Please select your home edition
Edition
Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD

Busy season planned for Solent Sunbeam class in 2019

by Sarah Johnson 22 Mar 2019 11:45 GMT
Sunbeam 95th © Karen Bornhoft

The 96-year-old Solent Sunbeam classic keelboat fleet has a busy racing and social schedule lined up for the coming sailing season, starting on Saturday 30th March 2019 an afternoon race around Chichester Harbour. Based at Itchenor Sailor Club, the class offers competitive and sociable Thursday evening racing, specific weekend regattas and a number of week-long racing events at both Itchenor and Cowes, from April through to September.

32 Solent Sunbeams regularly sail from Itchenor Sailing Club ranging from 96 years in age to new all-GRP and newly epoxied yachts ensuring excellent one-design racing in a competitive and very sociable fleet. Newcomers to the class are welcomed into the fleet with tips and advice on ownership, rig set-up and maintenance freely available from the long-standing owners and enthusiasts. Two new boats will be joining the Itchenor fleet this season, V47, Kitty who has come up from the Falmouth fleet and V70, Minty a brand-new GRP boat.

As one would expect with a class spanning 96 years, many of the current events, regattas and activities of the class have their origins in the past. The Solent Sunbeam class itself originates from Hamble River Sailing Club, where in 1922 the club Commodore, Basil Lubbock MC was asked by the members to find a new one design racing yacht. Lubbock commissioned the eminent naval architect Alfred Westmacott and the Solent Sunbeam was born.

It turned out to be one of Westmacott's best designs for racing; not only is she an extremely pretty 3-man keelboat but also one that can handle the boisterous conditions of the Solent. Her original construction by Woodnutt & Co on the Isle of Wight must have been of exceptionally high quality as eight of the first yachts still actively race today including hulls V1, V2 and V3 which were all commissioned in 1922/3.

The fleet was based at Hamble River Sailing Club from 1922-1930 and also at Bembridge Sailing Club in the 1930s. Itchenor Sailing Club first adopted the class in 1932 and by 1966 all the Solent boats were based at Itchenor. A sister fleet has existed in Falmouth since 1924 and will be celebrating their 95th anniversary this year with a number of special events.

For more information on sailing and owning a Solent Sunbeam as well as information on all the forthcoming events please contact the Class Association via the website at www.solentsunbeam.co.uk.

The Class operates a well-organised crew/helm request system for anyone wishing to try out sailing this classic keelboat. Please visit the website for more details.

Related Articles

Historic Solent Sunbeam fleet thriving
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic The historic Solent Sunbeam fleet, which boasts 97-year-old wooden keelboats through to brand-new GRP hulls, has experienced one of its best sailing seasons despite the shadow of Covid-19 and a late start to the season. Posted on 7 Oct
Itchenor mid-August keelboat regatta
Large fleets relish the stronger winds After the preceding weeks of light winds and baking temperatures the keelboat sailors of Itchenor Sailing Club welcomed the stronger winds of last week. Posted on 24 Aug
New dates announced for 2021 Cowes Classics Week
Now being held 3 - 9 July with racing from 5 July The Royal London Yacht Club, organisers of Cowes Classics Week, has announced new dates for 2021 with the regatta now being held 3 - 9 July with racing from 5 July. Posted on 4 Jul
Cowes Classics Week reschedules to 2021
The safety of competitors, plus the large volunteer team, is paramount The Royal London Yacht Club, organisers of Cowes Classics Week, has taken the sad decision to reschedule this year's regatta and plan immediately for 2021. Posted on 5 Jun
Henri-Lloyd announced as Regatta Clothing Partner
Cowes Classics Week set to take place from 25th to 31st July The Royal London Yacht Club, organisers of Cowes Classics Week, is delighted to announce a partnership with new sponsors, marine clothing brand Henri-Lloyd, who is joining the regatta as Regatta Clothing Partner. Posted on 19 May
Calling all Solent Sunbeam owners, past & present
Input and photos required! With the centenary of the legendary Sunbeam fast approaching in 2023, the association is keen to update the history and ownership of each of these classic boats with a view to some form of publication for the 100th celebrations. Posted on 28 Apr
Entries open for Cowes Classics Week 2020
Royal London YC intend to run the regatta as planned in July The Royal London Yacht Club, organisers of Cowes Classics Week, is delighted to announce that entry for the 13th edition of the regatta is now open. Posted on 16 Apr
The Story of the GRP Solent Sunbeams
Informative illustrated account of the story behind the classic dayboats Roger Wickens, owner of Solent Sunbeam V26 Danny, who is a keen enthusiast of this historic yacht as well a highly successful helm, has published an informative illustrated account of the story behind the GRP Solent Sunbeams. Posted on 6 Apr
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
Itchenor Solent Sunbeam at Classic Yacht Regattas
Peter Nicholson's 'Dainty' shone amongst the 'grand dames' of classic yachts Bosham-based Peter Nicholson, owner of Solent Sunbeam 'Dainty' hull no 1, shone amongst the 'grand dames' of classic yachts at La Belle Classe, Regates Royales and Voiles de St Tropez regattas in the South of France. Posted on 25 Oct 2019