The 2011 Plymouth Classics 29th July to 1st August

Plymouth Classics 2010, photo by Jane Bryan http://www.pinkfluffysnails.com

Plymouth Classics 2010, photo by Jane Bryan http://www.pinkfluffysnails.com Plymouth Classics 2010, photo by Jane Bryan http://www.pinkfluffysnails.com Plymouth Classics 2010, photo by Jane Bryan http://www.pinkfluffysnails.com

Photos from last year’s Plymouth Classics taken by Jane Bryan. Click on the images for much larger photos

The 2011 Plymouth Classic Boat Rally takes place from Friday the 29th July through to Monday 1st August 2011 at Sutton Harbour and more than 40 boats are expected.

This may be a surprise to some folks, who may remember the event being cancelled at an earlier stage, but it’s now back on thanks to the hard work of long-time supporters and the Devon Gaffers, and the help of Sutton Harbour.

Entries for racing will likely close on the 26th July to enable the race committee to complete their essential handicapping work, so if you’re going please get in touch quickly!

The details are on the Rally’s new website www.plymouthclassics.org.uk.

 

Impressions of the Norfolk Broads, summer 2011, part I: Horning to Horsey Mere

Broads trip Horning to Horsea Mere photos 1 Broads trip Horning to Horsea Mere photos 2 Broads trip Horning to Horsea Mere photos 3

Broads trip Horning to Horsea Mere photos 4 Broads trip Horning to Horsea Mere photos 5 Broads trip Horning to Horsea Mere photos 6

Broads trip Horning to Horsea Mere photos 7 Broads trip Horning to Horsea Mere photos 8

My daughter Ella asked to go again to the Norfolk Broads this summer, and I was delighted to be able take her there last week in a 1940s-built sailing cruiser named Twilight, hired from the Broads Yachting Company at Horning.

We had a great time. As local sailor Mark Harvey pointed out, we had some superb weather – at no point were we becalmed and didn’t suffer from too much wind either – and apart from the first night we plenty of sunshine and no rain.

With conditions like these, you won’t be surprised to know that we came back with two cameras full of snaps. This collection are from the first leg of our trip, as we sailed from the business of of Horning to the quaint remoteness of Horsey Mere.

This first first batch include some windmills – one complete with what looked to me like a large and interesting bird, though now I think it was a relatively commonplace cormorant – a brown-hulled Hunter’s Yard half-decker,  a sister ship to Twilight (Twiglet, as one of the yard staff called her, was I’m sure the first of several of the Twilight class built to the same design), a strange house by the River Thurne, and the cut at Horsey.

The English yachting narrative with particular reference to Cornwall

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The English yachting narrative with particular reference to Cornwall

The June 2009 edition of the NMMC journal Troze is now online and and is packed with gems from the history of yachting.

The article in question is titled The English yachting narrative with particular reference to Cornwall and is written by yachtsman and retired clinical psychologist Mike Bender.

Here are some quotations I particularly enjoyed. From the beginnings of yachting:

‘In the reign of Elizabeth I, Richard Ferris decided it would be a atriotic act to show that no Englishman need be afraid of sailing in home waters after the Armada had been defeated in 1588. In 1590, with two companions, he rowed and sailed in a wherry from London to Bristol. He was not molested by the Spaniards but had to take evasive action near Land’s End to avoid a pirate ship.’

That’s a great story, if I ever heard one. Writing of the Corinthian generation of yachtsmen in their small wooden boats in the late 19th Century, Bender concludes:

‘What is interesting in these texts is that they are usually little more than expanded logs and journals, so it must have been the novelty of these passages that made them of such great interest to the contemporary reader, combined with the use of lithographs which invariably show the boat being pitched around in rough seas going round some suitably perpendicular headland. This Romantic imagery obviously appealed to the dreamer in the reader; but there is a self-denying, almost self-flagellating quality, in the self-chosen tussle with the sea in which the sailor engages.’

On women, he writes:

‘There was a long period of resistance before the First World War towards accepting women into yachting and yacht clubs. Sailing by women was feared for giving too much leeway for the dress and freedom of bodily movement required (and hence, being sexually arousing); and as a statement of equality or independence.’

And on the importance of recording the recent past:

‘There is also a certain urgency… If no-one looks for or after them, the historical records of those pre-GRP, pre-GPS endeavours – the accounts, the letters, the contracts, the tools – will soon be lost; and if no-one is interested in taking down the accounts of the sailors who used them, and getting them published in one of the many forms now available, they will take their experiences to the grave, and we will be the poorer thereby.’

This article is well worth reading. Find it here.