Dartmouth Classics 2018

Published 11th December 2017

The Royal Dart YC has published the NoR for their Classics weekend on 7 – 8 July followed by a passage race to Plymouth for the start of the La Rochelle race. The pdf is below.

If members would like to Pre-Register, go to http://www.royaldart.co.uk/racing/detail/dartmouth-classics-2018 where you can download the Pre-Reg form or send an email to Peter Batts at classics@royaldart.co.uk for the application form.

You will see from the NOR that the passage race to Plymouth now includes an overnight stay in Salcombe where the SYC will host a reception for the competitors. it is Merlin Rocket Week in Salcombe, the biggest week of their year, and they promise not only Salcombe gin but a fine spectacle of close quarter Merlin racimg.

Brian Gascoigne

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Boat News

Published 19th November 2017

There is no doubt as to the important role played by British yachtsmen in the development of Global yachting over many decades; Cowes becoming a World yachting mecca, the historic races like The Fastnet, Round the Island Race, Channel Race; the famous designers, Milne, Fife, Giles and the development of racing through IRC all of which have played their part in laying the foundations for the enormous sport of sailing that we know today.

Yet it is just a very small number of yachtsman in Britain who value, protect and cherish this vital link to the history and the development of yachting which gives sailing it's very heart and soul. Yes - I'm talking about you, the Member and Associate Members of the British Classic Yacht Club who come together to represent all the classic yacht owners in the UK.

Meeting together, talking about our yachts, knowing the yachts of others and planning for future events continues to be key to sustaining a future for the yachts, and to protect the vital living history represented by our yachts.

So let's do this!
Tim Blackman

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Autumn Newsletter

Published 21st October 2017

The autumn gales have started to blow, and memories of summer are fading fast.

Just to remind you, of some of the high points. In June there was a successful Regatta on the East Coast, organised by Jonathan Dyke at Suffolk Yacht Harbour. In July we had another wonderful Regatta in Cowes, with 50 boats, and some excellent racing. The Trackers provided an additional element to following the racing, onshore, and enabling us to relive our best and worst tactics on the water. As ever, the standard of hospitality in the Panerai Lounge was outstanding, and the Shore side activities were excellent.

Every year your Committee spends a considerable amount of time reviewing the Regatta format, discussing improvements, and examining the replies to the Survey Questionnaire. Since August, we have held three meetings, specifically to examine the structure of the Regatta, with the result that it was felt that some changes were desirable.

Accordingly the following alterations are proposed:

The briefing will be at 0915 and starts will be correspondingly later.
The Round the Island Race will be replaced by a Nab Tower race.
There will be a total of 6 races instead of 7.
There will be a BBQ on the beach in Osborne Bay
The Overall Winner will no longer be decided from within the Class winners and best Fleet result. The intention is to replace this with a less structured format. Details to be agreed
We will examine the two long Fleet races, to see whether it would be desirable, after the start and initial legs, to have split courses to enable all boats to finish within a similar time.
RYS will continue to organize the racing, but we will consult more closely with them to ensure fair and challenging courses.
We will undertake a study of various handicap alternatives to compare with IRC, and discuss possible variations for a BCYC version with RORC. This will be a “work in progress” and we will keep you advised of the results and any suggestions that may arise.
The new concourse awards were a welcome addition to the Regatta and next year the award for the best amateur prepared yacht will have enhanced stature.

We also propose more discussion with local fleets in Chichester Harbour, The Hamble, Beaulieu and the East Coast, with a view to organising social events ashore and impromptu activities afloat next season.

Notice for the AGM and invitation to the Dinner has been sent to members. As we are proposing far reaching changes to the Club’s Regatta structure, it would be good to have as many as of you as possible attend to give us your views and suggestions. If you are not able to attend please send us any points that you wish to be discussed at the Meeting.

Rufus Gilday

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Suffolk Yacht Harbour Autumn Classic Regatta

Published 6th September 2017

A select fleet of eleven boats took to the water over the weekend for a late season two day, two race regatta.

Saturday’s race was sailed in light breezes. Race officer Clare Scott set a challenging course incorporating various channel marks giving the crews plenty of boat handling and opportunities for place changes. Phil plumtree’s West Solent Arrow took a commanding lead from the start and but for a navigation, error would have sealed the race. The continuing light conditions meant the call to shorten course was a wise discussion. The Stella Centaur punched well above her weight to take the race on corrected time from Whisper followed by Cereste and Stiletto.

