AGM and Dinner 2018

Published 27th October 2018

An error has been found on the Diary and Events page of the website. Please note that the AGM and DInner is FrIday 23rd November. Full details for this event will be mailed to members in a few days time.

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Season’s final Regatta at Hamble Classics

Published 18th September 2018

A strong fleet of Classics turned out for the Royal Southern Hamble weekend, and enjoyed perfect racing conditions. Race management was excellent with two short courses on Saturday that were a fair test of sailing. There was good BCYC representation across all the fleets with renewed battle for first in Class 0 between Oui Fling and Flight of Ufford while Chloe Ghiselle, Dido and Whisper were not far behind. In Class 1 Whooper, Helen, Bojar and Cetewayo were closely matched with Firbrand Aeolus and Lutine enjoying the conditions.

In Class 2 Suvretta and Cereste renewed battle closely watched by Lady of Hamford and Laughing Gull.

On Sunday the Race Officer set a long course with several legs which took in most of the central Solent from Fastnet Insurance to Norris to West Bramble. The wind was a shifty SW with a range of 10 to16 knots. Perfect conditions for racing, and then the sun came out. To enliven our courses there was a fleet of Fast 40s racing in the same water and the sight, and sound of these modern black speed machines perched on what seemed a sliver of hull made a stark contrast to the elegant Classics comfortably settled in the water.

In Class 0 Oui Fling and Chloe Giselle both had a victory over Flight of Ufford which saw Oui Fling win the class with Flight 2nd. Good close racing with the Spirits Class 1 saw a wonderful race between, Helen, Cetewayo, Bojar and Whooper. On the last two legs, Bojar found another gear and charged upwind to pass Cetewayo and close within mere boat lengths of Helen to snatch 1st from Whooper by 6 seconds.

The Overall result was Whooper 1st, Bojar & Helen 2nd equal points, Cetewyayo 4th while Firebrand Aeolus and Lutine enjoying a lovely day on the water.

Class 2 was a Suvretta benefit followed by Cereste, Lady of Hamford and Laughing Gull.

Jonty Sherwell deserves a heartfelt thanks from all Classic sailors for having the vision and determination to create this event. It was wonderful to see the Classic Fleet racing across the Solent. The spectacle of them running up the Hamble after the race on Sunday was a fitting end to a memorable weekend.

There may be some cruising weekends left to enjoy, but thoughts of laying up are not far away.

Hope to see you at the AGM


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Best Ever Sailing in the Sun

Published 28th July 2018

The unprecedented summer heatwave provided wonderful weather for our 2018 Regatta. We were assisted by the generous and welcome support from Panerai which makes our BCYC Regatta part of the Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge. The efficient and ever cheery office with Mary Scott-Jackson and her team made the shore side admin smooth while Helen Porter of Pier Marketing ran the publicity.

The later starting times, made for a relaxed start to the day while the forecast light to non existent winds proved to be mercifully inaccurate and the Fleet enjoyed good to firm breezes every day except Thursday and even that was sailable. RYS Race officer Dai Pritchard and his team, played a masterful hand, holding the boats ashore or on buoys until the breeze filled in, and setting good courses to take advantage of the initially Westerly, and latterly Easterly breeze. For the slower classes the dreaded North Sturbridge proved challenging in the fading breeze on the Long Inshore Race. We really must consider banning that buoy from future races. All classes enjoyed close racing but early leads were established in Classes 1, by Flight, 2 by Bojar, 3 by Whooper and 4 by Suvretta. As the racing continued, Andrew Pearson and Bojar’s hopes of continued domination were stranded on Ryde Sands and Cetewayo began to display speed in the lighter windsIn Class 4 Jonathan Dyke’s Cereste began a late charge to overhaul Suvretta which went down to the wire on Friday. Flight and Whooper proved unbeatable in their Classes.

Class 1 enjoyed a big turnout with the regulars being joined by new faces to provide a good spread of competition across the various sizes. Newly Launched Yawl Gwenhyfer sailed from the Channel Islands and sported a Mizzen Staysail on the runs and enjoyed racing against Chloe Ghiselle. Helen of Durgan and Whisper of Lymington had a good tussle, while recent owners the Anthony’s with Dido had a more adventurous week than planned, finally suffering a direct hit on the start line on Friday. Evergreen, Strega had a good week. The match up at the top of Class 1 between Flight and Oui Fling was close but ultimately conclusive.

Class 2 welcomed Opposition’s return to racing while the appearance of Easy Glider for set up a battle of the S&S 41s, with S & S Golden Fleece also displaying a new found turn of speed. Firebrand was always in contention. The two 8 Meters Athena and Helen, joining Class 2 for this year, were frequently near the front. The fresher winds at the beginning of the week gave wonderful sailing for all the Class 2 boats and the sight of a fully powered up Lutine both upwind and down was imposing. This was in contrast to the small but slippery 30 square, Aeolus which was frequently in the mix. The two lighter days on Wednesday and Thursday gave the Big Stick yachts Cetewayo and Firebrand a chance to shine. Friday was spectacular with close tacking and frequent place changes among the leading 4 until the final run home from the Eastern Solent saw a tight duel between, Bojar Opposition and Golden Fleece, finally resolved in Bojar’s favour. David Murrin’s Cetewayo became dominant in the later half of the regatta both in class 2 and during the fleet races with Opposition leading the rest of class 2 after a solid last days racing. The fact that there were only 5 points overall between 3rd through 6th ( 1 place per day) indicates the closeness of the racing in Class 2 and its highly competitive yachts.

