with George Blanchard
After a year of preparation by the Organizing Committee of the U.K. Wayfarer Association, and International Committee, the 1st World International Championship and U.K. Open National Championship meeting, sponsored by NIMBLE BREAD whose generous contribution made it possible, was soon to be a reality.
Competitors from overseas and the U.K. were arriving at the Hayling Island Sailing Club located in the south-west of England off the mainland overlooking the Isle of Wight. Arrangements had been made to provide overseas competitors with Wayfarers borrowed from U.K. members who were not racing in the National Championships. Six teams each from Scandinavia, the United States, and Canada were allotted either Wood or GRP boats upon arrival at the Club, on a first come, first served basis, through Gordon Pollard.
Jeff Jones and Frank Pedersen had purchased two MK II Wayfarers for this event and two other MK II boats on loan were picked by U.S. competitors. Many of the visitors had to spend two or three days re-equipping boats to suit their particular requirements. In addition, each boat had to have a valid measurement certificate, current buoyancy test, weighed and sails measured before being permitted to race. Don Foster, the Official Measurer, did a fantastic job, with very little assistance, to ensure that the 91 Wayfarers registered were legally approved for racing. Gordon Pollard, Bernard Jay and Eddie went all out to supply and help the visitors to fully equip the borrowed boats. No changes were allowed on some boats as requested by the owners, and skippers who picked these boats complied with the owners' wishes.
Some visitors encountered difficulties in boats meeting the wet buoyancy tests while some had up to three tests carried out before passing the FINAL requirements. This proved later to be very vital to the safety of competitors who capsized in force 5 to 6 winds during the race. It was interesting to find out that some competitors failed to fasten rear hatch covers securely, which resulted in a badly submerged boat and loss of cover when capsized. Owners should check regularly to ensure that rubber seals and fasteners are in good condition for maximum safety and compliance with the Class Rules.
It was unbelievable to see some U.K. competitors sailing into the Hayling Island Sailing Club with their launching dollies lashed on to the hull deck. Others were trailing in with launching dollies attached to trailers.
By early Saturday morning, August 3rd, the parking facilities were certainly crowded. Wayfarers were stored along the stony area of the club facing the channel to facilitate launching.
Now let's make a few comments the Hayling Island SC hosting the National and International meeting for the Wayfarer Class. This fine Club has established an excellent reputation for running International and National Class events successfully for many years and they are one of the outstanding Sailing Clubs in the U.K. with lots of experience and capabilities to handle a large, major Championship meeting. With a membership of nearly 900, a large fleet of class boats, superb parking facilities for cars, trailers and boat storage areas, this Club is tremendous.
There is a separate snack bar on the ground floor, large showers and change rooms, and a nursery for members' children. The second floor has a full-time bar, a large dining room for serving up to well over 200 persons, if necessary. A separate two-storey annex building accommodates ladies' and men's dormitories (two- or four-bunked rooms) as well as sleeping bag accommodation, which makes this Club unique. Many competitors rented these rooms at a modest daily rate.
The Club has large office facilities with a Manager, Secretary and Staff to control the Club's operations. A Race Control Tower is located on the roof of the main clubhouse, fully equipped for running races in Hayling Harbour, with complete signalling and radio communications. Without any doubt, the Wayfarer Organizing Committee certainly chose a terrific club to host (ed. note: my copy of the newsletter says “hose” - but hell, we know what George wanted to say…) the first International Meeting.
In spite of the tremendous load placed on the Club's facilities by the 91 competitors, crews, and families, the members of this fine Club made everyone so welcome. Commodore Peter Cook, the Flag Officers, Staff and Members went all out to make this Wayfarer Meeting a success. Thanks to the Hayling Island Sailing Club for the patience, co-operation and kindness extended to the Wayfarer sailors.
Now let's discuss the racing side of this Meeting. Commodore Peter Cook, Race Chairman for this event, had a fine Committee organized, supported by R/C vessel, mark-laying vessels under Fred Gael, and rescue craft. Many of the Committee's members took holidays in order to act on the Race Committee which was most appreciated by the Wayfarer Association and competitors. The races would be held in Hayling Bay or Chichester Harbour, weather permitting. The race course would consist of a maximum of 4 rounds: triangle, windward-leeward, triangle, windward-leeward, and windward finish for a total of 11 legs. Large orange inflated markers were used with the windward mark placed at an approximate distance of 1-1/8 - 1-1/4 miles from the starting area. The National event would consist of 5 races August 4-8 and overlap with the Worlds International schedule of 6 races August 6-11. One race would be held per day, preceded by a practice race, August 3. Races held August 6, 7, and 8 would count for both events. The Sailing Instructions were first class and, along with tidal charts, gave all competitors the necessary information for championship racing.
Saturday, August 3rd: A large fleet of Wayfarers sailed out to Hayling Bay for the 14:30 start of the Practice Race: 4 rounds in winds forecast, force 2-3 (10-15 MPH) going to force 4-5 (20-25 MPH).
The leeward end of the start line was favoured due to shifting winds starboard. Yachts flipped over onto port tack quickly to get over the line. Winds increased with high seas running and the race was shortened to 3 rounds after 2-1/2 hours of racing. Jeff Jones, U.S.A., placed first in his new MK II Wayfarer.
August 4th: Race #1 Nationals
August 5th: Race #2 Nationals
August 6th: Race #3 Nationals/Race #1 Internationals
Start 11:00 hours, 4 rounds. Winds light, force 1-2. Race course well laid out with port end of start line favoured very slightly resulting in a successful start. Jeff Jones, U.S.A., sailed a fine race to place first.