Fresher breezes of twelve to twenty knots greeted the fleet on Sunday morning and once again the course gave good opportunity for place changes. With Woodwind and Vivacious over the line at the start, whisper found herself leading the fleet but not for long, as Sean Macmillan’s Spirit 52 Flight of Ufford powered through. On corrected time Whisper won, just ahead of Cereste and Flight of Ufford. Overall once again Whisper proved to have the advantage and once more holds the Mervia Tankard.

Jonathan Dyke

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Admiral's Cup Anniversary Regatta

Published 12th August 2017
Admiral's Cup Anniversary Regatta

Jointly organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Classic Yacht Association of Australia.

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Suffolk Yacht Harbour Autumn Classic Regatta

Published 6th August 2017

One race each day starting from the HPYC line opposite Suffolk Yacht Harbour.

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Hamble Classics Regatta 2017 – 16 – 17th September

Published 6th August 2017
Hamble Classics Regatta 2017

If your yacht will be in the Solent in September I invite you to enter the second Hamble Classics Regatta hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club.

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Giovanni Belgrano's Whooper Wins Panerai British Classic Week 2017

Published 14th July 2017
Giovanni Belgrano's Whooper Wins Panerai British Classic Week 2017

The yachts enjoyed one final elegant sashay around the Central Solent to complete Panerai British Classic Week today.

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SYH Classic Regatta 2017 Race Report

Published 12th July 2017
SYH Regatta

This year’s 16th annual Classic Regatta was a fantastic celebration with an array of striking classic boats and coastal racing and was as always, a real social event in the SYH calendar. The turnout was high, as this year marks our 50th anniversary so it was a momentous occasion topped off by the gorgeous sunny weather.

The first race at this year’s Classic Regatta was won overall by Phil Plumtree’s stunning West Solent Arrow in the Fast class, with Jonathan Thompson’s Tumlare Zest winning the Slow class and Andrew Gilmour in Timoa first out of the Stella class.

We enjoyed beautiful “Champagne sailing weather” throughout the weekend. After breakfast and the briefing on Saturday morning the fleet set off in light and variable winds for their first race, some boats struggled to clear the start line but a gentle breeze built throughout the day, the race officer shortened the course at the Pye End buoy and very wisely started the second race on Saturday afternoon from this location.

Saturday afternoon race (Race 2) took place in light to moderate winds. We saw Timoa and Andrew Gilmour once again win from the Stella class race, Arrow and Phil Plumtree another win in the Fast class race and also first place for Zest and Jonathan Thompson in the Slow class race.

Saturday evening was spent revelling in the evening rays outside Haven Ports Yacht Club, deliberating over the events of the day’s racing and discussing what Sunday might bring. On Saturday night, we had a party onboard HPYC lightship, followed by live music and supper. The America’s Cup was broadcast via satellite onto a big screen which was a great idea so no one missed out on the action and many of us enjoyed the festivities until late into the night. Sunday marked a slow start for some, the forecast was for light winds but the race officer Peter Martin took the fleet out to the Beacon Hill start line and was greeted with a good sailing breeze. Race conditions were flat seas, sparkling sunshine and 12 knots of breeze. Once again Arrow and Phil Plumtree, Zest and Jonathan Thompson and Timoa and Andrew Gilmour took first place in each of their classes in their last races.

After racing had finished, competitors headed to the lightship to wait for the final results and prize giving. The Saphir trophy for concourse D’Elegance went to Illiria. The Spirit trophy, awarded for someone in need of a stiff drink went to Gulvain for sailing the big powerful boat with only five crew in Saturday races.

After much careful preparation and fine tuning, Phil Plumtree and his crew in their West Solent were once again in winning form. Arrow not only looked stunning all weekend, she flew around the course, won all of her races and deservedly won the Fast Class and the regatta overall. Andrew Gilmour in his Stella Timoa took second place overall and came first in all the Stella class races – It was a very close battle between Scorpio and Timoa in the Stella class – an extremely close–run and exciting race. Mark Wincer in his International One Design Whisper took second place in all of her fast class races and third overall.

Our thanks must go to Peter Martin, race officer and the team at HPYC and all those involved in the organisation for ensuring it was such a great success. We are as always grateful to Classic Boat and Emily Harris for their ongoing media support. Look out for a feature on the regatta in the August issue of Classic Boat courtesy of Peter Smith who joined me onboard Cereste. Next year’s regatta will be in June; please do keep an eye on our website, newsletter and Facebook page for confirmed dates.

Please click on the links below to view the results.

Overall results – make sure you scroll all the way to the end of the document to see overall positions in each race.

