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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Oldest videos of Model Yacht racing

by Magnus Smith 24 Mar 05:00 PDT
Marblehead Vane Classic and Vintage weekend at Fleetwood © Gareth Jones

Our video archive is fully searchable, and linked to all the clubs and classes in our database. It is updated weekly with the latest videos of sailing, but here we delve into the past, and round-up all the videos which show model boats being raced, with every bit as much attention to sailing detail as in full size craft. This footage is from the 1930s to the 70s, and mostly in the UK.

The oldest video we could find is from 1937, and covers Model Yacht racing at Fleetwood, a location which is still going strong with racing various mini vessels today!

From the continent now, we have Model yacht racing in Germany from 1938. The commentary on this video has only one small joke, compared to the quantity of humour used above, which is unusual from British Pathé.

There is some early colour footage, well before such technology was commonplace, from the International Model Yacht Racing Championships - August 1949 at Fleetwood (this video cannot be embedded here, so you will have to follow the link to see it).

George Bithell of Boston, USA, won the trophy with 'Ranger' on 117pts, and the presentation was by the mayor C F Lofthouse. Second place went to L K Corrooin sailing 'Scamp' with 91pts. According to newspaper reports, there was also an open water event at Windermere presented on the same day - S Croft won that trophy. The club's commodore at that time was V F Wade.

Leaping forward a decade now, let's watch 'A Class' international championship at Gosport in the year 1960.

Finally we have a Model sailing ship regatta at Hove, Sussex in 1974. Here we see radio control being used, rather than the vanes on the self-steering models in the videos above.

What of the other decades?

Do you know the location of any related videos from the 1940s, 50s, or 80s? We would love to share these with other sailors. You can submit video links to us for immediate review.

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