Bosham's Boat Revival is a Classic - report and pictures

The Revival made for some spectacular sights on the water / Picture by Chris Hatton
The Revival made for some spectacular sights on the water / Picture by Chris Hatton

Classic sailing dinghies, some almost 100 years old, enjoyed ideal conditions in Chichester Harbour for the ninth Bosham Sailing Club Classic Boat Revival.

A total of 53 boats from nine sailing clubs took part, with some dinghies travelling from as far as the Netherlands.

Action at the Bosham Classic Boat Revival / Picture by Chris Hatton

Action at the Bosham Classic Boat Revival / Picture by Chris Hatton

Bosham SC’s annual regatta and Concours d’Elegance event for classic dinghies has become a firm favourite with dinghy sailors everywhere.

This year’s classic celebration was made extra special by a showdown between International 12s and Axe One Designs, both wooden clinker-built 12ft dinghies with illustrious histories.

Designed in Liverpool in 1913, the International 12 was the first-ever one-design Olympic sailing boat, chosen to compete in its own class in the 1920 and 1928 Olympics. Today the International 12, still barely changed after more than a century, is a popular single-handed sailing boat sailed across the globe.

Two International 12s from Holland competed in the Classic Boat Revival. For “Admiral” Bert Hamminga and his 1924 International 12 – one of the oldest boats competing this year – the journey was worth it.

Action at the Bosham Classic Boat Revival / Picture by Chris Hatton

Action at the Bosham Classic Boat Revival / Picture by Chris Hatton

“This was the first time I have raced my own boat in Chichester Harbour and it was very fine sailing, for me, the best sailing weekend of the year so far,” said Bert.

Hamminga is the force behind a new world association for the International 12 to reflect its enduring popularity. Fleets of International 12s now regularly compete in Holland, Belgium, France, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Japan as well as Bosham wher local sailor Doug Branson is an ardent supporter.

So impressed was he with the sailing in Chichester Harbour and the support of Bosham SC that he is now planning to make Bosham the venue for a major regatta in 2021, with 40 boats from across Europe expected to take part.

Over the five races of Revival weekend, the Axe One Designs – a faster 1951-designed boat – proved to have the measure of the International 12s.
Steve Daniel from the Royal Southampton YC was first overall in class in his Axe One Design. Second in Axe One Design number one was Nigel Daniel from the Axe YC in Devon, the club for which the boat was originally designed. Bert Hamminga brought his International 12 home third overall in class.

Action at the Bosham Classic Boat Revival / Picture by Chris Hatton

Action at the Bosham Classic Boat Revival / Picture by Chris Hatton

In a fast fleet made up of mainly of 18s, with a sprinkling of Jollyboats, Sharpies and a Merlin Rocket, Bosham’s Richard Stirrup, Dave Hall and Jono Prosser emerged victorious in their 80-year-old National 18.

The medium fleet of mainly Yachting World Dayboats and Devon Yawls was won by Alastair and Jacqui Seaton in their YW Dayboat, while honours in the slow fleet went to Bosham’s Hugh Ambery in a Tideway.

Winner of the Concours d’Elegance for the best turned-out classic dinghy was Poole YC’s Colin Blewett’s stunning self built International 12.

The regatta was sponsored by McAfee, Verisona Law, Pusser’s Rum.

Action at the Bosham Classic Boat Revival / Picture by Chris Hatton

Action at the Bosham Classic Boat Revival / Picture by Chris Hatton

See coverage of the Bosham Classic Boat Revival in this week's Observer