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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Contessa 32 Class Association 2024 Season

by Ben Price 7 May 18:20 BST
2024 Contessa 32 training day © Rob Hamlett, Connie

As May dawns and the seemingly incessant rain finally starts giving way to some teasing rays of sunshine, Contessa 32's are now congregating again on racecourses, marinas and, inevitably, pontoon parties along the south coast and elsewhere.

The original Jeremy Rogers classic Cruiser/Racer has an active committee who once again have arranged a variety of cruising and racing activities in the Solent and further afield.

At the end of April, 12 boats met in the Central Solent for a training day, designed to blow away the cobwebs and prepare boats and crews for the racing season ahead, an excellent turnout of both established racing boats and a number of newcomers.

The Solent Inshore racing series takes place over 8 weekends, the first of which is based in Cowes over the weekend of 18/19 May based at the legendary Island Sailing Club and ends with the National Championships on 27th-29th September at the Royal Thames/RAF YCs.

A typical weekend involves a noon start on the Saturday with 2 races Saturday afternoon followed by a pontoon party and dinner at the host club followed by a longer round the cans race on Sunday morning/early afternoon.

The range of abilities and crew sizes is mixed, ranging from the challenge of racing two handed through to fully crewed boats of 7 or 8 and new competitors are always welcomed with great warmth and invariably a glass of something cold after the racing is done for the day.

The 2024 itinerary is as follows:

  • May 18/19 Island Sailing Club
  • June 1/2 Contessa Regatta Royal Solent YC
  • June 29/30 Royal London YC
  • July 12-14 Taittinger Regatta Royal Solent YC
  • Aug 31/1st Sept Cowes - Poole - Cowes
  • Sept 14/15 Cowes Corinthian YC
  • Sept 27 - 29 Nationals Royal Thames YC and RAF YC

Many of the boats who compete in the Inshore Series also take part in the Round the Island race and Cowes Week where big Contessa fleets are always present.

This year will see two Cruising in Company rallies, the first of which over the late May bank holiday sees the return of the Contessa Challenge Cup, (think a sort of nautical Taskmaster!) whilst en route from Lymington to Beaulieu.

The Cruising rallies normally feature 10 - 15 boats and will similarly involve a pontoon party and dinner at each location and a chance to exchange experiences with other cruising boats and their crews.

The 2024 Cruise fixtures include:

  • May 25-27 Lymington and Beaulieu including Contessa Challenge Cup
  • Aug 24 - 26 Bembridge

More information about all of these events can be found on the class association website, www.co32.org. Alternatively for bookings, or to find out more, contact can be made with;

Racing: Martin Collen
Cruising: Jo Clatworthy

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