Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Vixen sets sail to retrace Uffa Fox’s historic Scandinavian Adventure

by Olle Appelberg on 21 Jul 2010
Vixen leaving Cowes harbour Olle Appelberg
Three intrepid young British yachtsmen, Luke Yeats, Jack Gifford and Will Shepherd, have taken up the challenge by the Scandinavian Classic Yacht Trust, SCYT, for British classic yacht owners to retrace Uffa Fox’s famous 1000 mile, 1930 voyage from Cowes to Stockholm. Sailing the Vixen, a 1937 classic yacht, the team hope to be in Trosa, Sweden, between 3rd and 6th August 2010 for the start of the Trosa Tullgarn Royal Palace Regatta, part of a new classic series, the Baltic Classic Master Cup.

This race is unique in the challenge it offers, particularly the interesting route and heritage of the trip,' says Luke Yeats, 'the freedom it allows for people to select their own yacht, route, stopovers etc. Is unprecedented and makes it quite an appealing adventure, especially for a young crew.'

Vixen is closely related in design to the Vigilant, in which Uffa Fox made his historical journey says its skipper, says Luke Yeats. 'The attraction was obvious, ‘it felt like the right thing to do’, was my immediate reaction.' All three of the crew have grown up sailing Uffa’s designs and reading his books. As Luke says, 'It would be an honour to follow in his footsteps and to have a grand adventure to boot!'

Vixen was designed by Knud Reimers and built at the Kungsors boatyard in central Sweden by Oscar Schelin. Imported to the UK before the Second World War, she was one of only a handful of the elegant Square Meter Rule yachts. At the time building to the rule was prolific in the Baltic but scarcely known in the UK. As co-skipper Jack Gifford explains, 'Much finer in form and lighter in displacement than her British counterparts, Vixen and her kind were viewed with suspicion by the (British) yachting establishment and with her light and efficient construction deemed as ‘un-seaworthy.' One famous British sailor had fallen in love with the Swedish Square Meter yachts and collaborated with Reimers to build his own yacht. That, of course, was Uffa Fox, and the boat he built at Cowes was the Vigilant. So confident was Uffa in its sea keeping that he set out to sail it to its spiritual homeland of Sweden to take part in the Swedish championships.

Now Vixen is owned by twenty five year old Luke Yeats who has been passionate about sailing since his schooldays and already has a wealth of experience behind him, particularly in multihull racing. His ambitions are to become an all-round sailor capable of competing at the top level of the sport. Both skipper and co-skipper have extensive experience of the North Sea with Luke having raced F18 catamarans through the Swedish archipelago. Co-skipper Jack Gifford, is now a full-time naval architect, with the third crew member, Chemistry student Will Shepherd having notched up many miles in the Irish sea.

About Uffa Fox
Uffa Fox is not simply known as a sailor and boat designer, he was also a philosopher and eccentric as well as a media celebrity. Uffa was the father of the planing dinghy and his International Fourteen Footer Avenger won many races including the coveted Prince of Wales Cup. For many years his designs were the most sought after. It was in Vigilant, a new 22 Sq.m design with extremely light displacement that he made his famous voyage to Sweden to participate in the Centenary Regatta of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club in July 1930. Vigilant’s design and construction was substantial enough to be sailed to Sweden and back in a summer of strong winds. He made the journey in 17 days and after the racing was over, Uffa received special recognition for his sailing feat and his promotion of a Scandinavian yacht rule in Britain.

Latest update from Vixen:

Luke Yeats, Jack Gifford and Will Shepherd will be sharing one berth, so they aren't counting on much sleep. When leaving Cowes they were accompanied by Uffa Fox's 22 sq m Vigilant, the yacht sailed to Sweden 80 years ago.

The crew had a delightful champagne send-off party at the Uffa's former house. Friends and family were joined by crews arriving for the Cowes Classic Week in giving a roaring applaud at the dock. Vixen took off eastward with an impressive speed of seven knots in the strong breeze.

