Bosham classic boat revival set to become annual event

One of a number of capsizes that added to the drama of the Bosham revival
One of a number of capsizes that added to the drama of the Bosham revival

Bosham Sailing Club hosted a memorable gathering of classic day boats and dinghies.

With 48 boats entered, 13 of which were from other clubs, some from as far away as Cumbria and Cornwall, the weekend was one of contrasting conditions.

The regatta was open to classic day boats and classic dinghies with a maximum length of 20ft and attracted classes such as the Aldeburgh Lapwing, Arun One Design, Devon Yawl, Firefly, Fairy Falcon, Fireball, Hornet, Jollyboat, Merlin Rocket, Minisail, National 18, Redwing, Scow, Sharpie, Thames One Design, Tideway, Torbay Minnow and YW Dayboat.

On Saturday the westerly wind, gusting up to 28 knots for much of the day, took its toll on many boats with many capsizes and sails shredded. Three races were run from a committee-boat start with the fleet split into fast, medium and slow handicap for each race.

Before the races even began, some boats had to be pulled off the mud. Others decided the wind was too strong for their elderly boats – one is 99 years old. Several boats retired with gear failures after the first two races.

On Sunday the sun came out and the wind, somewhat fickle in direction and strength, enticed all the entrants out again, including all those who had managed to fix their gear failures over night or find alternative sails.

Averaging five to seven knots from the south-east, the fleets sailed another three races. A guest appearance was made by Swallow, the dinghy which featured in the film Swallows and Amazons.

Results: Fast handicap: 1 David Edmund-Jones & Andrew Young, Seafire (Bosham SC); 2 Brian Hoolahan & Tom Reid, Theroete (Bosham SC); 3 Paul Dewing & Katie Prentice, Flight (Bosham SC). Medium Handicap: 1 David and Fiona MacFarlane, Yellow Peril (Bosham SC); 2 Alex Francis and Richard Foot, Sox (Hamble River SC); 3 Ian Norman and Steve Robson, Sophie Boo (Bosham SC). Slow handicap: 1 John Fildes & Miss Greenwood, King Fisher; 2 Izzie Lee, Happy Bunny (Bosham SC); 3 Peter Shaw, Bar-Tailed Godwit (Bosham SC).

The Concours D’Elegance for the most beautiful boat, judged by Peter Willis, deputy editor of Classic Boat magazine, and traditional boat builder Peter Lacey, was awarded to Shoestring, a Hornet sailed by Roger Devereux and his daughter from Shearwater SC in Somerset.

Runner-up was Bosham’s Gargany, a Sharpie sailed by Dick Pratt.

All visiting sailors stayed with members of the club and they thoroughly enjoyed the racing and the party on Saturday night.

The event was sponsored by Jackson-Stops & Staff, Top Yacht, Wiley Nautical and Pusser’s Rum.

Based on the success of this year’s inaugural event, plans are already in place to make it an annual fixture at Bosham Sailing Club.