Pre-registrations – We currently have 104 boats pre-registered for this summer’s regatta – that’s wonderful, and they are still coming in.
There is a good balance between the classes with 57 pre-1969 designs eligible for classes 1&2 and 47 later designs and production boats in class 3. 67 have done the regatta at least once before and 37 are first time entrants – it’s good to see so many previous entrants coming back for more, but equally good to have so many new faces. There are 24 from France and one each from Belgium and Holland, that’s more from France than last time, but not so many yet from further north.
No doubt a few of these will not confirm their entry, but then others will come on board to fill the gaps, so it looks like ending up at around one hundred boats – the biggest entry ever.
You can see this great collection of boats at http://www.classic-channel-regatta.eu/2017-regatta/boats-2017/
The largest boat pre-registered so far is the Brixham Trawler ‘Provident’, well known to many as one of the mainstays of the Island Cruising Club in Salcombe for many years and now run by Trinity Sailing out of Brixham. The smallest for the whole regatta is the Holman designed Stella class ‘Lodestar’ which is returning after making a fast and rugged passage across the Channel in a force 6-7 in the 2015 regatta.
Yacht ‘Polar Bear’ owned by yachting journalist Miranda Delmar-Morgan is hoping to have an all female crew and hopefully Miranda will be writing an article on the regatta for Classic Boat magazine. It would be great to have more all girl crews – any takers?
The entry forms will be going out by email to all pre-registered yachts in the next couple of weeks – we are aiming to get them out by the middle of April.
The entry fees will, for the first time, be variable according to the size of boat – which seems a fairer way to do it. The fees for the whole regatta based on length on deck will be:
Less than 9 metres – £140
9 to less than 12 metres – £170
12 to less than 17 metres – £210
17 metres and over – £240
These fees include free berthing for up to two nights in Dartmouth, the night in St Peter Port and up to five nights in Paimpol, so they once again represent very good value.
We will also be requiring all crew members to become members of the CRAB Association this time (previously it was just the skippers). The subscription is just £5 (5 Euros) and lasts for two years until the next regatta. In our wonderfully democratic world the members of the CRAB association are the owners of the regatta and each have a vote on how the regatta should be run. The General Meeting of the CRAB Association will be held on the Monday morning of the regatta in Dartmouth.
Crew & Boat Finder – If you are a skipper looking for crew, or crew looking for a boat to sail on in the regatta – then have a look at our crew and boat finder on the website at: http://www.classic-channel-regatta.eu/crew-boat-finder/
The Classic Young Sailors Bursary Scheme we are setting up is moving forward and will be supporting the crew of White Dolphin run by the French charitable association ‘Les Amis de Jeudi Dimanche’ who do great work helping rehabilitate young people who have had drug problems.
We are keen to encourage many more young people to take part, so do please think of trying to include some young people in your crew. And if you know anyone between the ages of 18 and 25 who would not be able to come without some financial help they can apply to the fund for support.
One boat has already told us the average age of her crew will be 72, but I suspect they won’t be the oldest, so we need more young crews to counter-balance these old salts!
Crew suppers – With so many boats pre-registered there may well be pressure on the number of places available at the crew suppers in Dartmouth and Paimpol. We can accommodate about 400 crews at each supper, so we hope to be able to fit everyone in, but places will be allocated on a first to book basis. Booking for suppers is done on the entry form, so the earlier boats get their confirmed entry in the better.
The supper at Dartmouth will be in the delightful Old Market Square as before and we’ll again have a jazz band playing. The supper in Paimpol will again be in the Salle de Fetes on the quayside. There will be music and it will be followed by the town’s Bastille Day fireworks. (It’s interesting to note that the name Bastille Day seems to be a totally British invention, the French simply call it their Fete Nationale.)
Arrangements for the evening in St Peter Port will be different this time as the regatta will be passing through instead of finishing there as in previous years. There will an early evening reception in Guernsey Yacht Club for all crews, then everyone will be free to eat where they like – and the yacht club will be one of the options with space for about 100 – before a party back at the yacht club later in the evening (for which we have re-booked the very popular all ladies ukulele band Ukaladeez who played in 2015).
Thursday night in Lezardrieux is something new. Unfortunately we can’t get everyone eating under one roof there, but the yacht club on the quay (which in fact isn’t a real yacht club any more, but just a bar and restaurant) is going to put up a marquee to extend its capacity to accommodate about 200. There are one or two other restaurant options in Lezardrieux (one, Le Auberge de Trieux, has a Michelin star) and there will also be a taxi shuttle service back to Paimpol – and of course there’s always the option to cook on board and either eat on board or bring it ashore for an inpromtu ‘bring you own’ supper on the quayside where there’ll be a second marquee we can use (put up for another regatta for Muscadet class yachts who will be in Paimpol that night). Competing crews will be given more information on all these options and hoot book after confirming their entry.
Epilogue Day – The regatta proper finishes on Friday night in Paimpol, but we want to encourage boats not to rush away unless they have to – so we hope most boats will plan to stay over for at least a day, if not more, and we are designating Saturday ‘Epilogue Day’ as the official winding down day in Paimpol. The town is offering free berthing to any regatta boats staying over on Saturday and Sunday nights and it is a great little town to explore and soak up the atmosphere, so do take up their offer if you can. We will be laying on a number of excursions and guided tours of the town and its maritime museum on the Saturday – more information on these will also be sent to boats once they have confirmed their entry.
Oh Joy! – Fitting out time is here again – the sweet smell of tung oil and wet varnish should be in the air now that Spring is well and truly here, so we wish you well with your fitting out – and if you are coming to the regatta, we look forward to welcoming you to Dartmouth and Paimpol in July.
With best wishes
Bruce & all the Regatta Organising Team.