MENU

The 2nd Hamble Classics Regatta

Exceptional weekend of close competition for a diverse entry of 64 yachts

Sep 25, 2017

The 2nd Hamble Classics Regatta hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club (15-17 September) delivered another exceptional weekend of close competition for a diverse entry of 64 yachts split into eight classes, with celebrated classics plus gaffers, Metre yachts, dayboats and cruiser-racers racing in the Solent and based at the club's superb Prince Philip Yacht Haven.

The welcome arrival of the Spirit Yachts 'Oui Fling', Irvine Laidlaw's flush deck racer and Michael Hough's elegant 65ft Chloe Giselle spurred the addition of an IRC Zero division and this included Richard Loftus iconic S&S Swan 65 Desperado, a yacht designed at around the event's pre-1971 eligibility benchmark and adding a thoroughbred classic profile to this exciting upshift in yacht size.

Crucial to a regatta's success is good ratings and hence the adoption of IRC for the more competitive RORC style classes, while non-rated yachts in their own separate division were given a 'Regatta' handicap, the event's own sans-formula system using past performance and various other factors, and with the facility of subtle annual revisions if needed.

The 2nd Hamble Classics Regatta hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club (15-17 September) delivered another exceptional weekend of close competition for a diverse entry of 64 yachts split into eight classes, with celebrated classics plus gaffers, Metre yachts, dayboats and cruiser-racers racing in the Solent and based at the club's superb Prince Philip Yacht Haven.

The welcome arrival of the Spirit Yachts 'Oui Fling', Irvine Laidlaw's flush deck racer and Michael Hough's elegant 65ft Chloe Giselle spurred the addition of an IRC Zero division and this included Richard Loftus iconic S&S Swan 65 Desperado, a yacht designed at around the event's pre-1971 eligibility benchmark and adding a thoroughbred classic profile to this exciting upshift in yacht size.

Crucial to a regatta's success is good ratings and hence the adoption of IRC for the more competitive RORC style classes, while non-rated yachts in their own separate division were given a 'Regatta' handicap, the event's own sans-formula system using past performance and various other factors, and with the facility of subtle annual revisions if needed.

With a light northerly airstream forecast for the weekend the total contrast with the windy conditions in 2016 would provide new winners in some classes while in others established star performers showed typically consistent form. Racing on the 'green' course with Race Officer Stephen Parry and team, Fenton Burgin sailing Sioma won the all-Classic 6-Metre class from Tom Richardson's Thistle and Andy Short's Nancy, Simon Russell scored 4 wins in the 20ft XOD one-design class, while Adrian Green in Aurora pipped Rupert Street's Tschuss in the classic Dragon class, with newcomer Anthony Talbot in third place.

On the 'red' course for the larger yachts with PRO Peter Bateson in charge, Oui Fling won both races from Chloe Giselle and Desperado, while Steve Meakin and Andy Cassell of Ratsey Sails sailing Cormorant won the Gaffer 1 class, and the 19-strong Regatta class was treated to seeing the elegant profile of Tim Yetman's West Solent One-Design Suvretta almost disappear over the horizon! 

Giovanni Belgrano's all conquering Whooper once again dominated IRC1, the class boosted this year by the much admired S&S designed 43ft Firebrand now owned by Ramona-Ann Gale (skipper Peter Cyriax), Lutine of Helford (James Youngman), the S&S yawl Laughing Gull (Barney Sandeman), David Murrin's Cetewayo, Brian Smullen's McGruer 55ft Cuilaun, Andrew Pearson's Bojar and Tim Gaukrogers' Swan 55 Kira, these new arrivals joining Breeze (Robbie Boulter), Misty (Stephen Card) and Charm of Rhu (Martin Thomas) but sadly missing was Jason Fry's Shantih of Cowes due to a faulty engine and Chris Frost's Swan 36 Finola, entered but not sailing. 

As the Elephant Boatyard's post-race Rum Party on Saturday was getting underway the Concours judging team of David Aisher (owner of Thalia, built in 1888) with Jane Coombs representing the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and Rob Peake, the editor of Classic Boat magazine, got to work inspecting the yachts before deciding the three category winners. 

For the top award of Concours d'Elegance it was the fabulous Laurent Giles designed Lutine of Helford, for Concours d'Authenticité, the S&S yawl Laughing Gull, and for best presented GRP yacht it was Gloriana, a 1914 designed 16ft Hereshoff 12½ gaffer built in 1977 and owned by Ian Armstrong. Expertly crewed by his 7-year old son Rory they were also convincing winners of the Gaffer 2 racing division.

On Saturday evening over 200 guests attended the Hamble Classics Dinner in the Royal Southern clubhouse during which the leading yacht of the day in each class was presented with a Spinlock Deckvest Lite lifejacket and kneepads by Spinlock CEO Chris Hill. The River Hamble Harbour Master Jason Scott, there with his partner Sara Knox-Johnston, addressed the audience on his approach to harbour management and his positive encouragement of the club's initiatives, which received much applause. 

After this an envelope collection and prize draw organised by Vicki Weston yielded a further generous contribution to Geoff Holt's Wetwheels charity to add to the Friday collection at the tea and cakes session kindly arranged by the Ladies Committee, after which Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams thanked everyone for coming to the event. Wendy Laynton was the lucky winner of the Jasper Conran wine cooler engraved with the Hamble Classics event logo. 

The Hamble Classics organisers Jonty Sherwill and Vicki Weston show off the Wetwheels charity draw prize, a Jasper Conran wine cooler engraved with the Hamble Classics event logo. 
Image: Chris Gillingham

Categories

Racing