Please select your home edition

Wayfarer Class Looks Forward to 2020

by Tim Townsend 24 Feb 2020 15:59 GMT
Nipegegi, the record breaking Round Britain Wayfarer © Nipegegi

2019 was a big year for the UK Wayfarer Association as it took its turn to host the International Championships which were held in Ireland and proved to be a great success with close racing in challenging conditions. The strong winds in Ireland were matched at other major open events throughout the year, especially at West Oxfordshire, Shoreham and Arun.

2020 will see another packed programme for this classic all-purpose sailing dinghy which provides close racing for the very best sailors yet can also be used for day sailing, for coastal and inland cruising and for adventuring.

Some Wayfarer teams have been making a name for themselves racing through the winter in the SailJuice Selden Winter Series, the Blithfield Barrel and the Bough Beech Icicle to name just a few, but the traditional season opener will be the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace at the end of this month. There will be two Wayfarers on display at the Hartley Boats Stand (C62 in Hall 3- the Great Hall)) one fitted out for cruising and the other having the standard fit out for racing. Members of the UKWA Committee will be in attendance throughout the weekend to explain the many strengths of the boat and the Association to interested visitors.

With over 11300 Wayfarers built since 1958, we are very proud that pride of place at the RYA Dinghy Show this year, however, will go to the 60 year old Nipegegi (sail number 198). This boat has won the class National Championships on five occasions over the years, all in the hands of the Hodgson family which has owned her from new. She last competed at the National Championships in 2018. In the latter part of 2018 and first half of 2019 however, Nipegegi had another goal as she was prepared for for an assault on the record for sailing round Britain unassisted in an open dinghy. Sailed by Will Hodgson (grandson of Bill, who was Nipegegi's original owner and guardian) and Rich Mitchell the aim was not only to beat the existing record but also to complete the first non-stop circumnavigation of Britain in an open dinghy. Will, Rich and Nipegegi succeeded on both counts, completing the trip of 1390 nautical miles in a little over 15 days, breaking the 24 hour distance record for a Wayfarer dinghy along the way. Nipegegi will be on display for the weekend in Palm Court, and Will and Rich will be giving a talk on the stage in the Great Hall at 12:30 each day during the Show.

You don't have to be as adventurous as Will and Rich to enjoy cruising a Wayfarer. During 2020 there will be many opportunities to cruise in company and to attend cruising rallies. Details of these can be found on the UKWA website at

There is also a full racing programme for 2020 headlined by the eight events of the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers Series including the National Championships which will be hosted by Dabchicks SC from 11-13 September. The series will culminate with the traditional Finale at Bough Beech SC in November when the end of season prize draw will also be made with wonderful prizes of sails, insurance vouchers and undercovers for the lucky winners.

The Wayfarer is sure to get at least a couple more mentions during the RYA Dinghy Show as dinghy sailing legend Michael McNamara will be rolling out his incredibly popular Rig Tuning talk on the West Hall stage at 15:00 each day. Michael, with his long term crew, Simon Townsend, has won the UK Wayfarer National Championships many times over the years and is the reigning National, European and International Champion.

Alongside the National Circuit Series there will be other less intense open meetings in Oxfordshire and Norfolk along with race weeks across the country, and events in Ireland and Scotland too. The race programme for 2020 can be seen at

The National Championships is usually the best supported event in the racing calendar with the entry divided into Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets welcoming teams of all abilities and experience. Entry is now open for the event. More details, the race documents and entry form can be found at

Related Articles

Wayfarer Easterns at Waldringfield
The beautiful River Deben, where there's always breeze and sunshine... "Come to Waldringfield on the beautiful River Deben where there's always breeze and there's more sunshine annually than anywhere else in the UK" we said... Posted on 13 Jul
Wayfarer Southern Championship at Shoreham
Great racing despite the non-vintage conditions A premium selection of Wayfarers arrived at Shoreham, expecting the usual huge waves. These included Michael McNamara/Simon Townsend and Andrew Wilson, fresh from their tussle at the Westerns at Arun YC. Posted on 28 Jun
Wayfarer Southern Championship preview
Craftinsure UKWA National Circuit continues at Shoreham this weekend The Craftinsure UKWA National Circuit and Travellers Series 2021 moves on to the Southern Area Championships over the weekend of 26/27 June at Shoreham Sailing Club. Posted on 24 Jun
Wayfarers make hay at the Medway Marathon
Four and a half hours with everyone at displacement speed Richard Stone and Catherine Gore sailed their Wayfarer to victory at the Medway Marathon last Saturday, taking just under four and a half hours to complete the 26-mile handicap race. Posted on 21 Jun
Wayfarers at Arun
Western Area Championship and Craftinsure National Circuit event When I was a nipper, every racing day was a champagne sailing day. The warming sun always shone and was high in the sky. The water sparkled. The sea breeze checked in like clockwork. Posted on 28 May
Getting set for Poole Week 2021
Having had to take a year out, Poole Week is back this August! Sponsored by Bournemouth Digital, Poole Week is one of the country's most popular sailing weeks for dinghies and small keelboats, offering friendly yet competitive racing, great social events and much more. Posted on 6 May
All set for Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2021
Taking place in late August at Parkstone Yacht Club Parkstone Yacht Club is delighted to announce that Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2021 will run from 22 - 27 August. Posted on 13 Mar
Medway YC to host Wayfarer UK National & Europeans
Four days of sailing with great social events planned Medway Yacht Club is delighted to be hosting the Wayfarer UK National and European Championships, 5-8 August 2021. Racing will take place on the wide stretches of the tidal River Medway below Gillingham over four days and with great social events planned. Posted on 5 Mar
Wayfarers at the virtual RYA Dinghy Show
The class is looking forward to 2021 with renewed appetite After a washout on the open meeting and championship front in 2020, the UK Wayfarer Association is looking forward to 2021 with renewed appetite. Posted on 26 Feb
A Wayfarer named Resilient
2020 will go down in the annals as the year when Wayfarer racing stopped 2020 will go down in the annals as the year when Wayfarer racing stopped. Or will it? Certainly, not one of the open meetings of the Craftinsure National Travellers and Circuit Series took place. The much anticipated Nationals at Dabchicks was cancelled. Posted on 24 Dec 2020