Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association at Baltic Wharf, 19 April 08

With a forecast for heavy rain and gusts of Force 6 to 7 the number of entrants was understandably reduced for this event but a few brave or mad souls did turn up and ten boats decided to race in Bristol Docks.  In deference to the conditions the first race did not go all the way to the top of the harbour, as originally intended, but only went up to the SS Great Britain and the Matthew, the replica of John Cabot’s ship.

The wind was about Force 4, gusting 5 for the first race.  Peter Vinton got the best start in his Fairey Finn , pursued by John Rawson and Tony Billet in their Albacore.  Ben Palmer and Benedict Whybrow were going well in the Scorpion and so were Roger Devereux and Chris Mulholland in Hornet 191, even though they were unable to use the sliding seat much in the gusty conditions.  John and Tony briefly overtook Peter by the SS Great Britain and then capsized in a gust so Peter led around the mark and then for the next run and second lap.  Ben and Benedict were second and Nigel Osborne and Sue third in their Albacore, sailing with a Firefly main.

The second race was sailed over a shorter course for six laps in persistent rain and a breeze which was mainly about Force 4 but occasionally dropped to 2 and gusted to 5.  Roger’s Hornet led up the first beat then as the wind dropped off a bit John and Lyn Gardiner started to make up a lot of ground upwind in Merlin 36. Later in the race Ben and Benedict overtook in their Scorpion before Peter got back in front and finished first, but lost out to Ben’s Scorpion and John’s Merlin on Handicap.

For a day which could have been a write off it was very successful, with some very old dinghies being raced hard in difficult conditions, no breakages and only two capsizes.


Class Sail No. Helm Crew Race 1 Race 2 Total Overall
Scorpion 1991 Ben Palmer Benedict Whybrow 2 1 3 1st
Finn 197 Peter Vinton   1 3 4 2nd
Hornet 191 Roger Deveraux Chris Mulholland 4 4 8 3rd
Merlin 36 John Gardiner Lyn DNS 2 12 4th
Albacore   Nigel Osborne Sue 3 DNS 13 5th
Lark 40 Sandy Lavelle Pat Jones DNS 5th 15 6th
Albacore 1458 John Rawson Tony Billet Rtd Rtd 20 7th
OK 1958 Stuart Budden   DNS Rtd 20 7th
Finn 565 Andy Stone   DNS Rtd 20 7th