Merrydown Regatta 2019
Put a date in your diary for the Merrydown Regatta 2019 to be held at the RVYC on the weekend of the 14th & 15th September !
For PY Handicap classes there will be three races planned each day and for MOCRA, VPRS & Cruiser class , one long race will be set .
The Merrydown Trophy , Novice Cup and Young Sailors Cup ( under 13's ) will be all presented .
In the mouth of the creek there'll be Scow racing and cadet water activities for spectators to see with shoreside and family fun for all ages .
A beach - themed regatta party will kick off the onshore entertainment from 3pm on the Saturday .
Race Entry Forms , NORs & SIs plus 2019 Race Chart will be available to download by Mid June
History of the Merrydown Regatta
The origins of the Race date back to 1955 when members of the 'Sailing Section' at Ryde Rowing Club, then located on the Pier at Ryde, discovered the wonderful properties of Merrydown Vintage Cider. Racing began annually for firstly a Magnum of the cider and then, from 1959 when the Merrydown Wine Company first learned about the race, they presented a Methuselah as first prize. The Company's continuing support for the race from that time is the earliest and longest commercial sponsorship of any sporting event.
The present silver Merrydown Trophy was first raced for in 1962 with the winner being Bob Casson of East Cowes SC. The race continued to be held from the Pier until 1970 when the Club had to move to its present site at Appley. Until the Club could continue running the event again, the Royal Victoria Yacht Club hosted the race at Fishbourne 1971-75.
From 1976 the race was staged at Appley until it was no longer feasible for the Club to run it and now, fortunately, it appears to have a bright future being staged at Fishbourne again.
Of the many local Clubs whose members have won the race, Stokes Bay SC has been the most successful with 27 winners, of which Paul Chatfield has won five and Stuart Gummer four times.
Royal Victoria members to have won the Merrydown include John Hoyland (1970), RC Payne (1975) and Martin Harrison (1996 and 2002). And Authur Farley ( 2018)
Merrydown Regatta 2018
RVYC's Merrydown regatta 2018 attracted the largest number of entries for many years, with entries from members and visitors in classes from MOCRA multihulls and a Nacra and Dart 18s, to 18 Squibs and a solitary Oppie.
PRO, Martin Harrison, made sure the courses took advantage of the near-perfect conditions with courses in the eastern Solent, set from Martin Bedford's committee boat, Ghost. The committee boat starts enabled quicker course changes than from the club's usual courses set from the race box.
The two Merrydown races on Saturday and Sunday were mass starts for the entire fleet. On Saturday, second and third places were RVYC Squibs of Roly Wilson and crew in Bacchante VII and Ben and Chris Gibson in Whizzard and on Sunday it was Squibs in runner-up positions again – this time David Lloyd and crew in Incendio took second place ahead of Bacchante VII. But in first place both days was RVYC's Arthur Farley, taking time from his mainland events to support his home club, who took first place and the overall trophy, in a Laser Radial.
Overall winner in the cruisers was Chris Turner's Elsa, with the MOCRA's of Nigel Talbot and Richard Rae tying for joint second place.
Winner of the day boat trophy was David Lloyd and crew in Incendio, one of several Squibs which made the journey over from Portsmouth Sailing Club. Runners-up were the Gibson brothers in Whizzard with Hilary Martin and Steve Warren Smith in Rhapsody third.
The multihull dinghies were dominated by visitors from Stokes Bay in Dart 18s – Sarah Knutt, Paul Grattage and Paul Rogers.
Arthur Farley also took the trophy for fast handicap dinghies with Charlie White and Paddy Lord runners-up also in Laser Radials.
Special mention must be made of Alice Pope who was the sole Oppie sailor. She revelled in the conditions far out in The Solent, well out of her usual comfort zone sailing area and not at all phased even when turning turtle both days! Charlotte Andrews won the cup for this class, crewed on Saturday by her sister, Katy and on Sunday, by Charlotte Osborne. Charlotte Andrews was also presented with the Rickman Trophy for best junior at the regatta.
For the first time in many years, a Scow fleet made an appearance at the regatta, with their own races round a course in the mouth of the creek, with Keith Evans and Jay Garrett as race officers. In this, the 70th anniversary of the first Scow races at RVYC when it was based in Ryde, this was a very welcome return and attracted visiting Scows from Yarmouth SC. Graham Bowen and Niall Waters from Yarmouth took first and second places, with RVYC's John Waterman in third place. To celebrate the resurgence of the Scow fleet at the club, they were awarded the prestigious Thomas West Trophy for the class of regatta – this was accepted on behalf of the fleet by Martyn Squibb.
The Merrydown trophies were presented by veteran sailor, Neville Hill, who had taken part in the very first event in 1954, when it was staged by Ryde Rowing Club from their old clubhouse on Ryde Pier.
See you all on the water in 2019
Last updated 13:04 on 13 June 2019