96 boats took part in the 4th regatta – a record number again as numbers have increased each year and new classes have attended - “it is now very much in our DNA, especially for the best helms who love the challenge” (Jos Coad, Bembridge OD), “an absolute must-do event for the Darings” (David Gower, Daring).
This year, a small fleet of Loch Longs from Aldeburgh and the Clyde joined as a preview to celebrating their 75th Anniversary in 2012, almost every Daring afloat was there and every other fleet was up on numbers. Both the Solent Sunbeams from Itchenor and the Bembridge One Designs sailed a passage race to the event – now an annual event.
The X One Design class was celebrating their Centenary and the Daring class their Half-Century – significant milestones and testament to the appeal of keelboat racing between some highly experienced and successful sailors.
The Regatta started with very light winds, but later in the week fresher breezes enabled the Race Officers to complete the series. The Royal Victoria Yacht Club Pursuit Race was sailed in dying breezes and had to be shortened, so was won by a Bembridge One Design, but provided ample opportunity to admire boats from other classes in close proximity and further develop the classic keelboat community.
A characteristic of the Regatta is separate Committee Boats and race tracks for each class and this is clearly appreciated – comments such as "One of the joys of sailing the regatta is that the waters are not too congested and gives the boats plenty of space to go yacht racing in the Solent.” (Julian Money, Sunbeam) and “our race officer was brilliant at getting us racing in very difficult conditions” (Diana Wilson, X One Design) are gratifying as the race officers strive to provide the best racing of any event. And they continued to be useful – “were extremely grateful to the race officers who towed us all back to Cowes when the wind died” (Jos Coad, Bembridge OD). Thursday was Harken Race Day and provided some of the best sailing all week.
Sarah Treseder, CEO , RYA presenting the Queen Victoria Cup to the XOD winners. The Queen Victoria Cup is presented to any class celebrating an anniversary. Next year it will be competed for by the Loch Longs.
Winners: Bembridge One Design: Roy Burrows; Daring: Giles Peckham; Loch Long: Mark Bradshaw; Sunbeam: Anthony Robinson; XOD: Ado Jardine
Apart from the racing, it is a characteristic of the Regatta that ample opportunity exists to meet with the other competitors – tea and cakes after racing, drinks receptions and suppers each evening in each of the participating Cowes Clubs (Royal London YC, Royal Corinthian YC, Island SC and Cowes Corinthian SC). As Jonathan “Binnie” Evans (Loch Long) said “the sailing similarities of the Solent and the Clyde were evident to the Loch Long class but the azure of the Solent waters and Caribbean atmosphere of the partying were excitingly new”. The XOD and Daring Classes held a reception to celebrate their anniversaries.
Dates for 2012 were agreed at a meeting of Class Reps during the Regatta and confirmed at a general vote during prize-giving, the dates for 2012 have been confirmed as 23 - 27 July 2012.
Record number of entries for the XOD Centenary
This is a week later than originally proposed and immediately adjacent to the Olympics to shorten the proximity to Cowes Week (which will be held immediately after the Olympics), avoid course clashes with the 8mR Worlds and benefit from smaller tides as well as allow the Loch Longs to hold their 75th Anniversary at the Regatta. We are expecting to break the attendance record again as more classes are expected – “We look forward to next year’s regatta and will have more boats participating as other helms in the Class learn what they are missing by not coming” (Jos Coad, Bembridge OD)