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Hamble Classics bows to Her Majesty

by Jonty Sherwill 16 Sep 2022 18:46 BST 10-11 September 2022

With the opening reception scheduled to begin less than 24 hours after the announcement of the death of our dear Queen, for Hamble Classics and its two partner clubs, HRSC and RAFYC, the decision whether to cancel the event or continue was less than straightforward with 53 yachts entered and some preparing to set off from Chichester and Portsmouth harbours, the Isle of Wight, Lymington and Poole, and with crews driving from as far as East Anglia and Cornwall to take part in this concluding regatta of the UK's classic sailing season.

As a mark of respect to Her Majesty and the royal family an alternative plan was decided upon for sailing on Saturday, a 'cruise in company' around the Royal race marks in the central Solent, commencing after the proclamation and twenty-one gun salute at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes.

With four alternative courses set, two were picked and yachts invited to choose either the 9.6 or 7.7 mile course to suit their boat speed. At the 'Bald Head' mark just outside the River Hamble entrance and overseen by HRSC RCS Aiden Barr, at 11:30 19 of the 53 yachts entered set off in a patchy north-westerly breeze and a building ebb tide, with photos being taken from on board boats in the fleet.

After two hours of sailing on the shorter course, first to finish back at Bald Head was Simon Payne's elegant Nicholson 35ft Jolina 'Damian B' followed two minutes later by Jonty Sherwill and Vicki Weston aboard their 21ft dayboat 'Cockleshell'. Because of the sluicing tide and light breeze some small boats further behind were encouraged to use the racing mark 'Jane' on the Brambles Bank rather than risk failing to round the Royal Thames mark in deeper water, and as boats were not racing it was no problem.

On the longer course with '44 Royal Yacht Squadron' as the first turning mark Michael Greville's 44ft Bowman yawl 'Skadi' finished at 13:45 and Steve and Cathy Lacey's 'Wild Rival' at 14:01. Of the gaffers Richard Jacobs's 35ft 'Ivy Green' came in at 14.47 just a few minutes ahead of the Tom Clay's 22ft lugsail ketch 'Ruby'.

Later that evening at the Royal Air Force Yacht Club around 90 gathered for an excellent two-course supper prepared by 'Rumshack', during which loyal toasts to our dear departed Queen and our new King Charles were given by RAF Squadron Leader retired John Best, the senior club member present, with introductory words by HRSC Commodore Serena Alexander, a fitting and respectful footnote to the Hamble Classics Regatta this year.

As has become customary at the Hamble Classics Regatta there was then a raffle draw in aid of the Wetwheels charity skilfully organised by Vicki Weston and friends, with prizes including a Red Funnel Day Return for car and passengers, a one-hour taster trip aboard the Wetwheels Hamble boat, and a Fly Fishing Experience Day for Two at Meon Springs. Another cruise in company was mooted for Sunday but with a light to moderate forecast and most showing a preference to head home an early morning email and WhatsApp message confirmed 'no sailing today'.

Concluding the supper evening, organiser Jonty Sherwill thanked the event's sponsor partners, Spinlock, Classic Marine, the Elephant Boatyard, Performance Rigging, OneSails, Blakes & Taylors, the Sandeman Yacht Company, Walcon Marine and also the Salcombe Distilling Company, the sponsor of this year's Concours d'Elegance Awards, with five prizes of a bottle of their Voyager Series Daring super-premium gin together with a Hamble Classics 2022 engraved glass.

Concours d'Elegance - top prize for Ultimate Condition and Provenance:
'Uandi' owned by Alastair Garland
William Fife gaff-rigged dayboat, designed 1896, built 1897,
and recently restored by Alastair Garland

Concours d'Authenticité - for Condition and Originality:
'Damian B' owned by Simon Payne
Charles A. Nicholson 'Jolina', designed 1958, built 1964

Best presented GRP yacht - classic design in glass fibre construction:
'Skadi' owned by Mike Greville
Bowman 44 Yawl, Holman & Pye designed 1970, built 1980

Best Spirit of Tradition yacht - classic looks and modern build techniques:
'Ivy Green' owned by Richard Jacobs
Ed Burnett designed Gaff Cutter designed 2000, built in 2003 by the Elephant Boatyard

Spirit of Racing award - for yachts modified during their history to remain competitive:
'Cetewayo' owned by David Murrin
Laurent Giles sloop designed 1955, built 1957

A full list of all previous Concours d'Elegance division winners is at: hambleclassics.co.uk/concours

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