August 7th: Race #4, Nationals/Race #2 Internationals
August 8th: Race #5 Nationals/Race #3 Internationals
August 9th: Race #4 Internationals
August 10th: Race #5 Internationals
Start 13:00 hours, 4 rounds. What a day! Winds force 6-7 and over, seas boiling with continuous rain squalls. Race postponed until late afternoon and then cancelled. A few competitors went out in the Harbour but returned shortly after the race was officially cancelled by the R/C. This turned out to be a welcomed lay day to get revived after the last two heavy races.
August 11th: Race #6 Internationals
The winds were very shifty resulting in this being one of the most exciting races of the series for the leading competitors and a fine climax for completion of the Internationals. Alex Stone, G.B., placed first.
U.K. sailors proved to be tops in both the Nationals and International Series. Jeff Jones on the U.S. team was the only visiting competitor who placed in the first 5 places in both events as the rest of the overseas teams were well scattered throughout the Series…...
The social program organized by the Committee was a great change from the racing side and enabled competitors and club members to get well acquainted during the Meeting.
Saturday, August 3rd: Following the Practice Race, many of the competitors stayed on at the Club for supper and get-together with visiting Wayfarers sailors and Club Members. The evening was a fine success....
Monday, August 5th: A successful Champagne Party was held at the Club in the evening and was well attended - another fine success as everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves....
Tuesday, August 6th: The Club held a Beer and Games Night at the Club to entertain the visitors while others went to the Chichester Festival Theatre to see the play A Summer in the Country. Both activities were most enjoyable.
Wednesday, August 7th: Due to heavy rains, the outside barbeque was held in the Club Dining Room and followed by dancing to make this evening quite a successful one.
Thursday, August 8th: The Association Dinner, held in the evening, was well attended by nearly 240 persons and everyone thoroughly enjoyed an excellent full-course dinner and wine served by the Club's staff. Gordon Pollard made a fine resume of the history of the Wayfarer since it was placed on the market and the progress the Class has made during the last fifteen years.
Associations are growing stronger and the Class is increasing in numbers rapidly. Other guest speakers followed with in-teresting talks and appreciation. Thanks were extended to all Committee Members who organized the meeting for the Wayfarer Week '74 by Ron Gillespie. Presentation of trophies to Winners of the National Championships was made in the bar-lounge by Commodore, Peter Cook.
Friday, August 9th: After the tough race, many sailors enjoyed a visit to the Mengeham Rythe Sailing Club to meet Commodore, Don Smith, Flag Officers, and Members. The Club is much smaller than the Hayling Island Sailing Club but quite nice, and the visitors enjoyed meeting with a very enthusiastic and competitive group of sailors. It was a great evening and most enjoyable.
Saturday, August 10th: The Club Supper and Discotheque, held in the evening following the cancellation of Race #5, was well attended and a fine social get-together for the competitors and Club Members.
Sunday, August 11th: The Wayfarer Week '74 had now come to a close after completion of Race #6, and competitors were busy packing up boats and gear, ready for departure. The presentations took place on the Club's balcony with the first 6 winners receiving the trophies, followed by all competitors receiving a souvenir mug and dish. What a fine climax to a great meeting for which credit certainly goes to the Organizing Committee and Host Club for making this Championship such a fine success in spite of a few minor difficulties which occurred during the series.
It was established that future International Meetings should be sailed separately if possible to avoid a terrific load placed on the Host Club facilities and Race Committee caused by overlapping with the Nationals Championships. This also made it difficult to obtain loan of boats as many owners wanted to race in their own championships. Another problem which made it most difficult was certification of borrowed boats to comply with Class Rules. In spite of the situation regarding the finalizing of the last 6 U.K. qualifying teams after completion of the Nationals and 3rd race of the Internationals which caused some concern, this Worlds Meeting turned out to be a great racing event for the Wayfarer Class.
The performance of the new MK II racing for the first time in a major championship was a proven success and a great boost to the Class. It is regrettable that some of the boats loaned to visitors were involved in minor mishaps during the racing and we hope that the owners will not be too upset. The overseas visitors extend their sincere thanks to the U.K. Wayfarer members who made it possible for us to compete in this World Meeting.
I am sure that in spite of the poor showing by most of us visitors, some of our teams did do fairly well and certainly learnt a lot about racing in tidal seas against very experienced skippers. Again boat speed and more knowledge in sailing in different conditions encoun-tered by most visitors for the first time, was a challenge. Everyone tried their very best to place as well as possible and, regardless of the result, the Meeting was thoroughly enjoyed by all overseas and local competitors. André Laframboise and son, Michel, from Préville Sailing Club, Montréal, was our top Canadian team and, in spite of breakage problems, sailed a fine series. We congratulate him for his excellent showing.
This event gave the Wayfarer Class a tremendous boost and established good will amongst the National Associations. The Wayfarer International Committee held three Meetings with representatives from each Association to finalize the International Class Rules which are now in the final stages for review and release for ratification by the Class Associations. Issuing of Standard Class Rules for all countries to adhere to will eliminate confusion and differences encoun-tered in past rules. Continual support by members will keep the Class strong and popular for family cruising and competitive sailing. Thanks to the members of the Executive Committees who worked so hard to keep their Class Associations active and running smoothly and the W.I.C. who have made the Wayfarer an International Class.
1974 Worlds results
George Blanchard's Worlds report
1974 Worlds on shore shots - 1
1974 Worlds sailing shots - 2
1974 Worlds sailing shots