Cowes

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Chris B
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Cowes

Post by Chris B » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:58 pm

Just been reading about future national rallies and its got me thinking wildly!

Wouldn't it be lovely to hold a CVRDA event to celebrate Uffa Fox at Cowes sometime. I'd lovely to sail in and out of the Medina!

Yes I know it's a lovely idea but probably impractical due to the cost of the ferry and getting everyone over and back - but what an idea!

No good doing it unless a good number want to go though.

Probably impractical but................

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Ed
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Re: Cowes

Post by Ed » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:30 pm

Well of course......it is certainly possible....

...but we have done it, when Mike Dixon put on the Uffa Fox Centenary Regatta from East Cowes. What year was that? it was the year before the first CVRDA rally....so 1998.

It was fun......but to be honest, it didn't feel like the very best place for a dinghy event. There are just so many boats going in and out of the Medina, some very fast, some pretty ignorant, and very few with any real understanding of dinghies, let alone 50 year old dinghies. But it was a very enjoyable event, not least due to us having 3 Jollyboats on the water racing.

We decided then that if we returned to IoW, then it might be better to go somewhere like Gurnard.

It is also quite expensive. We camped over in East Cowes, which was OK.

Personally, if we were considering a trip.....I would more rather encourage an event in Scotland, France....or Ireland. We were once offered a regatta in Dun Laoghaire, alongside the Water Wags who were having their 'Worlds' :-) Even with free transport for boats on offer....free accommodation.....and Guiness served on tap, on the water between races, we couldn't get enough interest to give it a go. I thought it was a real pity, would of loved to do it.

eib
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Re: Cowes

Post by neil » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:43 pm

From the paper we had at the Royal Institute of Naval Architects Conference on Historic Ships in 2007

The 1950s and 1960s can be considered as halcyon days in terms of racing dinghy design, building and ownership. Traditional classes such as the Merlin Rocket, National 12, International 14 and Firefly were soon joined by a growing number of new classes such as the Flying Fifteen, Mirror, Solo, Scorpion, Hornet, Fairey Jollyboat and Osprey.

Since then, the advancements in design and building techniques have led to a number of new racing dinghy classes being developed by the large manufacturers such as the Laser, Topper and RS, alongside smaller manufacturers producing small numbers of boats.

In many cases, this has lead to a demise in the popularity of the older classes of racing dinghy which in turn has led to less organised racing for these classes (such as open meetings and national championships) outside of the usual sailing club racing.

It was this lack of organised racing against the same or similar classes of dinghy that encouraged the inception of the Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association (CVRDA). Ed Bremner, founder of the CVRDA, was looking for events where he could race his 18’ Uffa Fox designed Fairey Jollyboat. Normal club open meetings did not suit the Jollyboat as it would be racing against modern sailing dinghies using a Portsmouth Handicap figure based upon the ‘conceived’ estimation of a modern version of the boat and would thus be penalised by its age.

Ed Bremner was not the only owner of an older racing dinghy looking for suitable racing events for their boats and the mid 1990s saw a number of 'classic' regattas being held just for old dinghies.

In 1994-95 Bristol Avon Sailing Club hosted classic dinghy regattas organised by Rupert Whellan and Andrew Thornhill based around his collection of Fairey Dinghies and other International 14s. In 1995 there was the Fairey Marine 50th anniversary regatta at Hamble followed in 1996 by the Bristol Festival of the Sea, which held a classic dinghy show race, and the Shotley Classic Regatta run by the Old Gaffers Association.

The original idea for the CVRDA was born at the end of the Uffa Fox Centenary Regatta in 1998. The previous few years had demonstrated that there was an emergence of interest in renovating and racing classic dinghies from the first half of the 20th Century and friendships had been formed. However, there was no event planned for 1999 and a general feeling of “what happens now?” prevailed as participants wanted to retain the momentum created and continue to encourage older, classic dinghies to race together again.

The previous classic regattas had been one-off events and a loose collective of enthusiastic classic dinghy owners had started to emerge and two requirements came to the forefront. The first was to hold the first national championships for many years for the 14’ 6’’ Uffa Fox designed Pegasus dinghy; the second was to try and get examples of dinghies built by Fairey Marine to race together. These initial objectives stemmed from the great interest in Uffa Fox designs and because the events that had introduced the original members were all mainly for Fairey Marine built boats.

