Clyde Classic, the first of three very special Scottish and Irish classic yacht regattas this summer, survived a blustery weekend at Rhu on the upper Firth of Clyde – not least because events off the water, at the associated Design Symposium, were as important as the water-borne activities.
The eclectic fleet of beautifully restored and maintained classics travelled from as far as the Medway and Cornwall to celebrate over 100 years of yacht design around the Firth of Clyde and beyond at Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club and Rhu Marina.
Their designers included, from the Clyde and West of Scotland, The Fifes of Fairlie – Sr and Jr, Ewing and James McGruer (Clynder), Alfred Mylne and G.L. Watson (Glasgow) – alongside representatives of the work of Nathanael Herreshoff (USA) and Henry Rasmussen (Denmark/ Germany).
The Firth of Clyde has such a rich history of yacht designing and building; it’s a no-brainer that such an event should happen there. Here’s hoping that organiser Gordon Drysdale can establish Clyde Classic as a regular fixture.
Next up is the much anticipated 4th running of The Fife Regatta, at Largs and around the Firth of Clyde from Friday 28th June – with a number of entrants continuing south to the bi-annual festival of beautiful boats, large and very small, in the equally beautiful surroundings of Glandore, County Cork, Ireland.
The Clyde Classic Regatta’s accommodation vessel was the impressive 73ft G.L. Watson & Co. designed motor yacht Chico, a veteran of Dunkirk built by the famous east coast yard, Miller of St. Monance, and powered by iconic twin Gardner diesel engines.
Chico seems to be proving that there is a market for Firth of Clyde and West Coast of Scotland classic charter, soaking in the atmosphere captured by author Martin Black in his sumptuous book, G.L. Watson – The Art and Science of Yacht Design.
Martin spoke on Watson at the symposium alongside Peggy Bawn Press publisher, Hal Sisk, who presented the case for the The Clyde as the World Centre of the Sport of Yacht Racing, and PBP jack of all trades, your faithful scribe, who attempted to raise the profile of some of the Clyde’s lesser known but no less prolific and excellent yacht designers.
~ Iain McAllister ~