Vintage boats from as far as Aberdeen, Wales, Cornwall & Portsmouth travel to Bowmoor’s new lake near Swindon.
Fifteen Classic & Vintage boats arrived at Bowmoor SC near Swindon on 10th September, to sample the new lake only opened on May 15th this year, for the CVRDA Autumn Regatta. The usual Bowmoor hospitality was in evidence with entry at only £6 per boat, including free camping by the water’s edge and a Hog Roast for £5/head extra.
To qualify for the CVRDA the boat must be at least 25 years old and from a class established before 1965. Boats from as far away as Aberdeen (Garry Rucklidge left on Weds to arrive on Saturday morning), Porthpean (Cornwall), Newport (Uskmouth), Clywedog (mid Wales) and Hayling Ferry arrived on Saturday to be greeted by a flat calm and a threat of thunderstorms, which duly arrived at midday holding up proceedings for two hours.
The oldest boat present was Chris Barlow’s Merlin ISKA no.6 built in 1946, accompanied by Merlin no.36 TERRAPIN, once owned & sailed by Ian Proctor, also restored by Chris, and now sailed by John & Lyn Gardener, & Merlin no.111 SECRET WATER lovingly restored by Garry Rucklidge all sailing with wooden masts and cotton sails. Three other Merlins, 1318, 2081, & 2121, all over 30 yrs old were also on the water.
Eleven boats ventured out on to the water for the Pursuit Race once the storm had passed over. Merlin no.6 sailing with cotton sails started first, with the Flying Fifteen last to go 11.5 minutes later, the race soon developed in to a battle between the Kestrel of Russell Smith and the Pegasus of David Rollinson, both from the home club, in hot pursuit of Rupert Whelan in his Firefly, who just managed to hold them off to be leading at the end of the 90 minute race.
Racing was also very close in the 4 handicap races held over the weekend, the old 1965 PY numbers are used but adjusted by the CVRDA for age of boat and state of tune/sails etc. For example ISKA, complete with cotton sails races off 101, while the newer Merlins sail off 91-93.
Rupert & Kathryn Whelan in Firefly 2324 SASKIA emerged victorious with 3 wins, hotly pursued by Alan Price in OK 1211 on 6pts with a 1st,2nd & 3rd, Bowmoor sailors Russell & Victoria Smith in the Kestral and David Rollinson and Mike Hing in a 41 year old Pegasus finished tied on 9 points overall, with the Kestral finishing 3rd on best discard.
Keith Rollinson & Nigel Pealing sailing Flying Fifteen 1457, the first keelboat to sail on the new lake finished 5th overall, with the oldest boat Merlin, Iska no 6 just behind in 6th.