Fast Class Overall
Slow Class Overall
Stella Class Overall

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some boat news .................

Published 30th June 2017

Regatta in Cowes – Two weeks time!!

If you are wondering whether you might come to the regatta this year, as an entrant to race or be in the cruising class, or as a spectator - with a good chance of jumping on a boat - YOU MUST COME. It is lining up to be a brilliant year. 50 yachts is the perfect number as it provides excellent fun on the water AND you are guaranteed to get a drink at the bar - whether in the adjacent beer tent, or the exquisite Panerai Club Lounge, where you will receive complimentary red and white wines with delicate canapes whilst the yachts rest nearby and the screens show the days racing before the impromptu daily prize giving.

Look at the list of yachts attending - the cream of British classic yachts and a good showing of international visitors, tipping their hats on the water to a number of Spirit Yachts all coming together for a uniquely British regatta with highlights as diverse as racing Round the Island and The Reception at the Royal Yacht Squadron or hurtling the entire fleet Round the Cans and the excellent Dock Party among the yachts in the evening.

One of the Worlds best Classic Yacht Regattas, held in the berth place of yachting! I doesn't get much better!.

Tim Blackman
British Classic Yacht Club

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some boat news .................

Published 23rd May 2017

I must offer my most sincere appologies to Members - and perhaps particularly to visiting yachtsman to our British Classic Yacht Club website News page, where they must think they have inadvertently clicked on the B&Q Spring Garden Furniture Offer when confronted by a teak steamer, which in fairness, we could have got away with had it been adorning the afterdeck of an 86' S&S yawl.

So in an effort to consign this image to internet history, I have some more interesting and appropriate boat news update to push it down the page a bit.

Our Commodore rang me about something on Wednesday while he was driving down to the yard to oversee the launch of Cetewayo. They say timing is everything. On Sunday, Josephine and I made our usual trip to see Mum in her nursing home on a wooded headland just to the West of Fishbourne Creek. Through the woods, from her room she has a clear but narrow glimpse of Spithead between an Oak and a Corsican Pine. Just as we walked into her room, and I looked out of the window, Cetewayo stomped across this narrow view heading West. I had time to pick up the binos to double check, but by the time I had fumbled for my 'phone to take his selfie, she was gone. Well done David. She looked fantastic.

Rob Roy at The Sweathearts Regatta

I had been familiar with Rob Roy, a really lovely 56' yawl from 1956 - one of my dream boats. She has long been the scourge of the Caribbean, winning at Antigua and regularly cleaning up at The Sweatheart Regatta in the Tortolla. In the past she has had a number of successful bouts with Stormy Weather. When Pam and Brian Malcolm first had Rebecca of Vineyard Haven, and before she came to Europe in 2003, they entered The Sweatharts Regatta, and found themselves up against Rob Roy. The local yawl was heavily fancied against the upstart schooner in what became an absolute epic dual in classic windy sparkling Caribbean conditions. Crews worked hard in this nip and tuck contest, Rob Roy edging ahead on short beats with Rebecca reaching hard on the fetches at 10+ knots with fisherman set. It all came down to the beat home for the line with nothing between the boats, and in the last half a mile Rob Roy tacked out and Rebecca hugged the shore - to pip her at the post.

Rob Roy in Sicily

In 2006, the owners of Rob Roy sailed her to Europe, cruised the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden and all through the Baltic followed by the length and breadth of the Mediterranean. She is now in Siciliy, so Josephine and I went to see her last week. She was built in the UK and designed by Arthur Rob for a wealthy American yachtsman, and all the beautiful deck fittings that are familiar aboard Argyll, Stormy Weather, Josephine, Infanta and a host other American yachts call all be seen aboard Rob Roy. She is really really lovely, completely original above and below decks and beautifully built. And whilst the owner has fully maintained her physical structure, she now needs an update.

This is a real opportunity for this great yacht to be brought back to the UK and to continue to be an icon here. If you know someone (or indeed you are someone!) who is looking for a special yacht she could be the one!


Finally, I couldn't help noticing the largest yacht in the world is in the news, and it made me cautiously consider where we draw the line at Spirit of Tradition!

Worlds largest Yacht

Admiral BCYC.

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some boat news .................

Published 10th May 2017

I cannot remember a better April for fitting out! It's been fantastic with no rain here on the Island for the whole month, and even now, at the end of the first week of May, still no rain. Whatever happened to April showers? So I hope everyone has been able to build up the varnish and get the topsides done.

