CVRDA National Rally 2012
Bough Beech SC

A warm welcome awaited the 25+ Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghies at Bough Beech SC in Kent over the bank holiday weekend. The planned practice session on Saturday afternoon saw most of the fleet launch just before the wind really picked up and a number of capsizes followed. The more prudent headed back for shore to ensure no breakages before the racing started on Sunday. The Pegasus, Hornet and a Minisail braved the elements for some fun in the gusty conditions along with Nick Clibborn’s International 14.

Sunday started well with a good F3/4, sunshine and just the odd F5 gust though the wind did enjoy irregular shifts from time to time. Rupert Whelan demonstrated just how it should be done in race 1 (and 2,3,4) in Minisail 3446 followed by Firefly 3145 and Albacore 1443. Race 2 saw the Merlins find their form and second was 1477 and third was 507. A good lunch before racing started again in marginally lighter conditions. Race 3 and Albacore 1443 took second with Firefly 3145 from Chipstead in third. Race 4 and Merlin 507 was back in second and the Albacore (1443) in 3rd.

Race 5 and 6 on Monday morning saw the return of F4 gusting 5 with the odd lull and wind shift making the long beat especially tricky. Albacore 5198 which had travelled from Shearwater excelled in the conditions to score a first and second putting them in second overall. The superb firsts in all four races on Sunday by Rupert secured an overall win, so son Charlie took the Minisail out sailing for Monday’s races when Rupert retired from the fray due to injury. The consistent results from Chris and Lois in Merlin 507, also from Shearwater, secured them a 3rd place. First junior was Pippa Whelan in Firefly 2324 and second junior was William Chanter in Pegasus 194, both previous Nationals winning boats. A special thanks to Carmignac for supporting the prizes.

It was great to see so many rare and unusual boats and a mention should be made of International Moth 3887, a Magnum 6, back on the water for the 1st time in many a year which managed a very creditable 9th following a 3rd in race 5. Hornet 610 also showed true CVRDA spirit with the sliding seat breaking in race 1 but was repaired overnight to continue racing on Monday.  Jim Champ’s modified Skol III International Moth design showed that you should never take for granted that just because a boat has lasted 40 years, everything must be strong enough, with the shroud ripping out of the deck during the last race. Also appearing on the water after a 30 year lay-up was 18’ Jollyboat 325, looking beautiful after her restoration. Minisails topped the numbers on the entry list, with 6 boats, 2 of whom travelled from Belgium, also contesting their Nationals.

Albacore 5198 took the Wing-Nut award for gross under achievement. Showing everybody her transom at the 1st mark in race 3, a commanding lead hers for the taking, she decided to take the windward mark away instead, wrapped around the rudder. The sight of helm bending over the back on the boat trying to lift the rudder whilst the crew had the jib beautifully powered up to extend their lead down the first reach was one that was witnessed by the whole fleet as they happily sailed past…

An excellent weekend of racing was helped by a well-organized race team and especially by a superb galley, who were there to serve breakfast by 8.30am and didn’t depart until well after pudding was served in the evening.

Trevor Chanter and Rupert Whelan

2012 Nationals Results