Classic line-up makes Bosham's boat revival so special

Spectacular sights at the Bosham Classic Boat Revival / Pictures by Greg Grant and Andrew Young
Spectacular sights at the Bosham Classic Boat Revival / Pictures by Greg Grant and Andrew Young

Bosham has long enjoyed pride of place in both the guide and history books that document life around Chichester Harbour. And now, thanks to Bosham Sailing Club, the village now has a new claim to fame.

In recent years, the club has been able to attract the cream of the small boat sailing world for their annual Classic Boat Revival, which this year was blessed with two days of superb sailing weather.

This year the Revival was given an even greater level of importance as it included a celebration of the centenary of the birth of Ian Proctor, who was the UK’s most successful dinghy designer and an individual of huge influence across the sport thanks to innovations such as the Ian Proctor Metal mast.

This year’s event attracted a record-breaking entry of more than 85 boats, which surely gives Bosham the bragging rights for a classic dinghy in the UK and probably anywhere in the world.

It was not just the numbers present that were impressive – the diversity and quality of the entries reached new elevated levels.

To the regular attendees were now added several very rare boats, including some that have not been seen in public for more than 50 years.

It is a measure of the respect that the sport has for Proctor that the Bosham quayside welcomes a very special visitor as HSL 102, a restored wartime air-sea rescue launch threaded its way up the harbour to join in.

Champions make Itchenor proud
Hundreds in Harbour Race Week
Proctor had been in command of an ASR boat during his wartime service, so this was yet another fitting tribute to him.

The Bosham Classic Boat Revival shows off the boats in their natural habitat, the race course out afloat, rather than just as dusty museum exhibits.

The racing was close and intense, as the Bosham race team sent the fleet on a scenic tour of the harbour. Each place was fiercely contested, as was the coveted Concours d’Elegance award.

Sponsors included high-profile local names such as Hartley Boats, Topper International, Michael Cover ADR, MPI, Verisona Law, Haines Boatyard and Pusser’s Rum, proving the Revival is a top-drawer event and looks set fair for yet more success in 2019.

Winners - Fast fleet: Peter Bannister & Nick Willis in Osprey 1291 (HISC); Medium fleet: Paul Kameen & family in Firefly 2018 (Bosham SC); Slow fleet: Richard Wilde in Tideway 487 (Bosham SC); Proctor fleet: Philip Meadowcroft & Jill Davies in Wanderer 1541 (Bosham SC); Concours d’Elegance Non Proctor designs: Nigel Daniel in Whimbrel, Axe One Design K1 (Axe Yacht Club); Concours d’Elegance Proctor designs: Mike Murray in Supernova, Osprey 1166 (TataSteel SC).