Class 3 was a Whooper benefit with a combination of boat speed, handling and navigation providing a winning combination. Richard Matthews beautiful Fife Kismet was consistently fast, while Stiletto, Freyja, Laughing Gull, Charm of Rhu and Sunmaid V, enjoyed very close competition, sometimes with only seconds separating them on the finish line. The standard of racing was impressive with consistent boat handling and navigation skills needed to gain and hold places.

Class 4s top place was the closest fought of the week with Tim Yetman’s immaculate West Solent Suvretta getting off to a flying start assisted by local Solent Ace Peter Morton, before Jonathan Dyke and his East Coast Boys on Cereste found the fast button and began to haul them in setting the scene for a last race showdown when Suvretta just managed to hold off Cereste for a well deserved win. Leading the pack was the amazing Dorothy an 1894 Thames Rater who was mixing it up with long time Regatta regulars Bill Hogg on Zaleda and Robert Veale with Danegeld.

In the Eight Metres The Universal trophy for straight 8s went to Helen and the trophy for IRC was won by Athena both of whom had close racing all week.

The Six Metre classic trophy was won handily by Fenton Burgin on Sioma with Thistle edging out Nancy for 2nd, Robin Richardson on St Kitts was the Open winner.

The innovation for this year was the awards for Concours and authenticity. Rob Peake, Editor of Classic Boat, headed a blue riband panel of four judges who spent considerable time tramping the docks, peering into interiors examining deck layouts, running gear and getting a sense of each yachts as an example of Concours and Authenticity. We are pleased that this represents a step change in how we view our Regatta, which was previously all about, and only about, going fast on the water. We will continue to review this aspect of the week with a view to incorporating suggested improvements.

We hope that this will encourage owners to renewed efforts to keep their yachts in pristine condition and will provide a reward those who maintain authenticity as a desirable goal
Class 1 was awarded to Strega a beautifully maintained “ old” Spirit
Class 2 Was very difficult as the standard was so high but the award went to the immaculately restored Opposition
Class 3 Saw Whooper being rewarded which Giovanni, said meant more than winning on the water
Class 4 went to Suvretta which shows that fast can also be beautiful
6M Class was won by Valdai

The overall Concours award went to Suvretta, to round off an excellent Regatta. The Originality award went to the immaculate Cereste.

Overall the Yacht of the Regatta for the best combined result from racing and Concours went to Sean McMillan’s Flight of Ufford, which is the first time that a Spirit has been at the top of the leader board.

The prizegiving dinner featured a presentation by Philippe de St Leger about their new charity The Panerai Challenge which in partnership with the RYA and BCYC provides sponsorship and support for young sailors and their Clubs.

All results can be found on the website as well as the replay of every race on Tracker. We are grateful to Simon Lovesey of SailRacer for providing an excellent service this year adding the daily results to the existing Trackers.

Roll on 2019 and thank you for continuing to support our Regatta.

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Stunning visitors to the Regatta

Published 26th June 2018

With entries building for the 2018 Panerai British Classic week, some glamorous names are on the list:

Kismet, a beautiful 48’ Fife Gaff cutter, from 1898, was spotted, while laid up as a houseboat on an Essex mud berth for over 50 years. She was rescued by Richard Matthews, who commissioned a team of shipwrights who spent four years returning Kismet to her former glory. In her first appearance at the Suffolk Classics she won the Tolhurst Trophy for beauty and authenticity.

Dorothy an elegant 1894 Gaff rigged Thames Rater by Linton Hope, recently acquired by Ossie Stewart, measures 33’ length by 7’ 7” width, 3’ 11” depth, and displaces 2.8 tonnes. She is the proverbial skimming dish. In her last appearance at a BCYC Regatta in 2008 she was quick. She looks very pretty, and If the weather is light she could be distressingly fast.

Last year saw the first appearance at our Regatta of the very elegant West Solent, Suvretta, newly acquired by BCYC stalwart and Solent based Tim Yetman. This year, like the proverbial bus, another West Solent, is turning up, Arrow, the fastest West Solent on the East Coast. It is encouraging to see these lovely yachts returning to their spiritual home, and it will be glorious to see them chasing around the Solent.

There is a strong turnout in Class 1 with the Spirit fleet headed by newly launched 63’ Yawl, Gwenhyfar. There will be renewed rivalry between Lord Irvine’s racy Oui Fling and Sean MacMillan’s “Fast Family Cruiser” Flight of Ufford.

Perennial winner and Solent regular Whooper helmed by Giovanni Belgrano will be on hand as will a strong fleet of regular supporters. Opposition will be back racing in Class 2 and there will be good competition in Classes 3 and 4.

The 6 and 8 Metre classes will be well represented as usual.

Now let’s hope for good weather.

