To acknowledge our forthcoming 50th Anniversary and the anniversary of the design date Royal London Yacht Club in Cowes issued an invitation to take part in Cowes Classics Week between 20 and 25 July. Richard Pickance (Thousand Knights) and Mike and Barbara Harrison (Jiminy Cricket) both entered and enjoyed a splendid week of sailing and socialising. Around 160 boats entered including a large XOD class. Due to the RYS bi - centenary event both Cowes Classics Week and the Panerai Classic Week were both held in the same week this year, and with some large classics visiting for the RYS event there were some wonderful sights on the Solent.
RLYC and supporting clubs did a very good job indeed of the race administration on and off the water. They impressively ran 4 start / finish areas for the various fleets and worked in conjunction with the Panerai courses, with complete separation. The racing erred on the short side with 1 race per day but an objective of the week for the cruiser classes is to run a comparatively relaxed format. We joined the small below 30ft cruiser class which benefited from keen racing with some good boats and sailors. Stiff breezes as with so many 2015 events were the order of the day. The classic boat handicap system was not particularly kind to the 26s but this was expected (how many times are 26s scratch boats level rating with a Folkboat amongst a batch of boats around 28 feet ?) but it was not extreme. The class was won by a well sailed Folkboat with Jiminy Cricket second and Thousand Knights in a solid mid fleet position. Richards performance improved on a daily basis and he was very pleased with this.
The week is sponsored principally by Charles Stanley (with a number of other sponsors) and as a result of this the Entry fee is reasonable (comparatively) and there are a number of complimentary events including daily tea and cake, evening and drinks receptions at different clubs in Cowes.
All in all an excellent five days and the Contessa 26s have been invited again next year. More will follow in the way of information, and it’s definitely an enjoyable event to consider taking part in.