Over the weekend of 15-16 September, the third Hamble Classics Regatta hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, was another stunning success with 75 classic and spirit of tradition yachts entered for two days of racing in sunshine and breeze. Building on the success of the two previous regattas, there were entries from as far afield as Falmouth and Ipswich, with some boats returning for the intense but well-spirited racing, and others simply to enjoy the fun.
With the Hamble Classics fleet as diverse as ever, from Ian Armstrong’s 16 foot Herreshoff 12.5 Gloriana up to Michael Hough’s 65 foot Chloe Giselle, this was the largest of five Spirit yachts contesting the increasingly high profile IRC Zero class. Of the smaller boats, David and Sue Pennison’s new home-built Satellite caught the attention of the Concours judges, while the sight of sails being hoisted on the big classic gaffers, Aeolus, Jolie Brise, Peggy Bawn and Thalia served up a big helping of purest nostalgia.
Dovetailing neatly between two low-pressure weather systems there was more breeze than predicted for the Saturday racing, sponsored as usual by Spinlock, and less than the 20 knots that some had been expecting on Sunday, so both days delivered the finest of Solent racing conditions.
With 20 boats new to the event this year and a perfect forecast for Saturday’s river finish to complete the first day’s racing, the Principal Race Officer, Peter Bateson, gave a detailed briefing before the fleet headed out to the two start line areas, Red Line and Green Line, dividing the fleet into the larger and smaller yachts.
The gentle flood tide would deliver the fleet back to the Royal Southern Yacht Club and the smaller boats on the Green Line, under the direction of Stephen Parry, were sent into the river to finish under spinnaker just 200 metres south of the club’s Prince Philip Yacht Haven. This included the three dayboat classes, XOD, Dragon and 6-Metres, plus the Regatta 2 class and smaller gaffers. Each of the Concours d’Elegance winners were given an engraved glass keeper prize and bottles of Joseph Perrier Champagne. The four Concours winners were:
Concours d’Elegance – ultimate condition – the top prize
Ampere – 1939 John Nicholson designed Xyris Class 30ft Sloop
Owner Nik Kidd
Concours d’Authenticite – condition and originality
Peggy Bawn – 1896 G.L. Watson designed Gaff Cutter
Owner Hal Sisk
Best presented GRP yacht
Mandarina – 1968 Tord Sunden designed International Folkboat
Owner Christine Hughes
Best Spirit of Tradition – New Category
Satellite – 2018 Roger Dongray designed Golant Gaffer
Owners David and Sue Pennison
Full race results at: www.royal-southern.co.uk/sailing/sailing-results