LAST weekend, 36 yachts from along the South Coast enjoyed a hotly-contested Whyboats Weymouth Yacht Regatta.

There was a good variety of courses to keep competitors in four different classes on their toes with gusts to 20kts on Saturday and 22kts on Sunday. With SW winds the seas were still quite flat – the beauty of sailing in Weymouth Bay.

The weekend started on Friday night with the annual fancy dress tender races across the harbour and a barbecue at Weymouth Sailing Club.

On Saturday, three races were run and all classes were closely-fought leaving the results open for the last two races on Sunday, with extremely close combat between the four local Grand Surprise Sportsboats.

Weymouth Sailing Club hosted the daily prize-giving and provided a well-earned meal to competitors and their families, all washed down with great beer thanks to sponsors Ringwood Brewery.

On Sunday, the slightly windy conditions and sunshine created some exciting spinnaker work. Principal race officer, Iain Jones, set a variety of different courses for the four classes – Sportsboats IRC, IRC 3 and IRC 4 (incl VPRS) and Squib.

All classes were keenly contested in all three races held on Saturday, with many place changes along the varied courses. Going into day two there was still all to play for.

The final prize-giving was held at Royal Dorset Yacht Club and started with presentation to all crew under 18. Many thanks to our main event sponsor, Why Boats Boat Brokerage, Bussells Chandlery and Moatt Sails for providing such generous prizes to competitors.

Winner of the overall Regatta and of IRC3 was the very quick J/35 Bengal Magic, skippered by James Chalmers, closely pursued by a battle for second, third and fourth places between boats only separated by one point at the end of Saturday’s three races.

A special trophy, the Luhrs Trophy, was awarded for the best-placed visiting yacht, won by Bengal Magic from the Solent, also winning IRC 3. Second was Saskia VII (Mark Bugler) and third came Jelenko (Al Doughty).

Winner of the best overall result of all IRC competitors, the Kingfisher Marine Cup, went to the Melges 24 Mini Mayhem, from Teignmouth, also winning Sportsboat Class ahead of two Grand Surprises. Surprise (Tim Galego) finished second ahead of Passion (Tom Rees).

RDYC presented the famous Churchill Cup, but as the silverware cannot leave the club, the winners were presented with a brand-new trophy donated by the late Nick Sharpe’s family, the Sharp Exit Trophy.

This went to the overall best yacht, in the opinion of the RO, Moodshadow II (Contessa 32, Mike Street) from IRC4. Second was Springbok (MG Spring 25, Tim McKinnon) and third was Effusion (Elan 295, Mark Talbot).

Racing among the nine squibs was hotly contested, with the first three places in each race changing. The final results saw Jubilation (Jim Mitchell and Ray Capp) win from Hope (Simon and Gill Vines) and Inquisition (Patrick Jones and Robert Hawes).

Many competitors praised the excellent Race Officer, Iain Jones, and a friendly welcoming atmosphere at all the events. Next year’s regatta will be held on Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15.

n Full results and more photographs can be viewed on the YCW website,, and on Weymouth Sailing Club’s facebook page.