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McConaghy Boats 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Love at first sight for the latest addition to the Solent Sunbeam classic fleet

by Sarah Johnson 8 Apr 10:44 BST
The launch of Solent Sunbeam V72 Serendipity © Adrian Edwards

The 98 year old historic Solent Sunbeam class welcomed its newest addition to the fleet with the launch of a new boat at Itchenor on 30th March 2021. This latest launch is the eleventh GRP Solent Sunbeam to be commissioned in this highly competitive and growing classic keelboat fleet which is based at Itchenor Sailing Club.

The owners of V72, Adrian and Nikki Edwards have named her 'Serendipity', in keeping with the tradition of having names ending in 'y'. Nikki Edwards explained that she first saw a Solent Sunbeam whilst sailing around Chichester Harbour in 2020 with husband Adrian. A Sunbeam passed close-by and Nikki was so captivated by her beautiful lines that she turned to her husband to ask if they could have one!

After two trial sails, a purchase was agreed and the hull was moulded on the Isle of Wight and the yacht finished by wooden boat specialists, Haines Boatyard at Itchenor. Adrian is an experienced racer and is very much looking forward to the challenge of racing in this competitive and sociable fleet, having competed in a variety of dinghies and keelboats over the years, most recently in the Victory Class in Portsmouth. Interestingly the Victory Class is another local, classic design which has also embraced wooden and GRP boats racing on an equal basis.

The Solent Sunbeam class offers competitive and sociable weekend regattas, Thursday evening harbour racing and a number of week-long racing events at both Itchenor and Cowes, from April through to September.

30+ Solent Sunbeams regularly sail from Itchenor Sailing Club ranging from 98 years in age to several new 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.

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 solentsunbeam.co.uk

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