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Panerai Challenger Trophy to debut during the Panerai British Classic Week

Published 15th May 2018

Panerai and The Royal Yachting Association, through its OnBoard programme, have launched the Panerai Challenger Trophy, a new initiative that aims to recognise an outstanding individual who has embraced the power of sailing or windsurfing to achieve an inspiring personal triumph.

The RYA’s OnBoard programme gives anyone aged 8-18 the chance to learn to sail or windsurf by providing low cost sessions and is designed to promote equal access to sailing for young people from all social and economic backgrounds, whilst encouraging their character development.

Jean-Marc Pontroué, Panerai’s CEO, said: “We are thrilled to partner with OnBoard in this great initiative, which will support more people discover the beauty and power of the sea. Panerai is a nautical brand at heart and we are passionate about sharing our values and the RYA’s with the applicants.”

The 3-year initiative led by Panerai will see 3 winners and up to 12 finalists from OnBoard sailing clubs throughout the UK receiving grants totalling £120,000 in order to pursue their passion and continue with their sailing development, as well as funding the clubs that have supported them through their journey to buy sailing equipment. Participating clubs can nominate sailors who have overcome physical, economic or social challenges to achieve a significant milestone within sailing or windsurfing.

40 applications have now been received from Clubs, an impressive result for a new programme.

The winning sailor will be announced on Tuesday, July 17th at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes during the Panerai British Classic Week and presented with the Panerai Challenger Trophy. The piece, commissioned by Panerai, is inspired by the engineering excellence of the great classic boat designers.

The British Classic Yacht Club is proud to be associated with this admirable programme.

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Cowes Classic Regatta – May 12th 13th

Published 23rd April 2018

Entries are building for the inaugural Cowes Classic weekend.

Organized by well known Cowes personalities Martin Nott and Mary Scott-Jackson the event will be run out of Shepherd’s Wharf and will feature two races on Saturday and a single race on Sunday.

There will be a good social programme on Friday, and Saturday nights. The BCYC is an enthusiastic supporter and a lead sponsor of the event and will be providing some trophies for participating Club members. We urge as many of our members as possible to head for Cowes and enjoy a relaxed weekend of convivial Classic sailing.

Details can be found at

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Dartmouth Classics Update

Published 10th April 2018

The event is co-sponsored by the BCYC, and the RDYC are hoping for a good turnout of our members.

This is the third edition of this weekend, and both the previous two have attracted BCYC member boats, along with a fleet of local classics, and have been great fun. As well as the class prizes, there is a cup for the best-placed BCYC boat. The RDYC must be one of the most beautifully located YCs anywhere, with great food and a really marvellous folk band for the Sunday afternoon BBQ.

Click to download the NoR and Entry form for the Royal Dart YC classic weekend (7 - 8 July 2018).

So do please consider adding it to your summer programme, and if you do, I look forward to seeing you there.

Brian Gascoigne

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Yawls and Ketches 2015 BCYC Regatta

Published 5th March 2018

Part I - Looking after out yawls.


One of the most famous and revered yacht designers must surely be Olin Stephen, and his most iconic yachts of all are his wonderful yawls. They read like a hall of fame in their own right, Dorade, Stormy Weather, Argyll, Baruna, Cometa, Skylark, Tomahawk, Laughing Gull to name just a small number, added to which are the Concordia and the Finisterre yawls.. The yawl rigged yachts make up an important part of classic yachting history and make picturesque contribution to the classic yachting scene.

It was in the 1970’s that the ratings finally taxed the yawl so it was no longer a viable racing rig, but of course the yawl popularity lived on because it is the most amazing and flexible cruising and passage making rig.

The need to tax the yawls performance through the rating resulted in mizzens being taken off some boats, and very few new yawls being designed and built, and it is now up to us to continue to encompass the historic yawls within our regatta fleets.

I was appalled a couple of years ago when the French guys running the Jauge Rating System announced they would start to tax the yawl rig as it benefits from a down-wind sail, the mizzen staysail and this seemed to be without considering that the mizzen doesn’t assist up wind much, or at all (often you will see yawls with the mizzen down when hard on the wind) but the yawl then carries the big drag factor of the mast and rigging just aft of the main, the weight of this rig and an extra crew member on the aft deck.

The ability to set a reaching sail off the mizzen on the rare occasion that there is a reaching leg in a race barely compensates for the additional weight and clutter the mizzen adds to a yawl. If it did, then yawls would win all of the races, all of the time. They don’t. I should point out that sloop owners can set a Cheetah, or spinnaker genoa under the symmetric spinnaker when reaching, but are they rated differently for doing so, as it is a smaller downwind sail like the mizzen staysail?

In the current debates around rating systems for classic yachts, it is vital that we do not make assumptions as to any advantage a yawl may seem to have without considering the disadvantages also. Like any other of our classic yacht genres, schooners, ketches or gaff rigged yachts, they all make up part of our classic fleet that we seek to encourage and to protect as well as the many simple racing sloops.

Next: Part II – Trying to make a yawl go fast.

Tim Blackman

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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 where you can download the Pre-Reg form or send an email to Peter Batts at 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.

Read more ...

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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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