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Festival of Sails 2020 - LEADERBOARD

A Class Cat combines cutting-edge design with humour to win 2019 Concours d'Elegance

by Mark Jardine 2 Mar 09:56 PST 2 March 2019

The 2019 Concours d'Elegance at the RYA Dinghy Show has been awarded to Pete Jary's foiling A Class Catamaran. The boat combined stunning looks, super high-tech features, great graphics and no small measure of humour.

Sarah Treseder, Chief Executive of the RYA, and Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of YachtsandYachting.com and Sail-World.com, once again browsed every boat and were completely overwhelmed by the quality on show.

Runner-up was Ben Archer's Merlin Rocket 'One Love' which is on display in the Palm Court of Alexandra Palace, complete with carbon decks and a black matt finish on the hull, a stunning example of a class which is renowned for some beautiful designs.

Other classes worthy of special commendation were the International Canoe, Osprey, Challenger, Flying Mantis, Solo, OK and Firefly. Of particular note was the Scorpion 'Tallulah' with superb mainsail graphic, but sadly the boat hadn't hit the water yet, so was ineligible for the Concours trophy.

As Sarah Treseder described, "There has been a great buzz at the show, and a sense of humour that has been brought into some of the designs on show, tiny details which have made us smile, decorations, little notices to the crew, but overall that sense that sailing is fun, and let's bring that to life."

"We had a tough field to choose from at both ends of the scale. Some 30-year-old boats, some nearly new boats, dinghies which have been campaigned really hard and those which have done their first event. The common denominator has been people adding that little bit extra it's not good enough to just be beautifully designed and beautifully made. The competition has become hotter."

The combination of new paint and vinyl wraps has brought an extra dimension to many boats, with sailors really utilising the technology to good effect. With new finishes and colour schemes for deck grips which felt velvety and really caught the eye.

It was also good to see the Cadet simulator, giving a truly interactive experience on their stand:

Mark Jardine said of the boats on show, "This is the best year yet. Quality in abundance and boats that don't just have the wow factor, they also make you smile, which is so important for sailing. We need to promote the fun factor as much as we can, and the graphics now being added do exactly that. Congratulations to all the exhibitors for giving the RYA Dinghy Show 2019 such a great buzz!"

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