Classic and Vintage International14 Open at Upper Thames SC.

04 Nov Classic and Vintage International14 Open at Upper Thames SC.

Late holidays kept the International 14 Open at Upper Thames SC over the 30/31 August weekend a quiet affair with visitors sailing borrowed club boats.


On Saturday two of the three races for the Upper Thames Trophy were sailed in varying and changeable conditions. There were many frustrations as the wind died for a leading boat and a new leader came through on a different slant of wind. Eventually it left three boats on four points with the final decider to be sailed on Sunday.

The following day the vintage deep V boat, Sayonara, lived up to her name by scampering away from the opposition, allowing Paul and Karen Armitage to retain the trophy with Tiercel, also a deep V design, managing second place almost four minutes behind.

Interestingly, to decrease windage, Tiercel was built for the river with much lower freeboard and she lead to the current ‘rise of floor’ measurement in a modern International 14. Having been winning consistently since 1936 she is probably the most successful racing dinghy ever built.

The final race of the day was for the six mile Scott Freeman Challenge Cup. Rarely going full distance now this was still a challenge with the wind dying away on the final lap to leave a raft of boats midway between the top mark and the ice cream van tantalisingly parked on Spade Oak Wharf. After twenty minutes Firestorm managed to barge her way around the mark and drift off to do her 360° before the last leg of the race. With the wind returning Sayonara slipped past and, luffing the fast closing Firestorm off the line, managed to win by a few inches.

After the racing the sailors were treated to a rare treat with Tom Watling taking out his recently refitted half size International 14, Cub, for a demonstration sail. Scott Freeman had commissioned Uffa Fox to build a boat for his young son and the delightful result has stayed in the club since the 1930s.


Upper Thames Trophy:

1st 366 Sayonara, Paul & Karen Armitage, Thames SC,

2nd 363 Tiercel, Trevor Brandt & John Watling, Upper Thames SC

3rd 1123 Firestorm, Nigel Garland & Ken Berry, Upper Thames SC

Scott Freeman Challenge Cup:

1st 366 Sayonara, Paul & Karen Armitage, Thames SC

2nd 1123 Firestorm, Nigel Garland & Karen Berry, Upper Thames SC

3rd 983 Double Vision, Jill & Geoff Stamps, Norfolk SC

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