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Stella Timoa races to victory at Suffolk Yacht Harbour’s Classic Regatta

GM Classic Regatta 5964

This year’s Classic Regatta once again proved everything we love about classic yachting with fantastic sailing conditions, sunshine and socialising. We conjoined with Haven Ports Yacht Club to host our annual Classic Regatta. Now in its 18th year, the event saw 35 classic yachts from across East Anglia and further afield race in three classes (Fast, Slow and Stellas) across the weekend.

Yachts ranging from Gaff Cutters to West Solents, Stellas and modern classics convened at SYH on Friday 8th for pre-regatta drinks and socialising, before crews were up early for briefing and bacon sandwiches on Saturday morning. The forecast predicted light winds, particularly in the mornings, but as both days progressed the wind filled in and the fleet enjoyed a pleasant 8-14 knots across the weekend. 

Day one saw a shorter race in the morning, which was won overall by Andrew Gilmour in Stella Timoa with Mark Wincer’s International One Design Whisper and Stephen Jones’ Masthead Sloop Phialle taking first in the fast and slow classes respectively. The race was not without its drama and on the final spinnaker reach 40 Square Metre Spissgatter Venya’s mast broke, which earned her helm Rufus Gilday the Spirit Yachts’ sponsored hip flask for someone “in need of a stiff drink”!

Race two brought more wind and some competitive sailing across a longer course. Whisper clinched the overall win, with Stella Timoa taking first in her class and Jonathan Thompson’s Tumlare Zest winning the slow class.

Sunday morning brought a cloudy start with light winds, which increased as the sun broke through the clouds for race three. This final race brought the most challenging leg of the weekend, with crews having to take advantage of the tide on a beat from the Penny Hole to Outer Ridge marks that was fraught with tricky wind shifts.

Phil Plumtree in his West Solent Arrow took first overall in race three, with Stella Timoa making it a clean sweep with a trio of Stella class wins and Zest winning the slow class. With a first, second and fourth overall Andrew Gilmour and his crew of Luke Porter, Angus Gilmour and Tom Taylor-Jones took the regatta trophy.

The fast class was won by Phil Plumtree in Arrow and Jonathan Thompson took the slow class in his Tumlare Zest. The Saphir trophy, which is the regatta’s equivalent to the concours d’elegance prize, went to the beautifully restored Gaff Cutter Fable, owned by Andrew Balfe.