Ireland who last weekend won the Irish East Coast Championship in No. 134, 'Allegro'. Colm seems to prefer a good breeze, and the huge 100 boat fleet might not suit him. Will his lack of experience in Cowes be a problem to him?

The Squib Class have approved Rondar as their new boat builder. Paul Young from that company will be sailing in one of the new self-draining boats, no. 901, 'Shy Talk.' Does he have the ability to win. Many Squib owners will be watching this space. My belief is that the self-draining qualities of the boat are more significant in exposed locations such as Abersoch or Lowestoft.

Paul Young and Rondar have recently competed a 'hybrid' Squib which involves putting the self-draining cockpit into an existing hull. David Lloyd's No. 33 'Incendio' is the first boat to be completed, and race results this year show her to be quicker than previously.

In conclusion, I think we can expect different race winners in each of the races, so consistency in achieving top eight placings will be vital, and the avoidance of OCSs. The wind strength may well be a significant factor, because stronger winds bring different boats to the top. Will we have a surprise winner, probably not!

Related Articles

The early bird catches the... Hyde Cockpit Cover
Added incentives to enter Squib Nationals 2020 at Kinsale The Squib National Championships 2020, hosted by Kinsale Yacht Club, is delighted to announce some added incentives to enter early. Posted on 2 Feb
Cowes Week announces the Official Charity for 2020
Scaramouche Sailing Trust gets youngster from North London into sailing Cowes Week Limited is delighted to announce that the Official Charity for the 2020 edition of the regatta will be Greig City Academy's, Scaramouche Sailing Trust. This six year old school sailing club, which became a charity last year Posted on 15 Dec 2019
Irish Squib Inlands at Lough Derg
Fantastic way to end the season with 5 different race winners and 25 boats Dromineer has been the traditional end of year Squib regatta in Ireland with the Inland Championship title being decided on the lake. Posted on 16 Oct 2019
25th Squib Inland Championships
Dave Jones and Mark Hogan win at Rutland The 25th Squib Inlands were even more closely contested than usual this year. The 31 boat fleet was confronted with a very patchy and shifty 3-7 knot breeze from the south east on Saturday resulting in many place changes. Posted on 11 Oct 2019
2020 Squib Nationals registration opens Tuesday
Kinsale YC and the Kinsale Squib Fleet delighted to be hosting the event Kinsale Yacht Club and Kinsale Squib Fleet are delighted to be hosting the 2020 Squib National Championships 21st to 26th June 2020. Registration is open online on Tuesday 1st October Posted on 30 Sep 2019
Hyde Sails Autumn Offer now live
Discounts available on race-winning One Design sails With the 2019 season nearing an end and people at the Southampton boat show trying to pick up those end of season bargains, you too must also be thinking about winterising the boat ready for your assault on the title of your favoured class next year. Posted on 21 Sep 2019
Burnham Week 2019 day 8
Town Cup Day - the week's most coveted trophy Burnham Week finished today with Trophy races for every class. The headline event was the Town Cup, Burnham Week's most coveted trophy, raced for by Class One with spinnakers. Posted on 31 Aug 2019
Burnham Week 2019 day 7
Another fantastic sailing day on the Crouch Day 7 was breezy but dry and another fantastic sailing day on the Crouch, with a Southerly breeze. Posted on 31 Aug 2019
Burnham Week 2019 day 6
Business as usual with more bright sunshine and blue skies Day Six was business as usual in Burnham Week, with bright sunshine and blue skies, although the wind was patchy and fickle, with big holes upriver for the day boats to contend with. Posted on 29 Aug 2019
Burnham Week 2019 day 5
Early morning rain clears leaving a South Westerly breeze and bright sunshine Early morning rain cleared leaving a South Westerly breeze and bright sunshine for day 5. With a building ebb, and increasing wind strengths, the boats were all able to have challenging courses with good beats, reaches and runs. Posted on 28 Aug 2019