VMYG meeting, Round Pond 16-17 July 2005


On the 16th and 17th July 2005 VMYG held its weekend meeting on the Round Pond kindly hosted by MYSA.

On the wonderful hot Sunday, to tell the truth perhaps too hot by the afternoon, with light zephyrs rippling the Round Pond's surface, VMYG's major meeting of the year turned out to be also one of its best attended, producing an intriguing collection of boats and members with friends and spouses from around the country as well a healthy interest from passers-by enjoying too their Sunday in Kensington gardens. This snap shot gives just a flavour.

Mark Petrushkin’s Littlejohn 10R ‘Grebe’ from c 1949, sadly split but eminently repairable should look wonderful on the water with those overhangs. One wonders just how small her sail area will be with that length of waterline

Bill Daniel's iconic Albion, winner of the Nationals in 1929 and 1930 shows off her simply wonderful shape and a counter to die for. Her details are beautiful (witness the stylised rendering of her hatch). Richard Howlett carried out a wonderful restoration job on her and her paint work is quite remarkable ('Jolly well should be' Jeanni explained, 'I did most of the rubbing down'!). The subtlety of the gloss topsides and those dark semi-mat blue undersides with the separated red boot top, conspire to show off this early lightweight International A gloriously and are proof of just how successful new paintwork on an old boat can be. Owned by Graham Frazer (our MYSA host for this day), she was accompanied by Condor another early international A which sailed impressively during one of the afternoon's more breezy moments.


Recent member Jasper Britten's splendidly restored 1730 rule plank-on-edge 10 tonner (or possibly more) 'Jingle', named apparently after the Dickens character, shows off her fine lines as does her mate Katrina below, whose selfless dive to the ground to meet the incoming gaffer in such a spirited manner is an example to radio men everywhere. I understand the boat was acquired on ebay (some find!) as a bare and damaged hull and involved much renovation. Though it is most likely that this pine hull would originally have been painted, the new all over varnish finish without even a boot top, marvellously does credit to her wonderful colour. A thoroughly deserved Highly Commended for the Howlett Trophy.


One of a number of scale boats both old and new to be seen during the day, this rather nice Cutter moved most convincingly through the water; and representative of another very different scale craft was this lateen sailed Dhow brought by David Saurteig and made in its country of origin at Lamu, Kenya. The full sized boats were built as traders for the East Africa to South India routes.

Gareth Morgan's 50/800 Marblehead Swallow, after Littlejohn's Kittiwake design, most attentatively restored by him including new sails and an impressive new jib club fitting also by him based on designs of the day, sported an equally impressive original radial....vane gear

Another interesting boat, a double ended 36R presumably designed to fit diagonally in the measuring box and thereby gain a small increase in waterline length, is fitted with her original steering gear of pre Braine design. Most probably from the 30's.


Martin Bandey brought this interesting vessel which we all felt 'looked Scottish'. Not a Fifie or any other well known type we could identify; fitted out as a two masted lugger and nicely made. Maybe significantly her foremast is stepped unusually immediately behind the stem, or perhaps that was just a builder's error. Anyone out there with a lead?

Martin also produced the attractive part restored 'shop made' sloop above.

Paul Drewett produced the 6m K808. It was with this very nice boat that Clem Edwards won the Nationals during the '50s. Though now re rigged with thoroughly modern anodised aluminium spars and Dacron sails, she still sports an original Clem manufactured vane on the Corby pattern. A number of these were made before his later acclaimed pattern which dispensed with the separate quadrant.


And from somewhere came this rather sweet little Gamages boat.


Important moment of the day was the award of the Howlett Trophy given for the best Restoration or Newly Constructed Replica boat of the year. 2005 was only the 2nd time of the award and as previously seen Richard's own work sets a high standard to follow. We were lucky to have Jeanni Howlett on the judging committee which after due consideration awarded Graham Knight for his Cutter 'Amelia Underwood'. Chairman Russel Potts presented the plaque and offered the committee's congratualations. Particularly noteworthy is the quality of work on the hull and the choice and colour of woods, as well as her sails...made I understand by Amelia Underwood. Well done for a great entry. Well done also to runner up Bruce Prole for his nice gaff Cutter 'Lily'.

On the Saturday the 10R race for the Pout Cup produced an entry of six boats. With little wind throughout it was a leisurely affair, but three heats were completed before lunch with the remaining two by 3.30pm despite an ever more fickle wind.

The results were as below:

Position Skipper/Mate Points Boat
1 Graham Frazer 20 1431 Searcher Littlejohn
2 Martin Bandey/ John Gale 18 1666 Psyche Lewis
3 David Keay 15 Shelough Lewis
4 Robin Redhead/ Redhead jnr 9 Daddy longlegs Redhead
5 John Husband 8 Mistral
6 Charles Howe/ Max Buttimer 6 1499 Lewis


Graham was most pleased to have won the Cup, especially since he was assisted with emergency repairs from other competitors prior to the start; he has now vowed to treat Searcher to a visit to the yards. Martin and John put up a good performance for the second year running. Psyche does not carry her original sail number but is thought to date from the 50's. David used his cycle to pace his Lewis cracker design and felt things went a lot better than last year when he had to cope with a sticking vane. Robin built and designed his boat with his father in the '40s and was the second oldest boat racing. In the early '60s she won the 10R Nationals. Built in 1925 John Husband's well known 10R was the earliest and only pre-war boat to take part. Charles' very nice 1499, newly restored by Joshua Ritchie was unfortunately hampered by a last minute substitute vane whose less than perfect fit caused intermittent sticking.

Many thanks for the stalwart efforts of OOD Gareth Morgan and scoresman Trevor Smith with assistance from Mark Petrushkin.

A notable conclusion to all this is a distinct growth in interest within the club in vane sailing. This is reflected in the number of vane meetings which have been initiated and which will feature in next year's programme. Others are also being contemplated. Hopefully this interest will overspill into MYSA vane events for currently competitive craft, many of which are not recent designs.

Report and photography by Anthony Warren with contributions from Gareth Morgan and Martin Bandey