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Classic and Vintage International 14 open meeting at Rickmansworth Sailing Club

by James Vaughan 17 May 12:32 BST 13-14 May 2023
Classic International 14 open meeting at Rickmansworth © Vinny Francis

An encouraging 11 boats turned out for the weekend at Rickmansworth Sailing Club with many of them coming some significant distance. Visitors came from North Wales, mid Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia which was a fantastic endorsement for these wonderful old boats and everyone's desire to enjoy some keen racing and the chance to catch up and compare maintenance challenges.

The boat ages ranged from No 4, built in 1922 and sporting a lug rig, to boats built in the mid 70's, so a wide range for everyone to admire.

The weather gods weren't exactly on our side and provided two very different days. Saturday had a steady breeze of around 10mph which allowed for some good racing for everyone. However, it felt more like March than May as the temperature couldn't be described as Spring-like!

Sunday was warmer and brighter but the wind was extremely light for both races. Despite this, the Race team, lead by Jonathan Carter were very good at creating a course that allowed for some good racing which was much appreciated by all. Of note to everyone who sailed was the closeness of the racing. Ricky, especially in light conditions, has a reputation for the fleet breaking up as the wind favours those who can get ahead of a shifting breeze.

But that didn't happen and there was tight racing for all three races which was fabulous to see, especially for those members watching on the banks if not for the blood pressure of those trying to keep hold of their positions.

The series trophy, the Ricky Transom, an old 14 transom that used to hang above the entrance to the club, was won by Lyndon Beasley and Tom Foxall sailing K1048, Aquavit with Alastair Wilson and John Watling sailing Tiercel, K363 as the runner up.

The Rickmansworth restricted trophy, the beautiful model of a vintage 14, reputedly created out of cigar boxes, was won by James Vaughan and his son Will, sailing SeaWitch, K935, an old Ricky boat now based in Dorset. The runner up was James and Erica Bradbury sailing Swansong, K1053 with a notable call out to their young daughter Sasha, who crewed her father in the second race.

A big thank you to the club and the often unsung band of helpers who organised the event, managed the racing, provided the rescue, provided an excellent barbecue and lunch and let's not forget an eye watering collection of cakes for the afternoon tea! Their efforts were much appreciated by all the sailors and we are already looking forward to the event next year!

Next up is the Classic and Vintage POW long weekend at Itchenor on July 15, 16 and 17th... come and join the fun - NOR is due out very very soon!

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