A championship for everybody!

Following a generous invitation from the Contessa 32 class to hold some joint racing in the Solent in 2012 it has been agreed that a Contessa 26 National championship will be held.
The Contessa 26 representatives consulted Fiona Rogers about a format and it turned out that after more than 40 years on the racing scene that this will be the first National Championship for the class.
A championship for everybody!
Whilst there are a number of CO26 owners who race, many are occasional racers or prefer cruising, so this event has been designed to make it easy for all to take part.
  • The event will be a racing rally!A non-spinnaker division for those who prefer to race without one
  • Both CO26 divisions will start at the same time and sail the same course but each division will have their own results.
  • There will be a class handicapping system to accommodate the many varied versions of a CO26 and their “cruising rigs”
  • A Race Officer will hold a competitors briefing each morning for the occasional racers to ask any questions.

There will be a full joint social programme with the Contessa 32 class based at LTSC including the option to join one of the CO32 class’s famous pontoon parties.Mike Harrison the CO26 Owner charged with forging the link between the two Contessa classes and masterminding the CO26 participation said “ we are delighted with the way the discussions with our big brother class have gone, we have the same issues and opportunities and by organising a joint event we can both benefit from larger numbers”.
Barry Sticklen sailing secretary of LTSC said, ” having the two classes working together means our resources are used more efficiently and we are honoured that the first CO26 Nationals will be in the boats spiritual home of Lymington”
Mark Oliver a Cowes based CO32 owner first mooted the idea of joint events at the classes pontoon party in Cowes in the summer of 2011 said “sometimes ideas that sound good after a Pimms or two go nowhere, this one has really sparked something off, I am delighted!”
 The racing rally is a cross between a full blown traditional national championships and a rally, the event is designed to accommodate serious racers, those who do well in the RIR for example and those who like to race but prefer to stay off the foredeck!
The racing programme will include 4 races, one round the cans on Friday, then two windward / leeward courses on Saturday followed by one final race on Sunday with the prize giving afterwards on Sunday at the LTSC. The CO32 class hold 5 races but we believe that four is more appropriate for the CO26 class.
Moorings have been provisionally booked for both classes very conveniently on Dan Bran pontoon familier to those who  visited Lymington for the rally last year.
There are no current one-design class rules for the CO26 and as some of the boats differ (e.g. fixed or feathering props, elaborate fitted interiors and cruising gear), we will apply a class handicap system.
The Race Documents and Entry forms will be available soon and further information and news will appear on the website www.contessa26.net