AlbacoreChris Somner’s own Albacore is a Fairy Hull built in 1966 previously from Lyme Regis.
It regularly competes and is known as ‘Blue Streak’, named after a cruise missile, is now based in and around Poole. Bought by Chris off the beach at Calshot Spit for £150 in 2006, what started as a superficial repair, ended up as a complete restoration and rebuild including replacement of almost everything – as the photos show.
It has competed at the Nationals for the last 4 years and has done pretty well, achieving 9th in Internationals, top 5 Results at the Nationals and good Open results.
Bembridge RedwingThe Bembridge Redwing was commissioned in the Isle of Wight in 1937. Designed by Charles Nicholson, Camper and Nicholson Ltd built them. The construction is of mahogany planking on elm timbers, decks of red pine and coamings to be of teak. The keel, lead and the rudder from elm. The first boats were delivered in 1938 and from then the boats were known as the Bembridge 1938 Redwings.
In 1988 the Bembridge class made the decision to adopt the new GRP version of the 1938 Redwing, and in 1989, 18 GRP boats were ordered and began sailing at Bembridge. 13 of the original wooden Redwings were sold to Poole in 1989. It was agreed that the Bembridge Redwings would keep the numbers 1 – 99, and Poole Redwings would adopt the numbers 101 -199.
From 1999 to 2005 the Poole Redwings were sailed for corporate hospitality events and charity racing. From 2006 until today, the Poole Redwings have been privately owned and are raced as a fleet in Poole Harbour. The racing is competitive, friendly and exciting. They are raced from Lake Yard in Hamworthy twice a week, Poole Harbour Regattas, and annually at Cowes Week against the Bembridge Fleet every August.
So this fleet of classic racing keelboats is definitely alive and kicking in Poole but, to enable them to continue competing massive commitment is being made by their owners to maintain and restore them to their former glory. Here in our workshop at Chris Somner Dinghy Services we are able to take a redwing back its bare bones and rebuild it to return to its original racing prowess.
You can read more about the Redwings at http://www.lakeyard.com/redwing.html
One of our recent Redwing overhauls was Fortuna. Fortune required a full overhaul. She has been stripped, pressure washed, dried out, resplined. Gunwhales, deck beams, and deck were replaced, and the boat completely re-nailed.
X One DesignThe XOD is a seriously popular small one design keel boat raced mainly on the South Coast. There have been 194 built between 1909 and 1994 and around 150 of these are still in commission, racing these beasts began in 1911. Racing is taken very seriously although they are not a ‘performance racer’ and are not as elegant as the Redwing, they provide excellent one design competitive racing. 2011 saw the XOD celebrate their Centenary with over 140 boats seen on the start line at Cowes Week, what a sight.
A recent restoration was of Silverwind, which was built in 1936 and 7 times winner of the XOD Captains Cup in the past. She was taken to Cowes Week 2011 and was crewed each day by our team on different days within the Regatta week. We are proud to say she finished a respectable 78th out of 145 boats, even after sustaining substantial damage to her gunwales, deck and rig after a Port and Starboard incident during race 3.