CVRDA National Rally at Clywedog.
The 2017 CVRDA ‘Nationals’ was held at Clywedog sailing club in the middle of Wales over the Bank Holiday weekend, very ably hosted by Keith and Sue Rollinson with brother David running the races.
From Friday afternoon until Sunday morning more and more boats arrived to this beautiful spot, having travelled from Scotland, Cornwall and Belgium, with two German International Canoe sailors visiting on their way back from the Worlds in Pwllheli. The CVRDA caters for boats built before 1985 to a pre-1965 design as well as ‘lost classes’ where there’s no longer a class association or class racing and within this latter grouping a strong group of enthusiastic International Moth sailors attended, all sailing ‘low riders’ with Lyndon Beasley’s beautifully restored Stockholm Sprite competing against a selection of more modern Magnums. We had a huge variety of boats competing including Merlins, Finns, Wayfarers, Enterprises, Flying Fifteens, an Osprey and International 14 and 4 International Canoes. The oldest boat was Neil and Paul Wylie’s National 12 number 33, built in 1936. Together with the 4 Canoes we had the largest number of ‘planks’ seen for a while with Roger Devereaux’s beautiful and original Hornet from 1956 and Amy Barlow’s TOY, within a fleet totalling 27 boats.
The racing started off with a practice race which Race Officer David Rollinson used as a ‘learn the lake’ event. In light winds we reached and ran right down to the bottom of the lake then learnt the position of most of the buoys on the way back. Peter Vinton in his wooden Finn led the way down the lake and then managed to pick his way back among the patches of breeze to stay ahead of Paul HIgnett in his International Moth. Conditions were similar for the second day’s sailing with various patches of breeze from different directions across the course. 2 races were managed in between the calm spells and in both Chris and Lois Barlow led the way for most of the race in their Jack Holt Merlin Spriteful, number 507. At the end of the day 2 very different boats were tied on points, Lyndon’s Moth and Peter’s Finn, each with a first and second place. Despite the light breezes of the day the Moth fleet were doing what they liked best, boat repairing!
Monday promised more wind and the forecast was correct. In a lovely breeze which built slightly during the day and under sunny skies 3 more races were held to complete the series. Most boats were planing at some stage and the gusts were sufficient to give some hairy moments. In the first race 3 International canoes demonstrated the shifty conditions with Ed Bremner and the 2 German visitors all signalling a large header by splashing in to windward in unison, with only Emma Grigall recovering without swimming to head away to a big lead. Paul Hignett had by now figured out the effect of the secret CVRDA formula which was giving an advantage to Peter’s Finn with its original wooden mast and realised he had to be a long way ahead to compensate for the penalty he was being given for his more modern Magnum Moth with a carbon mast, so he powered off on the reaches at great speed to lead by a long way to give him 3 first places from the day. Amy Barlow was also enjoying the breeze, sailing her TOY very effectively from the end of the sliding seat both upwind and down the reaches to be up in the leading bunch in all 3 races.
Overall Peter Vinton just won by one point from Paul Hignett’s Moth and took the first Classic prize (built before 1965), Lyndon was 3rd and 1st ‘old boat’ and Paul and Neil were first vintage boat in their National 12 which did extremely well, completing all races. Amy beat a wide range of GRP boats ranging from Enterprises to Flying Fifteens and an Osprey to claim the prize for first ‘plastic boat’.
Submitted by Peter Vinton
Photos by Mick Edwards