About the Classic Channel Regatta

The Classic Channel Regatta is a unique event with its own distinctive blend of racing, passage making and informal parties. Calling at three of the finest ports in the English Channel it brings together a great collection of classic yachts and their crews to share and celebrate the joy of classic sailing.

The regatta is biennial – the next one will be in 2017 and will run from Saturday July 8 to Saturday July 14. Because the times of high water during the regatta are later in the day than in past years, we are changing the format a bit in 2017 to allow for the later lock opening times at Paimpol. The main changes are that the Classic Channel Race will be in two legs, stopping over in Guernsey on the way to Paimpol; on Thursday night the fleet will be in Lezardrieux; and the regatta will finish in Paimpol on Friday evening.

The regatta will start with two days of racing at Dartmouth Classics Weekend as usual. Then the Classic Channel Race will start from Dartmouth on Monday afternoon with the first leg finishing at St Peter Port during Tuesday – where there will be a party in Guernsey Yacht Club in the evening. The second leg of the Classic Channel Race will set off from there on Wednesday morning and arrive in Paimpol in the evening.

Thursday will be, as usual, the day of the Round Île de Bréhat Race. Boats will lock out of Paimpol in the morning and the race will be followed by a late picnic lunch anchored off Île de Bréhat. Then follows the very popular Danse des Classiques (a new innovation introduced in 2015) in the afternoon before the fleet sails up the Trieux River to Lezardrieux for the night. The town is laying on a supper on the quay for as many crews as they can accommodate and there will be coaches for those wishing to go back to Paimpol (which is only 3km by road) for the evening.

On Friday morning the fleet will sail round to Paimpol where a Grand Parade-of-Sail will enter the harbour as a central part of the town’s July 14th Bastille Day celebrations. The fleet will remain in port during the afternoon and in the evening the regatta will finish with a prizegiving, crew supper and soirée in the town’s Salle des Fêtes followed by the town’s fireworks display.

Saturday will provide an opportunity for those crews not rushing away to wind down and enjoy the charms of Paimpol – and there will be various excursions laid on to nearby attractions.

See the full programme here

Throughout the regatta, as well as the racing, there will be a full programme of suppers, parties and receptions in each port. The accent is very much on informality (you can definitely leave the No1 yachting kit at home!) and the regatta prides itself on its relaxed Westcountry and Breton ambiance.

We describe the racing as ‘gentleman’s racing’ and you can be as competitive or relaxed as you like. The handicap system used is the JCH Classic Handicap which is free and it is simple to get a handicap online. Full information on the handicap page.

Most yachts designed before the end of 1968, approved designs from 1969 to the end of 1974, and later designs in classic style are eligible to take part. Full information is on the eligibility page.

Most yachts do the whole regatta, but there are options to do just sectors if time is limited. The regatta is a truly international event with past regattas attracting entries from Britain, France, Ireland, Belgium, Holland and Germany – and we look forward to more countries joining the list for 2017.

The regatta is run by Classic Channel Regatta Ltd for The CRAB (Classic Regattas Anglo-Breton) Association whose members are the regatta entrants and crews – so it is truly democratic with the participants owning the regatta and deciding how they would like it run. Read more on the CRAB association.

The regatta is also part of the Challenge Classique Manche-Atlantique (CCMA) series of races run by the Yacht Club Classique in France.

We hope you’ll be able to join us in July 2017 to experience for yourself everything that makes the Classic Channel Regatta such a uniquely enjoyable event.

All photos taken at previous Classic Channel Regattas and reproduced by kind permission of Mike Wynne-Powell, Karine Gilles de Pelichy and waterlinemedia.com