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Phantom '50th Anniversary' Nationals Preview - sponsored by Allen and Seabrook Developments

by Mike Webster 4 Sep 2021 15:52 BST 17-19 September 2021
2017 Phantom Nationals at Highcliffe © Highcliffe SC

The Phantom Class commemorates its 50th anniversary this year, originally launching onto the sailing scene in 1971. The memorable year of decimalization when Clint Eastwood starred as Dirty Harry "do you feel lucky... punk", Rod Stewart was singing Maggie May on Top of the Pops and a pint of beer cost a whopping 16p... 3s-3d in old money!

Paul Wright and Brian Taylor, the designers of the Phantom dinghy, wanted to produce a single hander that was exciting to sail, easily managed and affordable to build. This design concept not only produced on all these points, but has also stood the test of time against many modern designs and still remains one of the most popular single-handed classes.

The one design performance single hander has a hard chine with a deep 'v' bow and flat aft section, making it a joy to sail upwind and thrilling to sail off wind with its easy planning and stable shape. The light weight hull (61 kg) has progressed through all forms of construction from wood, GRP to the now super stiff composite epoxy sandwich. The new lightweight carbon rig also provides the opportunity for a wider range of crew weights.

The Phantom has been a prominent single hander over the last 50 years, even with stiff competition from other modern designs, and the class has continued to grow and has seen a surge in popularity in recent times. It not only provides a great and competitive sailing experience, but the class the prides itself on being a friendly and social group, always supporting and encouraging new members and keen to party.

To help make 2021 a special year celebrating the classes 50th anniversary, a national regatta series has been introduced with four events spread across different regions of the country and a special National Championships in September which will be going back to its roots in the south east of England.

The class are please to announce the 2021 Phantom National Championships will be hosted by Stone Sailing Club between the 17th-19th September and are delighted to again partner with headline sponsors Allen Bros of Southminster in Essex, who are no stranger to the Phantom Class and have over the years, been keen supporters for Phantom sailing across the country. The Allen Brothers company has grown in the past 60 years plus, to become a major exporter, selling high-performance sailing hardware to the UK and the rest of the world. The event is also sponsored by Seabrook Developments from South Hanningfeild which is a construction company building on over 25 years' experience that provides building services to the food processing industry.

Entries are already close to 70 boats and sailors are looking forward to a long weekend of festivities and close racing with some familiar faces in the line up together with a few new ones to shake up the fleet. The event is such a draw there is even ex national champions that last sailed the boat nearly 10 years ago throwing their hat in the ring, but, at the time of writing, with only one ex national champion fully entered its looking very likely there will be a new name on the trophy this year.

For those keen to get started early, Thursday will see some on and off the water training, measuring and tweaking and of course the traditional Thursday night curry and a few pints... unfortunately not at 16p!

Friday brings the start of the Championships with registration, briefing followed by two back to back races, not forgetting the obligatory AGM and evening meal.

Saturday morning commences with Champagne breakfast (sponsored by Seabrook Developments) then back to business on the water with four races. The evening will see a 50th Anniversary Championship three course dinner in 70's style dress.

Sunday starts with bacon rolls and the final day of racing with the overall prize-giving to follow.

Although the discounted entry has been missed, it's still not too late to enter and join in what will be an epic event.

Our thanks to our sponsors:

  • Headline Sponsor - Allen Bros - 'lots of sailing stuff'
  • Headline Sponsor - Seabrook Developments Champagne Breakfast, special phantom anniversary wine.
  • Designers family Wright and Taylor - 50th Anniversary trophy
  • Age group and classic boat prizes

If anyone has a spare boat and happy to lend it out, please get in touch with the class as there are lots who would keen to take part in this special event.

With a busy weekend ahead if anyone is attending but not sailing, or can pop along, we could always do with volunteers to help with launching / recovery or on the safety boats, if you can help in anyway then let us know.

All we need now is a great forecast to make the championship even more amazing celebrating Phifty Phantastic years!

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