Please select your home edition
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.

Keep watching with:

Related Articles

Model yacht race makes a splash
Southampton Solent University tradition spans almost 50 years A winner has emerged victorious at Solent University, Southampton following a high-octane race of model yachts at Gosport Boating Lake. Posted today at 10:36 am
IOM Nationals at Poole
74 IOM sailors travelled from many UK clubs, plus visitors from foreign parts 74 IOM sailors travelled from many UK clubs, plus visitors from foreign parts including France, The Netherlands and Fleetwood. Posted on 10 May
IOM Worlds 2024 set to make waves in Gladstone
A truly global event has achieved a significant milestone by filling its entry list The International One Metre (IOM) World Championships 2024, a truly global event, has achieved a significant milestone by filling its entry list with 76 skippers worldwide. Posted on 6 May
Footy Nationals at Frensham Pond
Bin bag sails supported on 3mm carbon and wire spars This event was run in conjunction with an open meeting for Phantom dinghies and club racing, with the Footys racing off the lee shore in what were huge waves to these 1 foot long racing boats. The wind was blowing harder than forecast. Posted on 24 Apr
2024 Mermaid Trophy GAMES 4 at Guildford
A superb day's racing with 18 races held This was a superb day's racing with 18 races in a limit A rig wind giving some exciting planing off wind in the gusts and providing almost perfect conditions for the 9 competitors from 6 clubs. Posted on 15 Apr
DF95 Spring Championship at East Kent Radio SC
Rain and a shifty wind didn't stop close racing over 14 heats Rain and a shifty 6-16 knots plus gusts didn't stop close racing over 14 heats at the EKRSA's attractive Ashford Spring Event venue - Collingbrook Lakes in Kent. Almost all used first A then B rigs. Posted on 5 Apr
MYA Scottish District Wooden Hull IOM Championship
Fleet of 16 at Barshaw Park, Paisley, boasts a fantastic array of designs A very healthy entry of 16 skippers attended this event with six being first timers. There were seven Scottish clubs represented with eight skippers who travelled from NE Scotland, three from East of Scotland and five from the West. Posted on 27 Mar
Medway RC Laser Club Winter Series week 13
No question on rig size - the smallest D rigs were chosen For today's racing the wind was very much in the upper numbers. The forecast was for it to drop but with 20 - 25 knits and direction NW. No question on rig size - the smallest D rig. Posted on 27 Mar
Vane 36R Topham Cup at Fleetwood
With no direct control, is this a dark art, or more of a lottery? With a crosswind of about 10MPH, we had 6 Skippers for the first Vane boat event of the year, the small 36 ers. Olly had joined us for the day, to see what all the excitement was about, but for some not quite as straightforward as one would believe. Posted on 25 Mar
10 Rater Tankard & Marblehead GAMES 3 at Frensham
The day started inauspiciously with no sign of wind The day started inauspiciously with no sign of wind and very little promise of any. By the time racing started there was wind, but very light and very variable. Posted on 22 Mar
Zhik 2024 March - FOOTERNorth Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTERHenri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed