Roadford 1999

The Inaugural Rally of the Classic and Vintage Racing Dinghy Association (CVRDA) was held in glorious conditions on Roadford Lake over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The Association, formed in 1998, was the initiative of Ed Bremner to encourage racing and sailing of dinghies designed prior to 1965. His initiative was rewarded by an entry of 36 dinghies. The fleet included a stunning copper-nailed Tideway (whose crew included a Jack Russell!), three sturdy Plymouth Dolphins, an original 1946 Merlin (No 6), and J3, one of the earliest Jollyboat class, designed by Uffa Fox as the fastest reaching mono-hull in the 50’s and early 60’s.

The Saturday afternoon Concours d’Elegance was an impressive sight .The 1948 Olympic single hander Firefly showing deft touches of formation sailing as the five entries ‘ swarmed ‘among the rest of the ‘sail- pass’. The award for best looking dinghy, at such events, tends to be decided by a panel of stern judges, with clipboards, noting fine detail. For this occasion Ed decided all the attending crews should be the judges. Issued with coloured voting ribbons and after considerable deliberation, the ‘Best Looking Boat on the Water’ was a tie between the Plymouth Dolphin, ‘ Valkyrie’ and ‘ Maladicta’, a Jollyboat. The latter conceded immediately to Mark Jones’ Valkyrie in acknowledgement of her impressive crew, his five-year-old daughter, who had trapezed expertly throughout the whole sail -pass!

Sunday and Monday were race days with the light breeze on Sunday favouring the Firefly class and the slightly stronger winds on Monday favouring the Osprey and Jollyboat classes.

The Rally was the opportunity for Pegasus, a 1958 Uffa Fox design, to hold their Nationals. Five dinghies fought a close series to be won ultimately by Andy Hayes and Alison McGregor from Starcross sailing club P48.

The remainder of the dinghies had a great time competing in accordance with the 1963 PY ratings. The Rally winner was Rupert and Katherine Whelan in Firefly 2324. The fastest dinghy over-all was James Platts and Michelle Adderley in Osprey 589.

Following the success of the inaugural rally ,the association looks forward to an expanding event, with more boats on the water next year, at Roadford Lake .

Robert Trythall J332 31st August 99

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