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6 February 2024

British Classic Yacht Race: Commodores Log 2

The 2014 BCYC Panerai Regatta starts this week and it is worth remembering how the BCYC started just over a decade ago in 2002 and the core values we represent.
After the truly fabulous 2001 centennial America’s Cup Regatta, Tim Blackman, an old friend, came aboard Cetewayo to share experiences. Over a few drinks we agreed that the event had been fantastic and that it would be great to repeat it regularly. Then out of the blue Tim suggested that we start a club and the BCYC was born. Tim and I were both driven by the desire to encourage the preservation of and comradeship around classic yachts. I felt very strongly that we should develop a Regatta that allowed our yachts to race fairly around challenging courses under an objective handicap system. This would ensure that our fleet would not only look gorgeous, but would be sailed to the highest standard, as their designers and original owners would have wished.  We adopted IRC rather than CIM to represent this desire and our first Regatta in 2002 had 10 yachts in the fleet and I am proud to say that Cetewayo won the week.
Since 2002 the BCYC has grown beyond all expectations, driven by our our core values which resonate with our members; a classic yacht revival movement, which reflects the values and current social mood within our western society. Each year the BCYC committee has endeavoured to improve our annual Regatta in every way possible,  both on shore and afloat. Over the past 4 years Panerai have added a fabulous and essential element, with their continental style and generosity. I am proud that the relationship between the BCYC and Panerai has been hugely enjoyable, with an atmosphere of  professionalism and great mutual respect and friendship.
With the increased profile and size of the event, the challenge of how to fairly decide the overall winner took on a new importance, as the entrants’ competitive spirit found new heights in the quest for a Panerai watch! Our objective has always been to ensure that when the winner steps up on the stage to receive the prize, everyone acknowledges that the best yacht has won the week. To achieve that goal our methodology has evolved. The traditional mechanism was to split the fleet into classes and then the yacht with the fewest points within each class would win the week. However it was quickly apparent that the choice of where the classes were split often dictated how competitive each class was.
With this in mind The BCYC came up with a concept that to win the week one had to first win one’s class. In addition the classes would race as a fleet in a number of races creating sets of overall results. Last year we had two fleet races and  this year there will  be three fleet races without a discard run through the week.  This three race series will decide the winner of the Regatta by ordering the winning yachts in each class. This year we will also be awarding 2nd and 3rd overall prizes to the yachts with the next lowest points in the fleet races who have come in the top three of their respective classes. The committee also felt strongly that with a club heritage of cruiser racers, the winner of the week had to be able to race in the Around the Island race, demonstrating an offshore capability.
These structural modifications to the Regatta coupled with the RYS running our racing, and the gathering together of the most competitive classic fleet in BCYC history, promise to make the week’s Regatta a truly remarkable event.
I personally cannot wait!
David Murrin, Commodore, BCYC

Category: Yachts