May 23-25th 2009

A group of dedicated enthusiasts of Vintage racing dinghies, the 10th anniversary year of the CVRDA, made their way to Llyn Clywedog in the Welsh mountains for their traditional May Bank Holiday weekend.

We were graced by 3 Finns, a Man o’ War, a Graduate (both eBay purchases the previous week), Wayfarer, Pegasus, Merlin Rocket, and Albacore and a couple of Flying Fifteens. The forecast was great compared to the wild gales of the previous year where sailing was abandoned and for a change the forecast was spot on.

The first race was held in a good breeze – at times a few white tops showing with Clywedog claiming a few victims at the notorious capsize corner which the Race Officer had thoughtfully decided should be a gybe mark! As with all old boats, there was some damage sustained with a rudder mounting pulling out and a ripped mainsail (we did wonder why shares in gaffer tape manufacturing had shot up the week before). The first race was won by Peter Vinton in his beautifully restored Fairey Finn. From then on the wind was not quite so blustery and indeed at times reverted to a frustrating flat calm leading to a shortened course.

After a great hog roast in the evening followed by the usual discussions about traditional varnish vs. two pack and whether Kevlar sails have really been much of an advance in the dinghy world, it was all on the water the following morning for races 3, 4 and 5 with Peter again leading the way and the closer encounters occurring further down the field.

The results were as usual fairly unimportant – just a great opportunity to meet with like minded dinghy sailors. But when all was said and done and the classic and mysterious handicaps applied the order of finish was:

1st Peter Vinton, Finn
2nd Jon Rawson, Albacore
3rd Alan Williams, Finn
4th Garry Rucklidge, Merlin Rocket
5th Neil Witt, Finn