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Hamble Classics Regatta 2018

 
75 classic and spirit of tradition yachts took part in the third Hamble Classics Regatta hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club for two days of racing in sunshine and breeze

With the Hamble Classics fleet as diverse as ever, from Ian Armstrong’s 16 foot Herreshoff 12.5 Gloriana up to Michael Hough’s 65 foot Chloe Giselle, this yacht was the largest of five Spirit yachts contesting the increasingly high profile IRC Zero class.

Of the smaller boats David and Sue Pennison’s new home-built Satellite caught the attention of the Concours judges, while the sight of sails being hoisted on the big classic gaffers, Aeolus, Jolie Brise, Peggy Bawn and Thalia served up a big helping of purest nostalgia.

With 20 boats new to the event this year and a perfect forecast for Saturday’s river finish to complete the first day’s racing, the Principal Race Officer Peter Bateson gave a detailed briefing before the fleet headed out to the two start line areas, Red Line and Green Line, dividing the fleet into the larger and smaller yachts.

Over the two days of racing fortunes ebbed and flowed in most of the eleven classes, but Oui Fling (Irvine Laidlaw) in IRC Zero, Whooper in IRC1, owned by Giovanni Belgrano but this year skippered by Crawford McKeon, and Suvretta (Tim Yetman) in IRC2 all won their class for the second year running.

Ivy Green regained top spot in the Gaffer 1 class and in Regatta 1 class a newcomer, the S&S designed GRP Sagitta 35 Ugly Duckling of Hamble (George Beevor and Olly Bewes) took first place overall from another S&S designed boat, the She 31 Shelagh (James Otter).

The easiest win of all was for the Rob Humphreys designed Old Mother Gun (aka OMG) in the nascent Mixed Handicap MH1 Class for more modern wooden boats and other boats that are eligible for Hamble Classics but can’t muster enough for a class start.

With the other three entries in the MH1 class dropping out due to various circumstances OMG enjoyed herself racing alongside the pre-1971 IRC1 Class.

In the Green Line fleet newcomer Gary Rossall won the XOD class, Tim Street won the two-boat Dragon class, and Andy Short won the four-boat all-classic 6-Metre class. Some course confusion in Saturday’s race saw Sioma and Thistle retiring, much to their chagrin.

The Gaffer 2 class was again won by the diminutive Gloriana but the Regatta 2 class was closely fought and by the most varied group of boats in the regatta.

The top raters Cockleshell, Ampere and Mandarina could not hold off the ‘lightning’ quick Harrison-Butler Sabrina (Craig and Kate Nutter) or Applejack, the Contessa 26 of Craig and Natalie Cossar, which won the class on corrected time tie-break by just 75 seconds.

A popular element of the regatta is the Concours d’Elegance Awards, this year sponsored by A-Plan Marine Insurance.

David Aisher, a past Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and owner of the 1888 gaff cutter Thalia, was again chairman of the Concours judging team and was joined by Jane Coombs, founder member of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, and Hamble Classics devotee Christopher Gillingham.

The four Concours winners were:

Concours d’Elegance - ultimate condition - the top prize
Ampere - 1939 John Nicholson designed Xyris Class 30ft Sloop
Owner Nik Kidd

Concours d’Authenticité - condition and originality
Peggy Bawn - 1896 G.L. Watson designed Gaff Cutter
Owner Hal Sisk

Best presented GRP yacht
Mandarina - 1968 Tord Sunden designed International Folkboat
Owner Christine Hughes

Best Spirit of Tradition - New Category
Satellite - 2018 Roger Dongray designed Golant Gaffer
Owners David and Sue Pennison

All results available here

With support from Spinlock, Performance Rigging, Classic Marine, The Sandeman Yacht Company, Ratsey & Lapthorn Sailmakers, The Elephant Boatyard, A-Plan Marine Insurance and Joseph Perrier Champagne, the weekend had a packed social programme.

Beginning with tea and cakes on Friday afternoon laid on by the Royal Southern Ladies’ Committee, and the Hamble Classics Dinner on Saturday evening at which 230+ guests enjoyed anecdotes from the guest speaker Sean McMillan, CEO of Spirit Yachts, this year celebrating 25 years of yacht building.

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