On the 9/10th September Marconi Sailing Club will be hosting the third round of the UK 18 foot skiff grand prix sponsored by Dinghy Rope (now Sailing Chandlery). It’s been almost 40 years since the class raced from the club and this will be a great opportunity to see these boats in action.
Every effort will be made to ensure the racing is close to the club to ensure the best spectating, the aim is to run four 30 min races each day on windward/leeward courses.
The 18 foot skiff class originated in Sydney Australia in the 1900’s and gained notoriety for bringing a commercial element to dinghy racing with sponsored boats displaying large branding on the sails for the benefit of companies and spectators alike who would regularly bet on the outcome of the racing. The class hit the mainstream media in the 90’s with live prime time TV coverage and the creation of the 18 foot skiff grand prix.
The boats have evolved dramatically from their humble beginnings making use of the latest technology as it became available and coming to symbolise the modern image of high performance skiff sailing. Sailed by three crew all on trapeze from 14 foot wide racks these boats are driven to exceptional speeds regularly hitting 15 knots upwind and double that downwind.
The first race on Saturday is planned to start at 13:00 and racing will be followed by a club BBQ in the evening. The club galley will be open during the day over the weekend and the bar will be open Saturday evening.