British Eight Metre Association (BEMA)
Class Captain and Honourary Secretary
The United Kingdom was one of the leading advocates of the Metre Rule which was agreed in 1907 but it was the introduction of the Second and Third International Rules which were introduced in 1920 and 1933 respectively that led to an upsurge in the 8mR Class in the UK with designers such as William Fife, Alfred Mylne and Charles Nicholson building boats many of which are still sailing today.
In the 1930’s fleets were centred on the Solent and the Clyde. The 1970’s saw a revival of the Class on the Clyde and this led to creation of the World Cup. Unfortunately for the Clyde, by the end of the decade most of the fleet was dispersed across Europe, especially Scandinavia. The Centenary World Cup in 2007 was hosted by the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht and this saw the start of a revival of the Class but based on the Solent.
BEMA currently consists of six boats with one based in the Channel Islands and one being restored on the Clyde. Over the last few years racing, before the pandemic, 8mR Class racing has been mainly in the Solent with boats competing in a RYS mini-series and the Cowes Classic and British Classic Yacht Club Regattas as well as WC2019 hosted by RYS. For a variety of reasons 8mR racing as a Class has not re-started post pandemic but with the WC2024 being held on the Clyde, it is hoped that will provide the impetus and numbers to re-start Class racing.