I seem to have an inate need to fit out - like a salmon returning to the rivers of Scotland each year. Only trouble is, Infanta is in Largs, and will be based in Oban this Summer to cruise the Western Isles. So I have had to turn my attention to the teak garden furniture, two steamers, six director chairs and various tables!

Tim's Fitting Out

Being around Cowes a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by how there is a classic yacht presence now - unlike before the BCYC. Shantih looking a picture on her swinging mooring, Athena glinting in Medina Yard shed, Osborne smart and elegent on the E Cowes hammerhead, a launch party at Lallows as Easy Glider completes a refit, Polly Agatha ready to go in the Yacht Haven.

Earlier in the week, I came back down from London on the train with a friend of mine. His first EVER sail on a yacht was from Panama, across the Pacific to Hawai, Tahiti and on down to the Galapagos on a Swan. He was blown away by it. The train was busy, and we found seats and we were next to Thomas Board, owner of Frenesi! Between the three of us we swapped endless deep sea, ocean passage, crazy landfall. out of this world experiences - much to the quiet interest of a lot of grey faced commuters.

When I was a youngster in Yarmoth in the '60's, there was a very nice Fred Shepherd double ended ketch, about 50' called Heron II. And she lived in Yarmoth for decades, owned by someone in London, and used from time to time. A real gentlemens yacht, with a kindly doghouse and sweeping sheer, and always in nice condition. A few years ago I found myself wondering how she remained in the same ownership for such a long time. And then, about a year ago, she was no longer on the River Yar.

At the regatta last year, I had a brief chat to Aaron Ashton, Panerai Young Sailor of the year, and he told me he had bought a yacht called Heron II and taken her West to refit her. Recently I hear that Martin Ryan, the Commodore of the Classic Yacht Association of Australia, who brought a team to Cowes last year, was planning to bring a team this year from Melbourne, the Royal Sydney YC and two from New Zealand. He was proposing to charter a yacht for the regatta called Heron II.

Well well! So the BCYC and the Panerai Regatta your Membership and enthusiasm provides a vital platform for the future of our yachts, and garden furniture.

Admiral BCYC

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Message from Sean McMillan

Published 27th April 2017

Looking out of my office window on a glorious spring day, the view before me is of some twenty or so large Dutch square riggers and trading schooners on their usual early season visit to Ipswich and the East Coast. Rafted up four or five deep and bustling with figures of all shape, sizes and ages, it is very redolent of the joyfully lively atmosphere at the British Classic Yacht Club Regatta held in July every year at Cowes – albeit there is a great deal more baggywrinkle in evidence here than at Cowes!!

Prompted by this sight, I have great pleasure in again inviting you to submit your application to participate in the 2017 Panerai British Classic Week to be held in Cowes from the 8th to the 15th July.

The format will remain much as last year but in line with feedback from previous regattas, the intention is to raise the kudos of some of the more social aspects of the regatta to the same status as the racing. Thus we are proposing to have awards for originality, concours condition, sportsmanship and similar. These are still being finalised for this year, but we hope that there will be a greater reflection of the importance and contribution of all the participants and not just the racing enthusiasts who get among the ‘chocolates’!

The Around the Island race remains as part of the points series with 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in each class, with ‘round the cans’ racing for those who prefer not to go around. Such round the cans races that day will not qualify for the overall regatta series.

The cruising class will again be giving us a varied mix of venues and events taking them to all parts of the Solent and fascinating visits to shoreside places of interest – and possibly even a pub or two…

Panerai are once again our principle sponsors and we are grateful to them for their continuing support and high level of enthusiasm and commitment to the world of Classic Yachting, not just at Cowes, but at all the other Panerai regattas in the Mediterranean and the USA. We are also grateful to EFG who will again be sponsoring the Around the Island race.

The regatta office and management will again be in the capable hands of Mary Scott-Jackson and her ever-smiling staff. We are grateful to them for their quiet unflappable organisation, including co-ordinating an enhanced tracking system for this year to allow friends and families to follow the fortunes on the race course both in the marquee and online – in real time!

We look forward to seeing you in July.

With kind regards

Sean McMillan
Rear Commodore (Sailing) and Regatta Chairman. British Classic Yacht Club.

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Leslie Burgess 1924-2017

Published 22nd February 2017

Leslie Burgess of Grayshott in Surrey passed away on Sunday 5th February aged 92. He had been with the club for more than 60 years and was an honorary life member. He joined in 1955 when the club was based in Beaver Hall. Subsequently a Vice-President, jointly in charge of running the club prior to the roles being changed to Commodore.

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