July 14th – 15th was Frensham’s fifth annual rally and racing weekend for classic and vintage racing dinghies. Eighteen entries took part including; seven Merlins, five National Twelves, two original Enterprise, a Firefly, Graduate, OK, International 14 and a New Zealand registered Cherub. Three handicap races took place over two days of very different conditions.
On Saturday afternoon the course was sailed in a moderate westerly breeze alongside the regular club racing. With nearly forty boats on this small sheet of water close encounters provided extra excitement but no problems.
On Sunday the wind had moved southeast and light, with a threat of thunder never far away. Two races were sailed with David Croft’s National 12 taking the event prize.
But racing apart, this meeting was all about boats and the dedicated owners and families who have restored them. Conversations ranged around sails and rigs, authentic wood and fittings. One National 12 dated from the 1940s and the Merlins included two original high rig versions and an early Rocket.
Boats had in fact trailed from all parts of the UK, the furthest being from Forfar in Scotland. Tribute was paid to the weekend’s organisers, Charles Smith and Nick Clibborn. All agreed that this event is now firmly on the vintage sailing circuit.
Best preserved boat – National 12, 1657, Brian Kitching
Furthest travelled – Gary Ruckledge (Forfar YC)
Youngest Helm – John Hay
1st National 12, 2935, David Croft (Frenchall SC)
2nd National 12, 1657, Brian Kitching (Frampton SC)
3rd Merlin Rocket, 507, Chris Barlow (Shearwater SC)