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CLASSIC REGATTA


The UK participation came about when Bruce went to the


perros Classic Regatta at perros-Guirec in North Brittany in 2003. He was the only British boat and the French asked him to come back again with more British boats. Bruce approached some other classic boat enthusiasts and they decided the best way to attract boats was to run a feeder race. They then approached the Royal Dart Yacht Club in Kingswear who were keen to support it and it was agreed to have two days racing at Dartmouth before the feeder race. Bruce then began approaching possible sponsors. pusser’s Rum, Raymarine (marine navigation equipment) and Hayes parsons Insurance (specialists in marine insurance) came on board as Gold sponsors of that first Regatta and have stayed with the event ever since. And so the first Classic Channel Regatta was launched with 50 boats attending in 2005. In 2011 Lewmar (long established manufacturers of winches, anchors and deck hardware) and Dubarry of Ireland (sailing footwear and clothing) joined them as Gold sponsors. There are now also a number of Silver Sponsors, including Dartmouth Chandlery, valeport Ltd, specialty Fasteners & Components Ltd in Totnes and Butterfield Bank in Guernsey. Many other local firms are supporting the Regatta as Bronze sponsors. “We couldn’t run the Regatta without the generous support of our sponsors and the local authorities,” says Bruce, “Luckily they have stuck with us and really support our efforts to organise this unique event.”


“No other


“Many of the same boats have been competing in the Regatta since it started,” Rozanthe Hine-Haycock, Regatta secretary says. “For some people their boats are their life and they’re really proud of them and there’s great camaraderie. There’s a lot of interest in the boats on both sides of the Channel and the owners are proud to show them off. The French put on a great party in the Salle de Fêtes on the quayside at paimpol. When the boats arrive there’s a band and traditional folk dancers on the quay to meet them and a loud speaker gives a brief resume of each boat as it comes in.” so what is a Classic Boat exactly? Almost


Regatta can offer such varied racing in a week,”


all boats designed before 1969 are eligible to take part in this regatta, and this date ties in quite well with the decline of mainstream wooden boat building and design and the rise of factory based production of fibre-glass vessels. some boats, including those built of fibre glass,


designed and built between the end of 1968 and the end of 1976 are eligible if they have a classic design, provenance, construction and appearance. These are subject to approval. The Classic Channel Regatta and Dartmouth Classics organising team are keen to attract more entries so if you have a classic boat and want to find out more or sign up for a newsletter, visit the Regatta website: www.classic- channel-regatta.eu If you’re interested in crewing, check out the “Boats looking for Crew” page on the website.•


photos by Guy Metcalfe 57


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