Frensham Pond Sailing Club, Surrey
July 15th and 16th 2006
Hot sun and good breezes made a perfect setting for the most colourful event of Frenham Pond Sailing Club’s summer season. A festival of vintage sailing dinghies took to the water for a four race series over the weekend 15th – 16th July. The scene, almost a time-warp, brought back memories of how the water looked in the early days of the sailing club, when boats were wooden, as were their masts, with sails made of fine Egyptian cotton. The event run jointly by Frensham and the Classic and Vintage Dinghy Association attracted twenty three entries of whom twenty took to the water
The oldest boat, Merlin Class No 6, built in 1946 is an early example of the type of craft from which the modern racing boat has evolved. Also taking part were vintage National Twelve dinghies; the class raced at Frensham for ten years from the club’s foundation in 1953. Racing took place in a relaxed manner with results computed around a handicap system, based on the yardstick of the individual boat when it was built. This resulted in a clear series win for Rupert Whelan, sailing the smallest boat in the fleet, a plywood British Moth; a design familiar to Frensham in the 1950s.
Other designs included a New Zealand Cherub class, as well as old favourites still raced such as the 1950s Enterprise.
Examples ashore on show included: an International Fourteen dinghy and most exotic of all a Ten Square Metre sailing canoe.
Frensham club commodore, Nick Royce, thanked all visitors who had travelled from near and far and paid special tribute to former commodore, Charles Smith who organised the event and did the complicated mathematics to arrive at the results.