News Desk
The 2nd Hamble Classics Regatta


Image: Paul Wyeth

The 2nd Hamble Classics Regatta hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club (15-17 September) delivered another exceptional weekend of close competition for a diverse entry of 64 yachts split into eight classes, with celebrated classics plus gaffers, Metre yachts, dayboats and cruiser-racers racing in the Solent and based at the club's superb Prince Philip Yacht Haven.

The welcome arrival of the Spirit Yachts 'Oui Fling', Irvine Laidlaw's flush deck racer and Michael Hough's elegant 65ft Chloe Giselle spurred the addition of an IRC Zero division and this included Richard Loftus iconic S&S Swan 65 Desperado, a yacht designed at around the event's pre-1971 eligibility benchmark and adding a thoroughbred classic profile to this exciting upshift in yacht size.

Crucial to a regatta's success is good ratings and hence the adoption of IRC for the more competitive RORC style classes, while non-rated yachts in their own separate division were given a 'Regatta' handicap, the event's own sans-formula system using past performance and various other factors, and with the facility of subtle annual revisions if needed.


Image: Paul Wyeth

With a light northerly airstream forecast for the weekend the total contrast with the windy conditions in 2016 would provide new winners in some classes while in others established star performers showed typically consistent form. Racing on the 'green' course with Race Officer Stephen Parry and team, Fenton Burgin sailing Sioma won the all-Classic 6-Metre class from Tom Richardson's Thistle and Andy Short's Nancy, Simon Russell scored 4 wins in the 20ft XOD one-design class, while Adrian Green in Aurora pipped Rupert Street's Tschuss in the classic Dragon class, with newcomer Anthony Talbot in third place.

On the 'red' course for the larger yachts with PRO Peter Bateson in charge, Oui Fling won both races from Chloe Giselle and Desperado, while Steve Meakin and Andy Cassell of Ratsey Sails sailing Cormorant won the Gaffer 1 class, and the 19-strong Regatta class was treated to seeing the elegant profile of Tim Yetman's West Solent One-Design Suvretta almost disappear over the horizon!

Giovanni Belgrano's all conquering Whooper once again dominated IRC1, the class boosted this year by the much admired S&S designed 43ft Firebrand now owned by Ramona-Ann Gale (skipper Peter Cyriax), Lutine of Helford (James Youngman), the S&S yawl Laughing Gull (Barney Sandeman), David Murrin's Cetewayo, Brian Smullen's McGruer 55ft Cuilaun, Andrew Pearson's Bojar and Tim Gaukrogers' Swan 55 Kira, these new arrivals joining Breeze (Robbie Boulter), Misty (Stephen Card) and Charm of Rhu (Martin Thomas) but sadly missing was Jason Fry's Shantih of Cowes due to a faulty engine and Chris Frost's Swan 36 Finola, entered but not sailing.

As the Elephant Boatyard's post-race Rum Party on Saturday was getting underway the Concours judging team of David Aisher (owner of Thalia, built in 1888) with Jane Coombs representing the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and Rob Peake, the editor of Classic Boat magazine, got to work inspecting the yachts before deciding the three category winners.

For the top award of Concours d'Elegance it was the fabulous Laurent Giles designed Lutine of Helford, for Concours d'Authenticité, the S&S yawl Laughing Gull, and for best presented GRP yacht it was Gloriana, a 1914 designed 16ft Hereshoff 12½ gaffer built in 1977 and owned by Ian Armstrong. Expertly crewed by his 7-year old son Rory they were also convincing winners of the Gaffer 2 racing division.


Concours judging panel chairman David Aisher presents the Concours d'Elegance award to Rachel and James Youngman, owners of Lutine of Helford. See the sailing shots for a view of this beautiful yacht.
Image: Chris Gillingham


On Saturday evening over 200 guests attended the Hamble Classics Dinner in the Royal Southern clubhouse during which the leading yacht of the day in each class was presented with a Spinlock Deckvest Lite lifejacket and kneepads by Spinlock CEO Chris Hill. The River Hamble Harbour Master Jason Scott, there with his partner Sara Knox-Johnston, addressed the audience on his approach to harbour management and his positive encouragement of the club's initiatives, which received much applause.


Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams welcomes the guests and sponsors to the Hamble Classics Dinner
Image: Chris Gillingham



The after dinner speaker was the River Hamble Harbour Master Jason Scott.
Image: Chris Gillingham


After this an envelope collection and prize draw organised by Vicki Weston yielded a further generous contribution to Geoff Holt's Wetwheels charity to add to the Friday collection at the tea and cakes session kindly arranged by the Ladies Committee, after which Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams thanked everyone for coming to the event. Wendy Laynton was the lucky winner of the Jasper Conran wine cooler engraved with the Hamble Classics event logo.


The Hamble Classics organisers Jonty Sherwill and Vicki Weston show off the Wetwheels charity draw prize, a Jasper Conran wine cooler engraved with the Hamble Classics event logo.
Image: Chris Gillingham


Wendy Laynton wins the engraved wine cooler and is congratulated by Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams and event co-organiser Vicki Weston
Image: Chris Gillingham

Rather summing things up, one participant in the regatta and more used to cruising than racing emailed this message to me the day after the event: "Thank you for encouraging me to enter. You'll surely convey my thanks to all the team and the lady who made the cream sponge cake".

A big thank you is also due to the club members who allow their boats to be moved out of the PPYH for the period of Hamble Classics Regatta and make room for visiting yachts, and which is such a major contributor to the success of the event.

With this spirit of inclusiveness plus the charitable element (£900 donated to Wetwheels during the weekend) and with the principals of the six event sponsors, Spinlock, Ratsey and Lapthorn Sailmakers, Performance Rigging, Classic Marine, Sandeman Yacht Company and the Elephant Boatyard all taking part in the racing, the focus for next year's Hamble Classics will be to encourage even more classic style yachts, dayboats and gaffers to enter this attractive and welcoming end of season regatta.

Jonty Sherwill, Event Director, Hamble Classics

Photos at http://www.royal-southern.co.uk/Media/Images-2017 

https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=4151


Image: Chris Gillingham


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Our Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams was recently interviewed by Sasha Twining on BBC Radio Solent's H20 slot.
Karen was asked about her childhood and how she got into sailing with her parents, how she progressed from dinghies into keel boats and about her role in helping to develop youth sailing at the Club. She explained her current role as well as her stewardship of the Royal Southern as only the second lady Commodore in the Club's 179 year history. Karen also discussed her aims and objectives for the Club going forward. It's a great listen, and we hope you enjoy it.

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