Mermaids have raced at Seaview for over a century, with the first fleet of gaff-rigged boats built in 1907.
They were replaced in 1922 by a more modern Bermudan-rig boat, designed by Alfred Westmacott and built at Woodnutt’s Yard in St Helens. The boats have since been replaced twice - once in 1962 and again in the late 1990’s.
After the Second World War, the Seaview Yacht Club purchased the fleet from the various owners and since that time has chartered them to members and to corporate clients.
The fleet is well known throughout the south coast waters as each boat is painted in a different colour and sports a spinnaker to match.
The Seaview Mermaids join Cowes Classics Week for one day's racing during their adult training week, when one of the committee boat race circuits moves further to the east to accommodate the fleet. There is usually a passage race from Seaview to the race area, followed by 2 or 3 windward-leeward races, and a return passage race. With dispensation given to allow training boats on the water just for this fleet, Cowes Classics Week provides a wonderful opportunity for the training week participants to put into practice all that they have learnt.
Photo: Courtesy Sail Mermaids, Sea View Yacht Club.