A regatta to celebrate 100 years of the International 12 Foot Dinghy Class

World Cup Venice_2

Sylvia - built 1920 hanneke gilissen big

Main photo: the 2011 International 12 Foot World Cup racing at Venice, attracted over 100 entries from 10 (photo: James Robinson Taylor); Sylvia, built in Switzerland in the 1920s; recent Dutch championships (photo: Hanneke Gilissen)

West Kirby Sailing Club and the International 12 Foot Dinghy Class are expecting 30 or so boats to take part in a special regatta this summer to celebrate the centenary of the class’s first regatta in 1913.

There is information about the event here.

The first recorded regatta took place on the Marine Lake at West Kirby, Merseyside, on the 4th October 1913. The club had just taken delivery of a fleet of six 12 Foot Dinghies, and decided to publicise the class by inviting representatives of twelve sailing clubs from the north west of England to take part in an inaugural regatta.

The winner was Thunderer, which represented 12 Foot Dinghy designer George Cockshott’s own sailing club, the Southport Corinthians.

Cockshott himself was present and crewed in the boat representing Rhyl Sailing Club. One of the original 12 Footers, the recently restored Royal Oak, is still at West Kirby.

Elsewhere in the UK, a number of old boats are being restored for the event and several new boats are under construction.

This summer’s regatta takes place on on the 28th-30th June 2013. Most boats will be travelling from the Netherlands, but there will also be competitor boats from Germany, Switzerland, France and Ireland. Racing will take place on the Dee Estuary and on the Marine Lake – the scene of the 1913 event.

Several members of the Cockshott family will be present as guests.

The Merseyside club is also home to another of George Cockshott’s designs, the West Kirby Star class.

Boat Racing Association A-Class One Design Dinghy specifications and drawings

A-Class one design dinghy specification

A-Class one design dinghy specification

Brian Smith has sent in interesting scans of the specification for the delightful Boat Racing Association A-Class One Design Dinghy, which I gather is a very close relative to the International 12. I’ll let him tell the story:

‘Hi Gav,

‘I attach drawings and specifications of the BRA 12ft dinghy as published in the Yachtsman of 12 June 1913, which could be of interest to your readers as I believe they were little changed for the International 12ft dinghy class.

George Cockshott [the designer of the International 12] was a frequent and sometimes successful entrant in design competitions in the Yachtsman and Yachting Monthly, although it is not certain that any of those designs were ever built. The 12ft dinghy design was the result of a competition run by the BRA. Cockshott may have been inspired by the 12ft restricted class sailed at Hoylake, West Kirby and Rhyl. The design does seem to have been influenced by the class.

‘The largest yacht designed by Cockshott appears to have been the 19 tons TM Nautilus II built by R Lathom at Crossens, near Southport in 1902.

‘Hope this is of interest,


Thanks Brian – it certainly is. I love all that old-fashioned specification stuff: ‘The whole of each boat, inside and out, to be varnished four coats best yacht varnish. (Or, if desired by the owner, the bottom to be painted three coats and finished with anitfouling composition or enamel externally, and to be painted three coats internally). The name or number to be written in gold leaf and shaded, on the transom or as may be required.

For a post on George Cockshott’s International 12 dinghy, click here.