No. 2032 – Vol. LXXV.Saturday, April 5th 1930Price Sixpence

“The International Eight-metre Class”.

For some years after the war the International 8-metre Class was inclined to hand fire , but of late it has gone ahead in the most satisfactory manner. It is now one of the most popular classes scheduled under the International rule and as no fewer than seven new yachts of this rating have been built during the winter for home racing, the class promises to be one of the strongest, in a numerical sense, during the coming season.

By Thames measurement computation the 8-metre boat is a craft of about 12 tons and as by the provisions of the rule she has to bẹ fitted with a cabin, she is admirably adapted to the double purpose of racing and cruising. We are afraid , however, the owner for the most part regards the cabin as an inconvenience. At any rate, they fail to make use of the cabin for purpose of habitation. This seems to us a pity, for what could be more delightful than to live on board during the season and vary the racing with a little cruising. There is indeed no reason why these boats should not go round the coast like their larger sisters, the 12 metre class, racing at the principal regattas. We do not suggest that the Solent “Eights” should go as far afield as Ireland and the Clyde, for that would perhaps be asking rather too much of them but they could very well make the necessary passages from one racing venue to the next in the Channel.

If the owners made up their minds to adopt this suggestion, there could be but little doubt that the clubs would put on races for them. Indeed, the class is already catered for in several localities, such as Falmouth, Torqay, Brixham and Plymouth, but it cannot be said that regatta committees in those parts haven been adequately rewarded for their enterprise in providing races for the boats. We should also like to see the amateur element more strongly represented in the crews of the 8-metre yachts, for at present they are manned almost entirely with professionals. Three paid hands in vessels of this size are quite unnecessary and if one were dispensed with, room would be left add for two amateurs to live onboard. If two young amateurs were to own a boat in conjunction and live on board during the Summer, as Mr J. R. Payne does in the 12-metre Vanity, they would get splendid value for their money, and if they were expert yachtsman, the success of the boat when raced would be in no wise impaired.

Of the new yachts built for the class, William Fife III is responsible for the production of no fewer than five. These are Finola, for Mr. Herbert Johnson; Oonah, for Mr. H. Carron Scrimgeour; Severn, for Mr. Roland B. Worth; Falcon for Mr. W. Betts Donaldson; and Amita, for Colonel J. W Hamilton. In addition two of the yachts built for racing in homewaters. William Fife III has designed an “Eight” which is being built in Spain and another craft of the same rating destined for Canada, were it is being completed on frames sent out from Fairlie. In the south, Nicholson has designed an 8-metre boat for Captain Dowman. Who owns the famous old clipper Cutty Sark and another for Colonel E.T. Peel who raced Susette in the 6-metre class some years ago. At the Lymington Shipyard an “Eight” is taking shape from the design of the American naval architect Pain, but whether she will race in this country or in America we have no knowledge. Finally, Mr. Nicholson had designed, and his firm are building an 8-metre yacht for a Canadian Syndicate, who will race her on the Great Lakes of North America.

This is a really splendid influx of new yachts and will give some idea of the popularity the International 8-Metre Class has now attained. Of the new vessels, Finola. Oonah, Severn and Colonels Peel’s boat will race in the Solent division. Whilst Falcon nd Amita are destined for the Clyde Class. Captain Dowmans’s Nicholson designed yacht will probably go to Falmouth where she will be sailed bu Captain R.T. Dixon, one of the finest small yacht helmsmen in the country. This new boat will have as opponents in the west of England Mr. H.G. Sickelmore’s Anthea which was designed by Nicholson last year, and Mr. H.K. Neale’s Siris built in 1925 form the design of Morgan Giles. With these three yachts from a nucleus, there is no reason why the class should not become quite a strong one in a few years as the 8-Metre vessel is admirably adapted to racing in those waters.

The class in the Solent should be a very strong one as in addition to the new yachts, several of this which competed last summer will hoist their flags again. Among te probable starters may be mentioned Lord Forster’s Nona (ex Finola). Sir E. Roney’s Emily II, Miss Roney’s Sposa II, and Sir Walter Preston’s Unity. Some of the others which raced in 1929, however, seen rather doubtful unless they should change hands, as no doubt some of them will. Sir Howard Frank for instance is not likely to race June, now that he bought the big cutter Astra, whilst Mr Nicholson will probably be too busy engaged with the America’s Cup challenger Shamrock V. to think of racing in Folly. Mr. F.W. Leith has recently bought a cruising boat, but that does not necessarily imply that he will not race Barbe, the old “eight” in which he did remarkably well in light weather last year.

On the Clyde, the class is likely to include the new boats Falcon and Amita and the old yachts Caryl, which won the Seawanhaka Cup last year, Cluaran, Sulkier and Sagitta. We hear, however, that it is doubtful if Mr. F.J. Stephen will be able to race Goila IV this season. Anyhow, there will be quite sufficient craft available to afford the best of sport. Although, so far as we know, no definite challenge has beren received for the Seawanhaka Cup. It is expected that an American yacht will sent be sent over to attempt the capture of the trophy, which is regarded as the blue ribbon of small yacht racing. Should a challenger appear on the Clyde she will not have an easy task before he, for in addition to Caryl the holders of the cup have the two new Fife yachts from which to select a defender. in the Sought, yachts of this rating have tow international contests awaiting them as the Royal Thames Yacht Club has issued a challenge for the Coupe the France which was wrested from them last summer by the French boat L’aile VI, and will all defend the Cumberland Cup.

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