Bosham boat gathering has quickly turned into a classic

Competitors Kate Middleton and Simon Meacock racing in the Bosham Classic Boat Regatta  Picture by Chris Hatton
Competitors Kate Middleton and Simon Meacock racing in the Bosham Classic Boat Regatta Picture by Chris Hatton

Champagne sailing conditions, if a little on the light side, greeted competitors for the third running of the Classic Boat Revival at Bosham Sailing Club.

Attracting competitors from all over the UK, this unique event is now seen as ‘must do’ in the classic racing dinghy calendar of events, offering great racing in the beautiful Chichester Harbour and great parties and shoreside hospitality at Bosham SC.

The silverware this year went mainly to visitors, but Brian Hoolihan, Paula Hoolihan and Tim Reynolds and Richard Stirrup, Jono Prosser and Dave Hall in their National 18s finished second and fourth respectively in fleet one, while Team Macfarlane – David, Fiona and Ollie - finished third in fleet two to uphold the honour of the home club.

With the event attracting a large contingent of classic National 18s and Merlin Rockets and Yachting World dayboats of various ages, these classes took home most of the prizes which this year were significantly bolstered by the event winning the prestigious ‘#GetOutAndSail’ award run by Yachts& and supported by the leading brands in the marine industry.

Overall winner of fleet one was the Merlin Rocket sailed by Charlie Morgan and Hayley Manning and Fiona Bolwell from Tamesis SC on the Thames, who used their mastery of tricky sailing conditions to great effect.

Fleet two became a classic three-way battle between Enterprise No 472 sailed by Martin Honnor and Bryce Howard from Ogston SC in Derbyshire, ex-yachting world national champion Colin Blewett from Poole, crewed by Bosham’s very own Izzie Lee, and local hotshots Team Macfarlane, with the final results being resolved in that order.

Sponsored by Top Yacht, Dynamite Recruitment Solutions, Haines Boatyard and Pussers Rum, the Bosham Classic Boat Revival is going from strength to strength and was described by a leading marine journalist who covered the event as simply remarkable considering it has only been going three years and it now represents the most prestigious and high-profile event of it’ type in the country.

The event this year was fine-tuned to attract more classic racing dinghies and the organisers were delighted to welcome representatives from the following classes: Merlin Rocket, Classic National 18, Ultimate National 18, Penultimate National 18, 12sqM Sharpie, Albacore, International 14, Fireball, Jollyboat, Chichester Harbour 18, Wayfarer, Enterprise, YW Dayboat, Emsworth OD, Torbay Minnow, Devon Yawl, Firefly, GP14 and Solo - from all over the UK.

The hotly-contested award for the Concours d’Elegance was won by the beautifully-restored 56-year-old Enterprise All Shook Up owned by Philip Wilson and sailed at the event by Martin Honnor and Bryce Howard.

To win both the racing and the ‘beauty parade’ was a remarkable ‘double’ and organisers hope they will be back next year to defend their various trophies.