Vixen is the only yacht to have accepted SCYT's Uffa Fox Challenge.

The tiny 15 sq m skerry cruiser Vixen left Cowes for her 1000 mile journey to Trosa, Sweden, with the four o'clock tide on Saturday. Follow her online at marinetraffic.com. Vixen will be sailing all around the clock and her first planned stop will be in a week's time at the Kiel Canal.

http://www.sailtrust.org/

Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Barz Optics - FloatersWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Hotting up at the Star Sailors League Finals
Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds in Montagu Bay Nassau. Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds in Montagu Bay Nassau. Getting a good start and having the boat speed to hold a lane was paramount today.
Posted on 2 Dec
America's Cup - Tech Tuesday - AC50 One Design sails by Norths + Video
North Sails are making all the soft sails for the 2017 America's Cup fleet. North Sails are making all the soft sails for the 2017 America's Cup fleet. In this Tech Tuesday feature, Oracle Team USA shows the sails being made as a batch at North Sails facility at Minden Nevada.
Posted on 1 Dec
America's Cup - Video tour of an AC45S by Artemis Racing
Crew member Francesco Bruni gives an exclusive tour inside the cockpit of the team's first development boat, Turbo 1 Artemis Racing crew member Francesco Bruni gives an exclusive tour inside the cockpit of the team's first development boat, Turbo 1. Skipper, Nathan Outteridge, provides an update on the state of play with less than 8 months to go to the finals of AC35, and Loick Peyron provides the inspiration to a squad of young aspiring sailors in Toulon
Posted on 1 Dec
Sailing World Cup Final brings the best to St Kilda
Thirty-six nations have registered sailors across a combined 22 Olympic and Invited classes for next week’s World Cup Competitor numbers are predicted to reach 800 across the two competitions - the final stage of the international body World Sailing’s six-part Olympic class international circuit that will come to a head at St Kilda for the 11 classes, and the 11 Invited classes.
Posted on 1 Dec
Volvo Ocean Race - Future Fibres furling cables on board 8-boat fleet
Volvo Ocean Race has chosen the latest generation of Future Fibres high performance furling cables Volvo Ocean Race has chosen the latest generation of Future Fibres high performance furling cables for the fleet of eight one-design yachts in the thirteenth edition of the gruelling race around the world starting in October 2017. Each of the eight identical boats will use Future Fibres TorqueLite 2.0 furling cables in their seven-headsail inventory, ranging from a 29.7 m2 storm jib up to a 420
Posted on 30 Nov
Battle commences at Star Sailors League Finals
The early exchanges confirmed the amazing quality and depth in fleet, which contains no less than 16 Olympic medallist The early exchanges confirmed the amazing quality and depth in the fleet, which contains no less than 16 Olympic medallist among the skippers alone.
Posted on 30 Nov
Volvo Ocean Race - Southern Spars export first batch of masts
Southern Spars is forging ahead on the first batch of new masts, scheduled to leave their Auckland factory in early 2017 As the fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s undergo refits in Europe, Southern Spars is forging ahead on the first batch of new masts, scheduled to leave their Auckland factory in early 2017. There are currently four more build slots available for early next year which will fill up as teams continue to commit to the race. Completing a full set of rigs will take the company's tally up to 46 masts for Volvo
Posted on 30 Nov
Volvo Ocean Race - Team AkzoNobel arrives home after 2,000km sail
Skipper Simeon Tienpont and the team AkzoNobel training crew arrived in the Netherlands earlier this evening Skipper Simeon Tienpont and the team AkzoNobel training crew arrived in the Netherlands earlier this evening following a four-day delivery from Lisbon to The Hague onboard their Volvo Ocean 65. The journey of nearly 2,000km was the first opportunity for Tienpont to put his potential crew through a series of offshore training tests ahead of the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018.
Posted on 29 Nov
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
Predictwind release improved racing and cruising routing function
PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach to what has been a black art of weather routing, used to chose the fastest route for racers or most comfortable route for cruisers.
Posted on 28 Nov