A fleet of 79 classic racing dinghies from as far afield as Ireland and Lancashire descended on Bosham Sailing Club over the weekend of 22nd-23rd Sept. to contest the second annual Bosham Classic Boat Revival.
Wall to wall classic racing dinghies at the 2012 Bosham Classic Boat Revival - Bosham Classic Boat Revival
With 10 classic Merlin Rockets – wide and skinny varieties - heading the entry list of International 14’s, Fireflies, Classic National 18’s, Chichester Harbour 18’s, Jollyboats, Yachting World Dayboat’s, Tideway’s, Fairy Falcons, Sharpies and Wayfarers competing against the likes of an International Moth, Kestrels, Solo, Wayfarers, Torbay Minnow, even a ‘banned’ National 18 which was exceptionally fast, plus dozens of other similar classic craft, the Bosham Classic Boat Revival is gathering considerable momentum.
Event organiser Andrew Young commented 'We certainly seem to have touched a nerve with this exciting event, with a huge increase on last year’s entry list and, I am delighted to say, way ahead of our expectations. We were hoping that we might hit 60 boats this year, but were bowled over when 79 turned up! We started the event last year because we believed that there were thousands of classic racing dinghies – built during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s - languishing in dinghy parks around the country and these should be out racing. I think we might have been proved right!'
Tight racing at the 2012 Bosham Classic Boat Revival
'It is clear that this is fast becoming a national event, not just one that attracts local sailors. The standard of racing is very high with at least two competitors featuring in the silverware at National Championships this year. We are now all wondering how we can top this in 2013! '
The programme called for a five race series across the weekend with three sailed back-to-back on Saturday.
The wind strength was a perfect 8-12 knots whilst the easterly direction and low tide state provided a number of challenges for Principal Race Officer Nick Fox and his experienced team.
Whilst not quite allowing the picturesque Chichester harbour to be enjoyed to the full, the excellent courses certainly provided some very tight racing for the 79 competitors.
Running adjacent, separate, starting and finishing lines in order the accommodate nine races across three divisions was a tall order, but Nick Fox and his team ran a faultless series of races for the competitors who arrived from 30 clubs from as far afield as Brixham, Blackpool, Lymington, Hamble, Christchurch, Weymouth, Lyme Regis and Merseyside, together with several famous clubs on the Thames and even from Ireland.
Close racing at the 2012 Bosham Classic Boat Revival
Sunday dawned with truly foul but predicted conditions, strong winds and driving rain. This time less than 20 competitors braved the elements, driven largely by the need for some of the keener competitors to put points on the scoreboard. With no discards coming in to play, it was essential to get out and race if one wanted to take home one of the prizes.
The local contingent was represented by competitors from Itchenor SC, Thorney Island SC, Dell Quay SC and Langstone SC with host club members doing particularly well winning two classes and featuring heavily in the prizes.
Shoreside one of the focal points of this unique event is always the hotly contested Concours de’Elegance competiton, where beautifully restored wooden classic racing dinghies are proudly displayed on Quay Meadow for all to admire. Judges Peter Lacey and Tim Gilmore, both local boat builders, had a tough time splitting the top contenders, but unanimously agreed the top prize be awarded to Simon Meacock from Weston Sailing Club with his immaculate International 14, Ripping Yarns built in 1964.
Classic Merlin Rocket 774 leads a gaggle of National 18's, Jollyboats, International 14's and Albacores at the 2012 Bosham Classic Boat Revival
2012 Bosham Classic Boat Revival - Fast Division winners, Richard Stirrup, Dave Hall and Jonno Prosser in a classic National 18
10 classic Merlin Rockets contested the 2012 Bosham Classic Boat Revival
1st. National 18, Tinkerbelle - Richard Stirrup, Dave Hall and Jonno Prosser – Bosham SC
2nd. National 18, Nimrod – Colman Garvey, Roy Darrer and Brian Heengan – Royal Cork YC
3rd. Merlin Rocket 774 – Martin Hunter – Upper Thames SC
4th. Merlin Rocket 1097 – Mike Stevens – Tamesis SC
1st. International Moth 2883, Ian Marshall – Oxford SC
2nd. Yachting World Dayboat, Yellow Peril - Fiona MacFarlane, Ollie Macfarlane and Ginny Kidd – Bosham SC
3rd. Firefly 3434, Paul Kameen – West Kirby SC/Bosham SC
1st. Tideway, Nimrod - Chris Welland – Bosham SC
2nd. Tideway, Mouse – Andrew Francis – Bosham SC
3rd. Chichester Scow, Happy Bunny – Izzie Lee – Bosham SC