Author: Jim Morley (from Y&Y website)
Date: 09:45 20 July 2004
The weekend at Frensham Pond was one for wallowing in nostalgia. This was the club’s annual rally and open event sponsored by the Classic & Vintage Racing Dinghy Association (CVRDA).
Twelve boats were assembled dating from the nineteen-thirties to the sixties. All were built of wood and members were able to marvel at the craftsmanship. As one visitor put it. ‘These boats were built like boats and not glued like plastic baths.’
The oldest craft was an Uffa-King design National Twelve-Foot dinghy, built by Wooton Boats in 1937, when the class rules had a price limit of fifty pounds. Other entries included: a rare Leader Class dinghy, a 1950 original high-rig Merlin, a nineteen-fifties National Twelve, a 1968 Solo, a British Moth, a nineteen-sixties Olympic Finn, an OK, and two Fireflies.
The boats competed in a four race series. On the Saturday several raced with original Egyptian-cotton sails, only to be totally outclassed by those with modern synthetics. On the Sunday all were racing with synthetics. The weather was far kinder than the forecast, with light winds, and the occasional gust to liven things up. The race officers were faced with calculating the final result using Portsmouth yardsticks from decades past. After much number crunching, the event was won by a Firefly sailed by Rupert Whelan from Whitefriars SC, followed by local Frensham Helm Nick Clibborn in his beautifully restored Finn.
Furthest travelled visitor was from Clywedog SC, in Wales.
1st Firefly 2324, Rupert Whelan, Whitefriars SC
2nd Finn 60, Nick Clibborn, Frensham
3rd OK 1211, Alan Price, Hayling Ferry SC
4th British Moth 515, M. Collyer, Chippenham