A suggestion was put forward to hold this first event in 1999 at Roadford Lake in Devon, which was supported by both South West Lakes Trust and the Roadford Lake Sailing Club. It soon became apparent that it would prove difficult to have any worthwhile racing for just the Pegasus class, Uffa Fox designs and Fairey Marine boats so it was decided to open the event to racing dinghies designed before 1965 and more than 25 years old.
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Re: Cowes

Post by davidh » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:02 pm

All,

If a pukka event is being organised on the Island, then as long as it is not one of the peak Bank Holiday weekends, the ferry operators are, in the main, open to organising a 'deal'. As an example, the Contenders often come to Bembridge and in doing so, get a really good offer for their crossing. So, it could be done.

There is though a big difference between 'could be done' and 'should be done'. I'm in total agreement that Cowes itself is hardly dinghy friendly (even well found modern dinghies) and though Gurnard is much better, any breeze at all would probably be a test too far for many of our older boats (if you thought Netley was boisterous, this is an order of magnitude more so).

There is though so much more to this topic. It is very easy to end up overstating the role played by Uffa Fox; most of his best work was pre-war and by the 1950s, his designs were pretty much being eclipsed by those of Holt and Proctor. One only had to look at the events this year (certainly Hunts and Roadford, to date the best supported of our meetings) to see now that the Fox boats that made up the CVRDA back in the early days are now very much in the minority. However, the idea of a 'themed' meeting has so much to recommend it, this should be a topic for discussion at the AGM (or afterwards aided by a pint or two). As has been demonstrated already, trying to get any form of promotion for an event is hard. Put a theme in there and you have so much more in the way of opportunity.

So here's a thought! If someone pulls together a Fox themed event somewhere, I'll build one of the 'big' articles around it. I'd been thinking of doing something on the Fairey boats anyway, so it could be done. In that case, Hamble would be the obvious choice and, for those that want to, there is the option of the cross solent sail into the Medina. But if we do Fox, then we should also be thinking of Proctor and others.....surely this is the CVRDA playing to the strengths that we have within the association.

Just had another thought! Run an event at Hamble River, then organise a 'Blue star' (the local pleasure boat company) for their launch to take us to east Cowes for the evening and a talk on Fox and Fairey Marine in the Maritime Museum there.

D
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Re: Cowes

Post by Ed » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:33 pm

Yes, I would prefer an event in Hamble....

But do remember that again, we have already done this, with the Fairey Marine 50th anniversary regatta at Hamble Point run by MDL in 1997.

Again, one of the regattas that established the need and original core of people that went on to become the CVRDA.

The fact that two of the main classic dinghy events that pre-date the CVRDA were aniversaries of Fox and Fairey of course goes some of the way to explain any original favouring of Fox/Fairey boats in the early days of CVRDA.

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chris
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Re: Cowes

Post by chris » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:36 pm

and the Proctor event that was to be run in Falmouth (?) (don't know who was organising that but it wasn't CVRDA) was cancelled early due to lack of support.

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Re: Cowes

Post by davidh » Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:35 pm

Chris,

The Falmouth 'non'event' is best left as just that. Ask me at Clwyedog (better still, bribe me with a pint) and I'll tell all.

D
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Re: Cowes

Post by Chrisrjwood » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:02 pm

David,

I will probably be taking the I14 down to Bosham as the jolly is in need of a bit of tlc before it gets another Roadford type thrashing...

It would be good if we could encourage some more classic 14s to go.

I know you are keen on getting more 'big' boats involved, perhaps you could put some feelers out?
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Re: Cowes

Post by davidh » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:45 pm

CHris,

as things stand right now I'll be working at Bosham - covering the event and probably judging the concours. It is probably too late in the day to get much done for this event but for next year...you'll have nessa and Aggie to play with.

Regarding the 'bigger boat' scene, the word is that the Classic 505 wing is now active, they will indeed have a classic worlds at Weymouth in 2016, so I would expect to see some of them at events such as Bosham and - Blithfield/Roadford.

D
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Re: Cowes

Post by Chrisrjwood » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:33 pm

Yes, come on Nessa, give us all an update on Aggie :D
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Rouse I14 'Brown Trousers' K1094
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Pegasus 187 'Fan'
Uffa Fox I14 Nymph K524 (under restoration)

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Re: Cowes

Post by chris » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:57 pm

Unfortunately I have work that weekend.
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Nessa
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Re: Cowes

Post by Nessa » Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:53 pm

No recent news, but Chris has said the boat won't be ready for Bosham. I couldn't be there anyway, think I'm taking something considerably more modern to Holland.
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